Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 4

The thing I love most about writing these Coffee Shop Chronicles is that it forces me to work on my writing skills. I can't go to the Coffee Shop with a pre-written story or preconceived ideas. What I will write is based entirely on who is already at the Coffee Shop or who will walk through the door. Some weeks I am given wonderful gifts that make it so easy to write, and some weeks I am given less that I must turn into more by working it, shaping it. Those lesser weeks are the weeks that I grow as a writer.


I arrived at the Coffee Shop at ten minutes to nine.

The Order Taker was in her usual spot behind the register, as bright and cheerful as always. I can tell I am on the edge of becoming a regular. I see the recognition in her eyes when I walk in, but she doesn't quite know what to do with it from there. My friend Leon commented that I can't become a regular until  I stick with one kind of muffin. I am slowly working my way through their entire muffin selection, which seems to get bigger every week. Once I have tasted them all I will settle on a favorite or two, and then I can become a regular. They did have the Chocolate Mocha Magic one that I had last week and I was sorely tempted, but in the end I stayed true to my taste testing and went with Cinnamon.


Once seated at my table with my table props in place, I surveyed the room. Not a regular in sight, not even Chair Changer guy, and he had been here every week so far. Maybe he decided to ditch this frigid weather and head for a warmer climate. I can't blame him, I would too if I could. Unfortunately I am married to the guy that loves Winter.


At the Big Table today was a Book Club/Bible Study that was just finishing up their meeting. I craned my neck, covertly, to see what they were reading. On God's Side was the name, hence why I can't decide if they are a Book Club or Bible Study. I have a feeling they meet here the first Tuesday of every month, so I will have to remember that for March and get here earlier to catch some of their discussion. If it is anything like our book club, there could be some interesting conversations.


As the Book Club/Bible Study gals were leaving, my one and only regular came in, Meredith. She did not disappoint me, she ordered her usual to which The Order Taker even commented, telling her she should really step out and try something new. To which she laughed and said "I know I should". She took a photo of her food with her phone again and stayed standing to eat as before. I want to follow her on Instagram. My goal is, if she keeps coming on Tuesdays to try and strike up a conversation with her to get a little of her story.


The table directly to my right was occupied for the first time today. I gathered it to be a mentor/mentee relationship. The lady was probably around my age, mid 40's. The guy was probably in his mid 20's. The guy did a LOT of talking, non-stop talking. The lady had a bit of a glazed look in her eyes. He also did a lot of reading out loud from a book, which I generally find boring so maybe that accounted for her glazed look. When he was finally wrapping up his talking I heard him say "I would be happy to keep meeting with you and discuss this some more". I don't remember hearing much discussion. Needless to say she skee-daddled out of there pretty quick.

It has finally happened, somebody I know has walked in and of course sits at the table right in front of me. Thankfully we only know each other in passing, enough to smile and say "hi". I could tell he was waiting for someone because he had two cups of coffee on the table with him. So it was somebody he knew well, and I was correct. Not too long after his wife walked in and joined him.


I have always found observing couples dining together very interesting, especially when seated at a square, four chair table. Do they sit across from each other or next to each other? How much do they talk? What tone do they take with each other? I have observed some interesting interactions over the years. Couples that spend this time together on their phones. The couples that just sit there and don't talk to each other, I am probably most attuned to this one since that is what I grew up observing. The absolute worst that I have obversed was when I saw a lady playing solitaire on her iPad while her husband sat there totally silent and completely ignored, this continued throughout the whole meal.


This got me thinking, I wonder what people see when Glen and I eat out together? I know we sit next to each other more than we sit across from each other. We always talk, that was one thing I was determined to change from my own growing up years. We talk in normal, everyday conversational tones. At dinners out, the phones never come out. The only time the iPad come out is at breakfasts in hotels. Then we are both perfectly comfortable, he reading his daily newspaper and I catching up on my friends' blogs. Weekend dinners out are usually our time to catch up for the week, sometimes we have our best conversations over those dinners. I sure hope we are being good role models to those who might be observing us.

Until next week...

20 comments:

  1. Another great tale! I find it so bizarre that the one girl takes photos of her food & eats standing up. I was laughing to myself hoping the guy was meeting his wife, not his girlfriend!

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  2. Love your Chronicle series . . . I am hoping for a Meredith/Sarah conversation . . . Maybe she takes a picture of what she is eating for her blog?

    I like observing people when they are out for coffee, dinner too. Do they sit at a table, or bothbeside one another or across, facing the people, back to the people.

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  3. Not surprised we would have a common interest . . .

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  4. I am so behind, I decided to go to the current post and work my way back. My favorite muffin? Almond poppyseed, you betchya! I love going to coffee shops to write...but did it more when I was single and was living in my apartment. It would be hilarious when I could tell that a couple was meeting as part of a meet after connecting on an Internet dating site. You can tell! Anyway...love this! May have to cruise a shop soon!

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  5. Loved it again, and find myself really looking forward to it! :)

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  6. Oh these coffee house excursions! I'm with Kim!You have found a real niche here in the coffee shop. Love the shot of Glenn. such great eye/camera connection.

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  7. Absolutely love your coffee shop chronicles!

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  8. I wonder why Meredith stands while she's eating? She's an interesting one to watch. I observe people, too, especially the dynamics of people sitting together in restaurants. I think it's sad when everyone is looking at their phones and not each other. When my husband and I got smartphones, we made an agreement not to look at them while we ate together, unless it's to look up something we're talking about. :-)

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  9. I think they've noticed you're getting through the muffin range and so they'll expand it! I choose my seat so that I have the best view of others! lol Another great post Sarah.

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  10. We are getting to know your cast of characters through your eyes which I am so enjoying Mark and I always have coffee together in Starbucks on a Saturday it's the time we spend together chatting over news pieces plans for the rest of the weekend and just general planning...

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  11. Your coffee chronicles are so fun to read! The muffin looks tasty, but I'm loving the journal and is that a change purse?

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  12. Your coffee shop people watching is a lot of fun! I just learned my favorite coffee shop is closing :-( your friend has a point about always ordering the same thing. It's amazing how quickly you become a regular when the baristas know your order.

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  13. I am wondering what muffin you will have next? Have a wonderful week.

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  14. Sarah, I'm loving this coffee shop series! What I find strange is that Meredith (yes, I feel like I know her) takes a picture of her food when she orders the same thing every time. How many images does one need of the same muffin? I also can't imagine why she stands to eat! I do hope you're able to talk with her some day! Oh, I'm worried about chair changer guy...I hope he's not sick! Your cinnamon muffin looks delicious. When you've finished the menu, you'll have to tell us your favorite! Can't wait until next weeks edition!

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  15. You are so creative. We don't eat out, so I can't really think about what we look like to others. But it makes me think about what we look like to me. As we sit at our kitchen table eating. Great stuff!~ :)

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  16. Another great entry! I enjoy your observations. You are setting a great example for your daughter and mayve inspire other couples to talk. I try, but my husband isn't much on conversation. I am going to keep trying though!

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  17. Making me want to make the coffee shop move more and more...I have to find a good one though...I'm not much of a Starbucks...type so I'll need to shop around...your's is lovely with lots of space...so you can just blend in, not stand out...
    I'll have to forego the muffins though...but maybe a nice cup of tea would do it...nicely done Sarah.

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  18. Sarah, I'm so hooked on your coffee shop posts! I can hardly wait for the next one each week.
    PS - If that last photo is your Glen, he's a handsome fellow!

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  19. These have been such fun posts! I am known to be a real "question" person. I always want to know the story. It would be such fun to sit w/ the Order Taker and have her do a commentary on what SHE thinks about the "regulars" as they come in. My daughter is living in Mumbai, India right now. There is a Starbucks near where she works and she is considered a regular. She said it is interesting to hear all of the Indian names called and then "Melissa" being shouted out with an Indian influence/ accent to her name. Coffee and tea brings us all together, I think!!

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  20. I am hooked!! Bible group or book group - I need to know. This is a really great series and a fantastic idea - thank you. I hope to join you in the coffee shop again next week.

    Julie

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)