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Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

I’m just in from a coffee shop. Alright. Yes, it was Starbucks. And, surprise, surprise. There were 4 people in there with MacBook Airs. And they looked pretty much how I would’ve looked, had I also brought mine.

 

They were scarfed and sweatered. Fenced in by open books, cords, pens, mugs and, of course, phones.

 

At first, I was envious. Thinking how I long for days of doing nothing but writing. It’s a glorious feeling, you know. To be sure of your purpose. And for it to be something you enjoy. Something you find fulfilling. Albeit scorching and torturous at times.

 

And while I waited for my order, I, for the zillionth time, imagined a world where writing is my only focus. A world, that in reality, will never be. And, that’s okay. In my heart of hearts, I really wouldn’t want that, would I. I mean, where would my family be? Where’s my home in that scenario?

 

I don’t ever want to be without those things. Those distractions as they are sometimes referred to.

 

Anyway, what started as pre-beverage envy ended in post-coffee realization. Not one of those blessed little lambs was actually using their laptops. Every single one of them was on their phone.

 

Texting. Liking. Sharing.

 

Wasting.

 

Using valuable time. Precious, hard-to-come-by freedom. To generate useless statuses and insignificant tweets.

 

But, in truth, I really have no clue what they were doing on their phones. Never mind judging whether whatever they were doing was insignificant or useless. They may have been replying to agent’s proclamations, “CONGRATULATIONS, we sold your novel!” Or throwing out a few likes in support of fellow writers. Perhaps sharing triumphant news of a book deal.

 

Who knows? Like I said, not me. I just tend to make wild assumptions when I’m coffee-deficient.

 

So, I admit to suffering from misplaced projection. Putting myself in their chairs. Surrounding my own being with beloved writing gear. Staring into productivity-stealing space. And spending too much time on a phone of my own.

 

But luckily, the coffee-sufficient me sees the advantage to having, what one might call, an overactive imagination. Next trip, the phone stays in my pocket.

 

What? You didn’t think I’d turn it off, did you!

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To distract from the consistent incorrect use of tense in my last post, which I’m hoping you won’t realize took me a full day to get around to fixing, I’m going to talk about coffee and its accessories.

 

I didn’t drink coffee until I turned 30. With company over one night and me, pregnant with my third and last child, I percolated a pot for our guests just as I’d done a million times before. But this time, as I set out the cream and sugar, the spoons and the mugs, I added one for myself without thinking. I poured the dark and steamy liquid, filling each one, including my own. My friends and my husband looked on, somewhat shocked.

 

And then, as natural as can be, I drank it.

 

I imagined it was a one-off, but from then on, my baby begged for beans. By the time she was out of the womb and a walking, talking two year old she was pleading for teaspoons full of my sweet and milky caffeine. (You may want to fault me for this, but I’m British and was raised on tea—let’s face it, we have since discovered that that is just as caffeine-infused as coffee and I turned out fine. No really, I did.)

 

It’s been a long few years since that first cup and it took me some time to figure out what it is about Starbucks that makes it the apparent all that.

 

It’s the lid.

 

I can’t even drink the regular coffee at Starbucks. It’s too stark, too bitter for me, so I tend to go for a milky Cappuccino, but sometimes, you just want a cuppa, you know? And I do love a good Double Double.

 

But. That. Lid.

 

I am aware this is the quintessence of first world problems but this is the world in which we live. With the knowledge available and the ‘perfect’ sample ripe for the copying, why oh why, would Tim Hortons manufacture such a horrendous lid?

 

It’s flimsy. It’s loose. It’s weak. Once you open that hatch it’ll never be on lock-down again—you’re left babysitting your beverage until the last drop. And, could the opening be any bigger? Who thought having to pause mid-walk for every sip would be convenient, or that your car would have to be motionless to take a swig. And your coffee is of course cold by then by the way, due to that gaping hole in the top of your cup.

 

I thought I’d finally found my genius when I ordered my Double Double and asked for their ‘latte lid’ instead which actually does resemble Starbucks’ style, but I knew I’d made a big mistake when I looked down to find my scarf covered in large fervently fragrant dribbles.

 

Details matter. People notice. They rely on us to get them right, to make it easy…to feel effortless. The structure, the tense, the flavor, the finishing touch…all of it counts.

 

It has to be charming. It has to be tight.

 

Readers will always choose a good fit. After all, the content is subjective.

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