The Starbucks Melting Pot

Starbucks is the only place in the world where you can find such a random smattering of people; caffeine-ridden high school kids, depressed businesspeople, stressed out students, people on weird “this is our first date but not really” things, and creative, artsy sorts of people.

I’m not sure what the draw is about Starbucks, but even holding a water cup with that quintessential logo on it makes you feel cool and special and sophisticated, almost like “This isn’t just water, it’s Starbucks water.”

That could be the reason for the variety of people.

The preteen kids in Starbucks don’t really like coffee, because they’ve never actually tasted it. They arrive in herds, and always get the biggest size of some sugary confection that tastes nothing like coffee. Some “mocha-licious-frappa-sugar” thing, piled high with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. They suck these things down like a Dyson vacuum and then run around chasing each other in some sort of sugar and caffeine induced form of teenage flirting. So cute.

Then there are the businesspeople. These are the most depressing specimens at Starbucks, so I’ll make it quick. Hunched over a shiny new laptop + large black coffee + bags under the eyes = the depressed businessperson who got off work at 5 but is still working until Starbucks closes. I always just want to give them a hug.

Next we have the stress-case students who use coffee as a tool to help them plow through studying with speedy, caffeinated energy and a nervous twitch. They are surrounded by empty Venti cups, crumpled class notes, and heavy textbooks, and are sweating and shaking from all of the coffee. They occupy a cushy couch in the corner for hours on end, and even if there is a group of them, no one really talks, they just read and scribble things down and get up only to go pee (which is frequent, thanks to 5 cups of coffee). I always wonder if they actually do well on tests with this method.

Right next to the crazy crammers, we can find the “first date” kids. This is hilarious to watch. Dating is already just an awkward sport, but sitting at a cramped table directly across from one another where you have no choice but to actually look the other person in the eye just makes it so much better. All the while, you are nursing your attractive coffee-breath and wondering when this thing will be over so you can just go get some real food next door from Pick Up Stix. These types of people are also never, never, ever on an actual date. They are just “getting coffee”. Seriously, it’s a date! These two people are displaying such intense awkwardness that it is similar to the tongue-tied mannerisms of a child learning to walk/talk/process thought.

Lastly, we have my favorite Starbucks stereotype: the “emo” kids. Clad in some sort of a unisex mullet haircut, a wardrobe that looks like it was snatched right off of a homeless person (3 scarf’s, an oversized cardigan, and ripped jeans…?), and eyeliner smeared on boys and girls alike, they sit outside smoking and sipping their drinks, sulking and staring at nothing. Possibly pondering their existence, judging by the sullen looks on their faces.

And then there is the creepy person who sits in the corner for hours and end and just watches other people in order to write some crazy blog for the school newspaper…oh, wait. That’s me.

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