There is something really wonderful about Starbucks.
I love a good coffee place with local coffee, or a small shop owned by mom and pop. But, really truly, I love Starbucks. I love the Starbucks down by Wall Street, where you can watch the big bankers grab their drinks on their way to rule the financial world. I love the Starbucks off Oxford Street, where you can watch the city of London wake up. I love the Starbucks in Long Beach, where you can watch the surfers (enough said).
When I’m not exploring the most fabulous cities in the world, I’m at my local Starbucks. My Barista Boyfriends know my name and my drink, starting on the soy latte before I even make it to the till. Sometimes they make it a grande “on accident.” Sometimes they make it for free. Is there anything better than a man who knows your coffee order?
Often times, a girl will come in with a bag full of books. She’ll greet a woman who looks just like her, and the familiar embrace tells me they’re mother and daughter. She goes to the local university, and her mom is here to spend some time with her. They chat over coffees and muffins – about her brother, about her grades, about her experience. Mom is thrilled to be there, to see her little girl, while the daughter is just as excited to feel the comfort of her family. After a while, mom dutifully leaves, and the girl cracks open a book on biology.
My local Starbucks sits near a dozen or so major corporations. I often find myself surrounded by corporate America’s best and brightest handsome young men. Today, I sat in the window seat to watch people come and go. A young man walked out with his latte. He opened the door to his shiny new car, and pulled out a tie. He proceeded to tie his tie into a Windsor knot, with his signet ring glinting in the run. I say without hesitation that this was porn for Glosse Girls.
Some days I sit with a newspaper, using it to hide my glances at fellow patrons. I spot the two older women, dressed in their best “girlfriend lunch” outfits. They’re laughing, sipping, talking, and sharing. The glow on their faces is one of an old, timeless friendship. They talk about their grandchildren, their husbands, and that time they went skinny dipping (although that story is spoken in very hushed tones). When they part ways, they seem sad to say goodbye, and yet thrilled to have seen each other.
At Starbucks, I see my past, present, and future right before my eyes. I remember those coffee dates with my mom, I enjoy a young man in a Windsor knot, and I look forward to those lunches with my best girlfriends.
Some people see it as a consumerist nightmare, others see it as a humble brag. But at Starbucks, I see the fascinating lives of people, and that is really wonderful.