Sunday, April 23, 2006

coffee is the bourgeois crack

Now, I know I've told you all before that I started this blog so that I could tell my crazy stories and hope that someone out there would read them, right? Well, in case you missed it, that's the reason. I realized I wasn't all that lonely, being a single girl and all, but occasionally I wished I just had someone to tell my funny stories too. And let me just say that this blog is the best boyfriend ever because now I have lots of someones to listen to me. My blogstalkers rock!

But aside from wanting to be heard, I have to say that I just have a lot of strange things that happen to me, and they are the sorts of things that make for good blogs. I'm not really sure if it's that strange things happen just to me, or if I just have a strange way of looking at ordinary occurances that makes for good blogs. Your call, kids. You tell me.

So today I was at a Starbucks I had never gone to before. Not the one in the picture here, however -- the one in the picture is the Very First Starbucks at the Pike Place Market in Seattle to which I made a pilgramage late last year. But anyway, today, it was a very new Starbucks.

I went in and ordered my grande nonfat latte (I miss the sugar! I miss the fat!) and then stood by the bar to wait. I noticed that the barista boy who was making my drink looked like one of those existential-thinker types. The type who wears all black when he's not at Starbucks. The type with funky facial hair and several piercings. The type who will read his poetry out loud.

Being a fan of freaks, including existential-thinker types, (I was a Philosophy major, don't forget), I said hello to him when he looked up from making my drink. Then we had a little conversation.

Existential Starbucks Boy: How's your day going?
LesleyGirl: Not too bad, how about you?
ESB: I'm tired, so tired. (yawns and shakes head to emphasize his point)
LG: you're tired? Even surrounded by all this coffee?
ESB: Nah, I can't drink it. If I did I'd be like (makes bug-eyed face). I'd never sleep.
LG: Wow, well I'm glad that doesn't happen to me. I enjoy my coffee breaks too much. (I start thinking that I'm running out of things to say here.)
ESB: Yeah, well you know we have tea now too.
LG: I need the high-octane stuff. I tell myself that coffee is the bourgeois crack.
ESB: (laughs) That's funny. But you know, I make a lot of coffee every day for a lot of bourgeois types. They're always in here.
LG: (suddenly intrigued by ESB's contempt for the bourgeois and wondering if he's part of the revolution and if so will he let me join) So what kinds of drinks do they get? What's their preferred potion?
ESB: They're all over -- brewed coffee, frappucinos -- you know, all the trappings of the middle class. Get your frappucino and go drive your big SUV.
LG: (feeling very intrigued by the ESB and wondering what his opinion is of 30-something short curvy girls) That sounds about right.
ESB: (handing me my latte) You gotta do what you can to fight the system. Don't join their fucking club. Enjoy the coffee.
LG: Thanks.
ESB: Peace out.

Peace out? Does that mean he's not part of the revolution and I won't get to join up? I was so looking forward to the dictatorship of the proletariot!

As I sat down on one of the comfy chairs that Starbucks so nicely provides, I was struck by the irony of the situation. A guy working at a Starbucks at a strip mall in a New Jersey suburb complaining about the middle class? Is that not biting the hand that feeds you? And me, nodding along like I understand what he's saying -- am I not part of this same middle class and do I not enjoy at least some of the trappings of the middle class? Not the SUV obviously (never!!!) but there are other perks to being middle class. And being able to afford expensive coffee certainly seems to be one of them.

If that makes me bourgeois, so be it. Now hand me my coffee. It is the bourgeois crack, after all.


jin said...

LMAO!! (Seems I always say the same thing on your blog?!!?)

I for one, am very very PROUD to go into Starbucks on occasion for a really great Venti Cappuccino w/ Skim. (Ours are in small towns, though, so the girl behind the counter asks me EVERY single time: "Have you had our cappuccinos before?" I reply "Yes"...evidently people complain because a Starbucks capp is not like McEvil's capp...but I digress)

Of course, when asked by certain types of individuals, if I frequent Starbucks...I say, "No. Not me. Never. Nooo way!"

Lesley said...

By certain types of individuals, do you mean the ones who hate Starbucks and feel that one should only go to locally-owned stores? There's part of me that would love to get behind that idea, but the thing with Starbucks is the quality is always consistent. When you go to a mom-n-pop coffee shop, you never know what you might get. And I take my espresso very very seriously. Very!

jin said...

Those are the ones!! I deliver bakery to a few of those places, very nice people. Very nice, but....can I say it? No one will trace me here, right???

*jin screams* "Their cappuccinos SUCK!!!"

Oh, now I feel much better! ;-)

jin said...

p.s. Did I mention I'm totally jealous of your profile pic? You're all smiley & happy. I look depressed! I tried to take a smiley pic but it looked phony! lol...Oh! I've got it! I need to snap a pic of myself when I read one of your posts for the first time...then maybe I'll catch a big smiley pic thingy! :-)

Norman said...

Sometimes I get so sad that I can't talk so much about the Starbucks thing with you. There's only like - ONE starbucks in this town, and they ALMOST got run out on a rail because of another 'homegrown' coffee shop called "Roasters". That's what small towns do though. They run the big names out of town in the interest of keeping the almighty buck in our own area... but DAMN!! I would like a Starbucks sometime, where the line isn't 50 cars long (it's a drive up location). The inside line is always out the door, and I don't get to go... **sniff sniff sniff** So I make my own coffee at the convenience store. I'm quite the barista - I'll tell ya!! I had some little construction worker guy ask me to make him a coffee the other day... just like mine. Apparently he sees me come in everyday and make up my special coffee. I made one for him, and he bought me my coffee... AH!!

Lesley said...

jin - I won't tell them their cappuccinos suck. I haven't been to Wisconsin in a couple years anyway, but still, I won't say a word! And thanks for the compliment on my pic. Don't tell but I actually originally took it to send to boys I met on the internets. Hasn't brought me much luck so far...

norm - Wow you *are* quite the barista! Hey, come visit us out east again and we'll go to Starbucks! Of course we'll also have to go out for drinks, but that goes without saying. :)

Ace said...

Is my local Starbucks the only one in the universe that doesn't have a green sign? (It has a red one, like all the other ones in the strip mall.)

I like Starbucks. But I think I'm trying to be bourgeois. I'm originally from a small town where there were like, zero chain places forever.

Lesley said...

ace - Is your local Starbucks that horrible one on 206 and Amwell Rd? They have the worst setup of any Starbucks I've ever seen, ever. However, the people who work there are very friendly and make some good coffee.

Real said...

not being a coffee drinker, I fell left out (something I am used to though). Just remember to keep a look out for a SB across the street froma SB.

Lesley said...

Well you could always get one of those *other* drinks -- tea or the non-coffee frapuccino. I blame grad school for my coffee addiction. Bad habit indeed.

I'm actually on the lookout for a SB *within* a SB.

Real said...

Actually that was a lie, the bottled SB cold frapuccions are addictive. And if there is anything I need it is an addiction.

That might destroy the fabric of the universe.

Lesley said...

I prefer the cold double-shots in the can to the bottle frappuccinos. Although both are quite good.

Addiction? You mean blogging isn't an addiction?

I'm just saying.

Katy said...

nice story, I was sipping my Starbucks grande double chocolate chip frappuchino with an extra shot of esspresso as I was reading it.

Lesley said...

Yes! I always get the extra shot of espresso in the frappuccino! I need to taste the coffee! Plus, I love the caffeine. :)

Real said...

That should of read another addiction.

Lesley said...

I hear you. Welcome to Blogstalkers Anonymous.

Hello, my name is Lesley and I'm a Blogstalker.

Real said...

That would be BA correct.

Lesley said...