Friday, October 13, 2006

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Experience

Anybody who knows me knows that I luh-huv Starbucks. No, I don't particularly like coughing up four bucks for a cup of Joe, but for the zen-like feeling that comes over me when I sank into my favorite chair with the laptop opened to my latest work-in-progress, it is well worth the money.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I discovered there is a dark side to Starbucks. It's called People. In particular, it's the people who don't realize that Starbucks is not for socializing, it's for working.

I know what some of you are saying. It's a coffee shop, not a library.

Yes, I know this. But my local library doesn't serve White Chocolate Mochas and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, and it doesn't have Frank Sinatra crooning out of speakers discreetly stuck in the corners. It doesn't have the background chatter of the two retirees that meet every morning and sit at the round table next to the coffee-by-the-pound display.

You see, I need these things to write. They calm me. They help me find that inner peace that puts me in the mood for writing. I need them!

What I don't need is a group of high school girls bouncing around in their plaid skirts and giggling like they've just knocked over a dentist office and made away with a canister of laughing gas.

And I certainly don't need the soccer mom with the toddler who ran all over the place, crawling under chairs, and singing some annoying little song that probably came from Barney or The Wiggles. Of course, she couldn't pay much attention to the toddler. She was too busy ignoring the infant in the stroller who wailed for a full ten minutes.

Oh, and the guy on the cell phone? Didn't need to know that he beat his friend, Jeff, at golf the previous weekend. I could have gone my entire life without that info. But, apparently, the five people he called needed the hear about Jeff's poor golf game more than they needed to take their next breath. They also needed to hear him belt out an annoying laugh from the bottom of his lungs. Or maybe he figured the people at the Quizno's two storefronts down needed to hear the laugh, because I'm more than sure they could.

Okay, I realize I'm being a wee bit pushy. It's a free country, and folks have the right to brag about their golf game or completely ignore their children in any Starbucks they chose.

But really, people, does it have to be MY Starbucks?