discretion, friendship, humor, life lessons, love, mindfulness

Observations From Starbucks – A Wednesday Olio

Sometimes you just need a venti, skim cappuccino.  Sit down, listen to the music,  silently intercept the conversational volleys around you.  Look like you’re working on your laptop while inventing stories about the people waiting in line.  ‘Not very nice of you Mim’, you say?  No worries, I reprimand myself in between thoughts.  It’s how I roll.

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.
Redesigned logo used from 2011-present. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OMG – that’s Helen Mirren!!  What is she doing in my neighborhood Starbucks???  She is magnificent, what a cool gravitas surrounds her as she regards a message on her iPhone with bemusement.  I swear it’s her.  I applaud my fellow humankind as we sublimate our collective desire to swarm, leaving her to be among the people.  It is interesting to me though that no one else seems to be sneaking peeks.  Wait…is she chewing gum while drinking her latte?  With her mouth open?  Helen!  Oh no she isn’t.  Yup she is.  Sticking the end of a ballpoint pen in her ear and scratching.  Her pinky isn’t raised.  I can hear her snapping her gum.  I get it – this most definitely is not a Helen Mirren sighting.  Damn – I was so sure.

Young woman in line with her shoulders slumped, hair covering her face as if she would give anything to be invisible.  She’s lovely actually, and dressed in black on a gorgeous spring day does not serve as a cloak of invisibility.  The blue lipstick doesn’t either – it actually looks like she’s been caught inflagrante delicti with a Smurf.  It’s that same blue.  I have to get this visual out of my head as soon as possible – it’s both funny and mildly gross.  And if this involves two consenting adults and no one is getting hurt…

Interesting meeting going on at the only table that seats four.  Three guys, one girl – all dressed in the new sartorial category “business casual”.  The young men are in khakis, three variations of the color beige and button down shirts – two blue, one white.  The woman wears a scarf wrapped twice around her neck in the fashionable way that conceals any spots on the front of your shirt.  Blue skirt, blue tights, flats. I look at them not looking at each other and smile – they all look so young, so intense.  I have yet to see one of them look up from their respective laptops, and I wonder why I’m so sure they know each other other than their matching outfits.  One guy gets up to get a refill and says to someone at the table – “I just texted you”.  Really?  I am inclined to sit here until they leave just to see if they acknowledge each other in real time as they move towards the door.  I’m inclined, but my time here is limited.

If a woman is standing in line and the seam in the back of her very-very-very tight skirt has gone off-center, do you tell her?  She’s got too much going on with the whole look not to care.  I think she is dressing to impress and she certainly leaves an impression.  I can’t imagine that she just threw herself together this morning. Her hair is sprayed to natural perfection (yes, it’s an oxymoron – get it?), eyelashes curled and mascara-ed, blush applied and blended right at the ‘apples’ of her cheeks as fashion magazines suggest.  I should tell her…no I can’t.  As I sit here in my chic gym clothes, I look like a really credible source to comment on the seam placement of her skirt.  Nope – I’m letting it go.

I see an older couple who work out at the gym when I do – we say a quick ‘hi’ as I begin to head out.  I look up just in time to see him kissing the top of her head as she leans her body into his.  The best takeaway from Starbucks this morning – all other thoughts just fade away and I carry their love in one hand and my coffee in the other.  Happy Wednesday everyone.



52 thoughts on “Observations From Starbucks – A Wednesday Olio”

  1. Starting my day with a smile on my face and a lump in my throat; happy. I’m taking away the same image after I stop chortling wishing I was with you so we could giggle like the little girls inside us would. People watching; a favorite pastime. One in which you can learn much if you’re observant, and you are. I love the way you roll. To the moon and back. Enjoy this beautiful day. Xoxox

  2. Loved this post, my fellow inventor-of-stories. And thanks for the lovely takeaway at the end, what a great image to take with me into my day in Corporate World! xo.

  3. Delightful, full of more sweetness and satisfaction than the mocha latte that sprang to mind the minute I started reading. There is *nothing* like people watching–the mall is a favorite haunt of mine–one can invent all manner of stories about the little vignettes surrounding us. This is magical, honey, I was right there at the bistro table with ya. You’ve got a book in you, my dear, you and Kanigan both do….just sayin’. All there is….oxxoxo

    1. Laughing..we would have had a ball!! And I am SO with you – Kanigan has a book in him..I’m just sayin’…;-) All there is honey..xoxo, me

  4. Is it amazing that we expect celebrities to be perfect human beings rather than doing the sort of things we do in life like chew gum.

    1. That’s true – although it’s the snapping of the gum and chewing with one’s mouth open that I find objectionable – in anyone (celebrity or otherwise).

  5. Lovely Wednesday to you too! “…Silently intercept the conversational volleys around you…” I love the imagery! And the ‘older couple’– wonderful!

    Sent from my Droid Charge …don’t you love auto-correct?

  6. Love the observation/comments on the walking, working zombies. I can just imagine the blue-lipped working in a high end fashion department of a department store; the blue shirt uniform is probably a car rental, or auto sales showroom….I love people watching also. Most fun is watching people emerge from a building and guess which auto is theirs. Oh what we humans do for entertainment.

    1. Laughing – you’re so right..But it’s free entertainment and allows for flights of fancy which don’t happen often enough! I hope your message means that you are feeling much better!

      1. Definately getting better…dr says I am healing quickly. He did both eyes 2 weeks apart, not usually so close but I am glad it is nearly over. Brightness is still a problem. Colors are so brilliant that it was startling to know what I had been missing.

      2. I’m so happy to read this!! I would imagine it’s all very startling. And probably a little uncomfortable – but to know you’re on the mend is great!

  7. I think we should join forces to compare the sociological differences between the Starbucks crowd and the Panera loyalists. Naturally I’m partial to Panera because of the chow.

    Also, how do you determine if a Smurf is an adult or not?

    1. Panera’s cobblestone muffins are absolutely sinful…As for the age of a Smurf – I figure that since they’ve been around since my kids were little, they have to be over the age of majority by now..;-)

      1. It seems to be an American / Canadian tradition. Free wifi may have something to do with it. Independent coffee houses are more popular here. 🙂

  8. I love this…how you noticed, really noticed each and every person and what makes them, well them. I am glad I had finished my Starbucks when I read the comment about the Smurf blue lipstick and the possibility of how she ended up with blue lips! It is amazing to me how much there is to notice when we stop, forget ourselves for a moment and really pay attention. Also shows how much others may notice about us when we don’t realize it. I feel like I was there with you, but had I been [would have been awesome] you probably would not have taken the time to see these people. Did I mention, I love this!? xoxo

    1. Are you kidding? Had we been together, we would have noticed even more!! And you raise a good point – who knows what people think as they watch us go on about our day! I’m glad this brought a smile to you today..xox

  9. Ah, Mimi!! My internet is behaving like a Summer’s Eve product. I cannot “like,” but I love! Come to Maine. We’ll sit at a DD and make up some real stories! Xoxoxo

    1. That sounds absolutely wonderful!! And I’m sorry about the way the Internet is working for you today (though your comparison made me laugh!). xox

  10. Hehe…you’d make a great detective with your detailed observations; or better yet, an incredible writer, which you alteady are, as you ended on the perfect note.

    1. I really do!! I have a very stern parental voice that is quite annoyed if/when I have a snarky thought about someone (especially someone I don’t know)…;-) And yes, it would have been quite a kick to see Helen M (especially in the Starbucks next to the supermarket in this innocuous suburb)…

  11. amazing character sketches. I love the Smurf inflagrante scenario and term usage..hehe…you got a cool kaleidoscope view to which I can utterly relate–and dig. Magnificent prose.

    1. Hi – Lou Ann is biased and I am sooo grateful! 😉 Thank you so much for your support too – it’s really wonderful to hear from you.

      1. Well the fact is that Lou Ann considers anyone that writes to be a writer. I, on the other hand disagree. But I think you can call yourself a writer from what I’ve read thus far. You have a very nice following so I think that is an excellent indication that you write very well and what you write is appealing to your followers. 🙂


  12. That was great, so well written! I don’t think my teenagers have had an actual conversation with each other since the dawn of the iphone! So glad you followed me.

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