I figured that if there was nobody at the coffee shop today because of the arctic temperatures, I would make some observations on my drive there to help fill this space. For example, I wondered if my car temperature display really worked because it always seems to say it is 9 degrees or 7 degrees. Also, as I passed a gravel hauling truck filled with snow, I wondered where they hauled that snow to. Is there a snow landfill somewhere? And if there is, will there still be snow there in August?
I arrived at the coffee shop at 8:20 a.m. It gets earlier every week because I still wake up at 5:00 a.m. and once I have eaten, exercised and showered there is nothing left to do. In those carefree, non-snow filled days, I would be out walking the dogs before I came to the coffee shop.
Interestingly enough the coffee shop was the busiest it has been since I started coming.
The Chair Changing Guy was here ahead of me today. Maybe he has the same problem I do, up too early with nothing to do. Maybe he has a Retriever at home that is pissed that it can't go for it's walk either. So maybe we both are really hiding out from our dogs.
He was sitting in a booth behind me today. He may have deviated from his usual table because his table is right next to the big long table that was filled with police officers this morning. They must have been on their morning coffee break. Needless to say their conversations were interesting, but my lips are sealed.
Barb, commented on last week's story and said the coffee shop is starting to remind her of the old T.V. series Cheers. That thought became abundantly clear to me as I watched Brian come in this morning. He was greeted by The Order Taker, she confirmed that he wanted a bran muffin and coffee to go. Which was quickly filled and out the door he went.
Next came Meredith, who again The Order Taker greeted by name and confirmed that she wanted a plain bagel, toasted with butter and coffee for here. Meredith made me happy and not seem so weird, because when The Head Assistant delivered her order, Meredith took a photo of it with her phone. A kindred soul :) I did find it interesting though that she stood the whole time she was eating, and only sat down when she was done.
Table props are everything in people watching. You look like you are busy with books spread out and writing away, all the while you are casually observing and always, always listening. So yes Dotti, I have "covert" down to a T :)
Today those table props paid off in a big way. There was a couple sitting at a two-seater table behind and to the left of me. As I am watching another regular, Chad come in and am just getting ready to document what The Order Taker is going to confirm as his usual when I hear from behind me "Are you a Seminary student?" What… Well that is a new one for me and one I will probably never get again :) I slowly turn to my left and make eye contact with the gentleman who was probably in his late 60's-early 70's. He had noticed my C.S. Lewis book that was on the table. I said "no" that it was a daily devotional and that I enjoyed reading through it and writing down some thoughts. Hence explaining the journal as well.
Next he noticed my M-22 shirt that I had on, that sparked a lengthy conversation of the joys and wonders of the Leelanau Peninsula and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Traverse City. His wife had become engaged in the conversation by this time as well. Then I was telling them about the recent tour that I had done of the Asylum, which they found fascinating and definitely want to do in warmer months.
I feel like I had a major breakthrough today. Actual conversation with people while I was observing. I am hoping this will give me the courage to do more of it in the future. Maybe I will even get asked if I am a Seminary student if I bring my C.S. Lewis book with me again.
Oh, by the way, The Assistant was back today :)
Until next week...