Friday, September 24, 2010

Why I love Starbucks

There are 2 groups of people in the world - those who love Starbucks and those who hate it. The haters have their reasons - the most common one I've heard is - "$4 cup of coffee!!. I'm not crazy!" That's fair. I fall in the other camp - I love Starbucks. And the other day I had an incident which made me realize why I love it. I had a rare morning to myself - kids dropped off at school, husband was out of town and I wasn't going to work. Although I'm getting closer to the appropriate age for it, I've had the longest mid life crisis going on - for about 10 years now, I've struggled with reconciling my passion for writing, reading and learning with my professional life which is not always about those things. Every couple of months, my internal struggle raises its head and either spurs me to do something (this blog was created during one of those fits) or pushes me deep into general melancholy. So, on this particular day, I was tending more towards the melancholy and I decided some quiet time with coffee and the New York Times would do me good.

I was lucky enough to grab one of the comfy, overstuffed chairs next to 2 other women. Both of them were considerably older than me - one by about 10 or so years (I'll call her the tall lady) and the other maybe 20-30 years my senior (I'll call her the D&G lady for the stylish bag she was carrying). As I sat there browsing the Times, I overheard the most fabulous conversation ever. The D&G lady complimented the tall women on her elegance. They got to talking and I learned that the D&G lady had just published her first book and it was on Amazon's bestseller list in it's category. Then the tall lady told her that she used to be a professional runway model and now she was working on her PhD through a University in California. She was also an essayist and was working on a dissertation. I couldn't catch more details about the book or the topic of the dissertation, but I heard enough to leave me feeling inspired and refreshed. I couldn't believe that I had been beating myself up about not having written anything and for feeling that I was out of time for doing "something".

So I'm glad that I spent the $3 that day for that cup of coffee. It gave me so much more than my morning caffeine fix. I'm also grateful that I got to hear this conversation between these two amazing and inspiring women. They'll never know that they left me so much more energized and hopeful than what I was when I walked in.

And that's why I love Starbucks. For creating not just a place to get coffee but that ambiance where people can get together over coffee, over music, over books. Sure you could brew that cup at home but sometimes, its nice to be forced into the company of folks, even if you don't talk to them.

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