Opinion: Caffeine catastrophe

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I’m sitting in Starbucks, trying to finish my column on my latest dental disaster, but I am so distracted by the conversations next to me that I’ve decided to hold the torture experience until next week in favor of expressing my opinions on people in coffee shops.

First off, why am I here? Admittedly, I normally pen my articles during down times at school, stolen moments in the morning, or waiting at Tae Kwon Do. But I’m currently on Spring Break, and because my kids are in a different school system, it’s just been the dog and I. This is not a good thing. She’s so excited to have a playmate she literally cannot leave me alone. As soon as I even start to open my laptop or head in the general direction of the office, she grabs her tennis ball and comes barreling at me. “Play with me!” her big, brown, puppy eyes beg. If I ignore her, the barking and jumping begin, quite aggressively I might add, until I have no choice but to head outside and throw the stupid toy. So much for a relaxing vacation! My solution is simply to leave the house. Over the last few days I’ve spent quality hours at Wal-Mart, Jiffy Lube, Meijer, my classroom, Goodwill, Thai Orchid, the orthodontist, and now, Starbucks.

When I first arrived, the place was fairly empty – a few professionals having lunch and a couple of retirees hanging out. I needed to charge my computer, so chose a table in between two ladies. Five minutes after I’d plugged in, three women joined the one to my left. They range in age from mid-twenties to probably fifty, and now all I can currently do is listen, flinch and type.

Holy mackerel! I want to interrupt and remind them that they are in a public place! With no discretion whatsoever, they are speaking quiet emphatically and specifically about their crappy boss, a coworker who is ruining her life with a deadbeat boyfriend, their awful clients, and every bad parenting decision their friends have made in the last three years. They are being caddy and judgmental and self-righteous, and honestly, I’m having difficulty suppressing a strong urge to punch somebody. Since I can’t physically harm them without risking incarceration, I’m writing about them here. Call it therapy!

And now I’m just mad. I came here to get away from the crazy, and I’m seated next to a big bowl of it. So let this serve as a kindly reminder that airing your grievances is fine, and even on occasion, healthy, but doing so in a popular coffee shop may end you up in the local paper.

Peace out.


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