Most Shared


Casual Observances: Coffee Shop

By J.A. HaglNovember 30, 2016

Coffee Shops
Coffee Shops

"Do you want the house blend or the Sumatra?"


I was brave. There was nowhere to sit, except right beside the door, where the sun gave off a consistent glare. I sat.

Unfourtantly, it was next to two dramatic women who had seemed to find a kindred spirit in each other. They both work in retail and use their hands to talk very enthusiastically about everything.

There is a strict uniform of anyone frequenting a coffee shop. You must wear white Converse, Adidas or booties. Then layer something plaid, something oversized, and something army green. Chai lattes are all the rage, but non-dairy milk is a must. Owning a mac is the not-so-secret password that grants you entry. I start a one-person game of trying to find the person with the dirtiest shoes. I am in first place.

Coffee shops are where girl gangs meet— for gossip, pretending to study, actually studying and for online shopping. The brooding male archetype walks in. In fact, Ryan Gosling’s shaggy Texan doppelganger pulls a stack of thick books out, in order to stare at one page out of each book.

Remember the first year of college when you pretend that you’re going to study over Thanksgiving? It's similar to how many smiling first-years, back from their half-completed semester, have the intent to maintain their hometown friendships. This is before a full-year of partying, Greek events, and trips dad doesn’t know he paid for begin new friendships. Give it three years then walk into a coffee shop, see your co-editor of the yearbook and pretend four years of friendship never existed. Because it’s 2016 and ghosting is now a rite of passage.

But more importantly, a question for life: Why do teenage hipster boys have better hair than I do?


But more importantly, a question for life: Why do teenage hipster boys have better hair than I do?

An aforementioned hipster boy, one-half of a newly-minted couple on a date, has that excited, nervous energy of being on a first date. She seems oblivious. She also upstages me in the "Who's Converse is dirtier?" game. The two ladies chatting extremely loud are now quite, maybe out of deference for the sanctity of a first date. More likely, they need to finish creating product descriptions to meet their deadlines. That's also a 2016 thing.

The couple's date was short and shop begins to clear. The women start talking again— louder this time. As the elderly crowd began to trickle in, the tone of the shop changes. Two guys and two girls walk in—it's another high school reunion. The women get even louder. The mini-reunion moves to a quieter spot. I would too but, that requires me to move my campsite.

Congrats to me, I drank 16 ounces of a Sumatra coffee that could grow chest hair faster than any scotch could and 32 ounces of normal-people coffee. Want to recover from a week of gluttony? That’s the detox recipe you need right there. You're welcome, you' don't have to buy a book from the Instagram authority on fitness. There is a lot of work I didn't actually do, but that's what you do in an " original coffee shop." It's whole a lot of pretense.