Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coffee Shop Culture

Since I was a teenager, before I even really enjoyed coffee, I have frequented coffee shops.  I love to write and read in coffee shops.  I love to eavesdrop.

Like at this moment, I am sitting at my usual table in a local shop next to another group of "regulars"... an elderly couple and a middle aged woman.  The couple seems to be just friends, or perhaps neighbors, with the single woman.  The trio meet here at the same time every Tuesday to do nothing but read trivia to each other and grab a light lunch.  It is fascinating eavesdropping!  I just learned that the sound of a shrimp is the only natural noise that can wipe out of the noise of submarine sonar.  Who the hell knew?

The old lady is not buying it. She doesn't believe the shrimp theory.  This old lady, I wish you could see her.  She is absurdly put together, the way only the elderly and toddlers can pull off without looking completely foolish.  She is dressed in pink and white, from her hat to her clip on earrings, to her elastic waistband pants, to her shoes...pink and white...her eyebrows painted in high arches towering over a little sharp nose and strangely full pink lips for such an old woman.  I can smell her face powder.  Her husband is in a darling red jacket even though it is literally 100 degrees outside and is wearing white socks with white loafers.  They open up every meeting with the elderly man reading everyone's horoscope, and luckily the old lady is a Pisces so I always get to hear mine as well.

I listen to these people chat every Tuesday, tuning into their trivia when my mind begins to wander from my writing. That is the beauty of a coffee shop. Hey the old man just asked the younger woman to make a reservation at 29 South this evening!  My God this is a small town!

Unlike a bar, where the beverage imbibed clouds one's judgement, coffee is clarifying.  It allows for an exchange of ideas between people without any sort of agenda other than simple conversation.  Coffee shops play a pivotal role in our society. When was the last time you spent time in a coffee shop?  Twice a week I claim a table as my own and set to work for hours.  It is the best office a girl can ask for.

It is a been a long while since I have give a Good Life Quest...

Good Life Quest #10 : Coffee Shop Quality Time
Grab a cup of joe or a cup of tea or whatever you drink at a local coffee shop.  Try to avoid a corporate chain, if possible...there is a certain ambience to the small business coffee shop that the big boys just lack.  Bring a book, or a friend.  Give yourself an hour and enjoy coffee shop culture, still thriving after all these years!


Kalin E. said...

I can't wait to dress like a toddler again. I am going to wear lots of bonnets and mint green.

Azl said...


I enjoyed reading this article you have written. I love those details that make me feel as if I am almost there, too.

I appreciate the photo you posted here with this blog and I wonder if you would allow me to use it in my blog, too.

Have a good day!

Nan said...

Hi Azl, I am glad you enjoyed the post. You are welcome to use my photo, just if you could credit me with it and add a link to my blog that would be wonderful! I look forward to reading your blog...thanks!