After a bit of field research, I've concluded that highly-caffeinated people are prone to do things that err on the side of socially unacceptable. I know I've done some kooky stuff when hopped up on the big C. But for California's already chemically imbalanced and--let's face it--chemically altered population, strong coffee should be rationed. I know this could mean trouble for the Starbucks out there, but if I have to keep playing dead in order to not get sucked in by the crazies, I won't be going to Starbucks anyway.
Example: the other day, I was on a serious deadline for a project. Every minute mattered. So in order to avoid the distractions of housework, husbands, dogs and phone calls that are often so attractive while at the homestead, I pack up my office and headed for the local Starbucks.
The nearest Starbucks also happens to be the Crazy Starbucks. It's where all the crazy people go. Why they can't go to New York Bagel or the stand inside Safeway next door is beyond me. And for some reason, if they're in the mood for a little chat, they set their sights on me.
A slightly disheveled gentleman enters, orders coffee and sits in the chair next to me, of course. And usually, I'm up for a little banter with strangers, friendly banter, however, and preferably not when I'm working against the clock. Not only does this guy want to interrupt my money-making, he wants to veer into serious topics: family issues, how his dad's wife is a five letter word (which he hollers), how his brother is rich but won't give him any money, the election, for crying out loud. Then he wants to use my computer to look up stock quotes. Uh, no, sorry pal.
You know when you try to be polite, and you're still shaking your head and saying 'uh huh', but you want them to get the hint pronto that you DO NOT WANT TO TALK. This guy was completely oblivious.
Example 2: Here's another one from the Crazy Starbucks chronicle. Again, working. Complete with laptop. Diamond ring accompanied by wedding band conspicuously worn on left ring finger. Alas, am approached by pimply, skinny, shorty, jewelry-wearing juvenile who while fingering bits of pastry from the bag into his mouth comes up with, "Whatcha doin'."
I was stunned. I'm usually very courteous in situations like these because I know it takes a lot of courage to approach a girl. But for all of his baggy over sized clothing, I couldn't resist. He even gave me a nice head nod to complete his one-liner, but full on irritation had already set in.
"I'm working. And married." Code for 'get lost, squirt. I don't even have the patience to let you down easy.'
Are there really so many women out there that wear 'buffer' faux wedding rings that the real deal doesn't even have the power to spare you from situations like this one? I can't stands no more. Luckily, this guy was a little more perceptive and got the hint. But really? Coffee house loner--where hast thou gone?