Starbucks: My Comfort Zone

Estimated read time 6 min read

Originally published on B-Notes on December 19, 2013

December 7, 2013 at 11:54am

My Saturdays are ordered, boring but productive. Domestic productivity is the objective, the goal. I do my grocery shopping early – preferably before the Moms have dressed the kids, fed the Dads, and put on their makeup. Once they hit the grocery stores, all bets are off for me. I can not out do their shelf checking, cart maneuvering, or parking your cart in the line, while you leave to go pick up the rest of the items on your list. I get my laundry done. It is a lost cause during the week. If I managed to stay awake after I get off of work, its a skimpy dinner meal, Netflix and about an hour or two online.

This morning I figured I’d do something different. I’m treating myself to a matinee. I figure I need a good cry so I am going to see “The Best Man Holiday.” From what I am told, its a guaranteed tear jerker.

So, I caught the metro with Afrika, (she’s going to work). It was a pleasant walk downtown on this cool brisk day. Got off at Archives Memorial because Starbucks greets me at the entrance. Starbucks is a part of my lifestyle. Talk about the expensive coffee if you please, but other than Avanti ink pens from Staples, its about my only extravagance. However, when I opened the door to the coffee shop – seems everyone else was taking the same Saturday morning stop. No seats, lots of tablets, laptop and cell phone people, and a long line at the counter. So, since the Starbucks franchise never lets me down. I simply walked out and let the aura of coffee beans direct my path. Found one on 11th street. I know I could have found one closer, but I like walking.

So, I got my seat, got my “caramel brulee” and a sausage & egg sandwich and browsed the Internet. The cell phone, tablet and laptop (CPTL) people were there too, but not as many. I had a bar seat facing the exterior window. Watched the people walk by, the couples, the homeless, the business men that had to work today, even took a picture of the DC Tours trolly when the driver stopped the bus to check his tires.

Packed my stuff up after I finished my coffee and decided to walk some more. I found myself looking in the window of H&M. So, I go in. Afrika and I had this discussion of prepping for winter, boots, etc. (and not sharing). So, I figure – let me look. But when I go in (empty store) there are two big & burley security guards at the door. It’s the holiday season and theft is a big concern. I understand that. So, I start to walk around. I don’t think I got two feet when I noticed the big & burley security guard in my line of sight. Maybe I’m a bit too self-conscious about it, but somehow I did not want to spend my money while feeling uncomfortable. So, I left.

Next, I found myself looking in the window of Forever 21. So, I go in. It is early in the morning, so once again – its an empty store. The security guard at the front door is much more pleasant and he greets me. “Good morning.” I say “Good morning” to him. I look around with Afrika on my mind and begin to feel overwhelmed. I really don’t shop for Afrika when it comes to clothing. Her aunt Van has always been Afrka’s inspiration when it comes to fashion. I spot these things that look like sweaters, but it’s shaped like a doughnut. The sign says $4 (the sign really says $4 and up, but I don’t have my glasses on). I’m confused. I spot a salesperson and I ask her what they are. She explains that its a scarf and you put it around your neck. Okay. I then explain to her that I am shopping with my 23-year old daughter in mind and I ask her about boots. What are young people wearing. She guides me to where the boots are and kind of glides her hands along the shelves. For me, that doesn’t help. After a couple more questions, I decide she must be busy and does not really have time to help me. So, on my own – I start looking for the counter to pay for my items. I am unfamiliar with this store. I spot another security guard. I ask him twice about where to find the counter. I think I must have distracted him from watching the store. It’s okay. Its the holiday season and theft is a problem. The one place of solace in the store for me was the checkout counter.

The scarf rings up at $14. I tell the clerk that I thought the scarves were $4. She explains the signage. I explain to her that I read it without my glasses on. I just saw that big ole $4. I tell her that I never come in that store and I should’ve just waited and gave my daughter some money. Afrika doesn’t need it and she tells me that all the time. I just miss buying her things like when she was a kid. The young lady, who is 22, says, “I tell my mother that all the time – just give me the money.” I explain to her that sometimes Moms just want to do something a little nice, even though we might be out of practice.

When I left the store I told the nicer security guard that I was on my way to a store that I know (Macy’s). As I walked up the street, I thought about my sister Vanessa. She is the consummate retail sales associate. She would have never let me leave that store feeling dissatisfied with money to spend, especially during the holiday season.

Before I left home, I’d told Afrika that I was going to look for two pair of boots (One pair for her and one pair for me so – no sharing). Well, I’ll stop in at DSW on my way home. In the meantime, I decided to go the one place where I feel at home downtown – you guessed it. My hot tea is to the left of me, I’m am one of those CPTL persons. I have a seat and I’m in my comfort zone at the Starbucks in the Marriott. Good morning People.

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