Uncommon Coffeeshop

“I want to work in a coffeeshop.” I told my mom, some months ago.

“A little one, local and quiet. I don’t want to be a barista, I just want to be the girl behind the counter. I want a slow job with time to dream and scheme while the day goes by.

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“I just want to wipe tables. Take some ownership but not have much stress, you know? Easy and slow, with time to chat with the regulars.”

Oh, I wanted the regulars! Old people. Quirky people. Regular people.

I wanted to know them as Ellen The Accountant and The Guy with the Hebrew Tattoo. I wanted to ask Ed about his grandkids and the college students about finals. I wanted to know them by their drink and their habits. By a slice of their life – no more, no less.

I wanted to people watch. Overhear interesting snippets of conversation and laughter from old friends.

I wanted to make small talk and comment on the rain,
knowing I might never see that person again. Or maybe tomorrow.

You never know, in a coffeeshop.

You have a chance to make someone smile, and yet are not obligated to be friends even. You get to be nice to strangers, every day! What a freeing, fulfilling position that would be!

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This week at the museum I witnessed playdates of 6 year olds and meet-ups of moms.

I helped make a mask, cleaned up a broken jar, and brought out some animals on request. I got to serve.

I overheard snippets of conversation and laughter from old friends.  I cleaned the toad tank and I wiped the biome counter. There were quiet times and busy hours. People came and went.

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And every day I greeted kids by name, gave eye contact and smiles, and small talk to moms, dads, and grandparents.

I realized that I do have my regulars. And I smiled because this week I saw that it seems I have been given

my own kind of uncommon coffee shop.

(Plus free refills with every cup! Now that’s a steal of a deal.)

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