Saturday, September 6, 2014


Can I gripe a little bit here? 

Fair warning if you’re only looking for ‘positive energy’ from me  today. Maybe I should have called this blog, The Whinepress.

Starbucks has been my coffee shop ever since that mermaid was a tadpole. Okay, maybe I’ve been unfaithful a few times—trying peppermint mochas at knock-off beaneries—but I always come back to the real deal. It’s my favorite place to blog and my first choice for coffee dates with friends.
But I’ll be danged if I’m gonna spend two or three hours sitting at a table with my legs dangling four feet off the ground.
Which is my gripe.
Why is Starbucks suddenly full of tall tables? Who signed the petition asking for barstools to sit on instead of comfy chairs? And what’s up with the eight foot tables. Did some designer think, “Hey! Espresso and picnic tables! Awesome!” That doesn’t make me think coffee shop—it screams cafeteria.  Sure, a long table like that could seat eight or ten people. But it never does.
Because nobody wants to sit next to a stranger at the same table.
That only happens at bars. And in tiny towns where you can still get a tuna melt at a Woolworth counter. Wait . . . nope. Even they went out of business. Because nobody wants to sit that close to strangers.
I don’t know. Maybe Starbucks is appealing to college students. But, listen, it’s the middle-aged crowd who has money to spend on overpriced coffee. And this isn’t Europe—we like our personal space here.
Last week I met my cousin in Mesa for breakfast. We did a little shopping and then headed for the real point of the reunion— a couple of iced grande peppermint mochas. We drove around town for an hour trying to find a Starbucks with seating for two that wasn’t in the nose bleed section or rubbing elbows at a communal table. In the end, we drank our five dollar coffees in the car.
The thing is, there wasn’t an empty café table in sight that morning—only the uncomfortable spots were open. I don’t see how it could be any more clear than that. Nobody wants to share a picnic table, and we only perch like birds when there’s no other choice.
Maybe the timing is right for me. It’s not healthy to drink peppermint mochas all the time. I can blog at home. I can drink generic decaf coffee for a lot fewer calories than a grande three pump in a disposable cup. And now that Starbucks has taken down their welcome sign and replaced it with unfriendly tables, I can take a hint. Stay home, save some money. Sure, I know. This sounds like a ‘first world problem.’
But I live in the first world, whatever that means.
More importantly, they can’t get rid of me that easy.  I’m no quitter.


  1. So I have been trying to be supportive of the new tall tables and all that because hey, Starbucks is a huge local employer and all that, but when I walk in there with my stroller and those are the only seats open? Nope. Just nope. I can't sit that high and have the kids easily within reach if I need to help with a snack or get a fussy baby out. But then again, I am far less loyal to the Bucks than you are. Local company or not, I am a bigger fan of the smaller, independent shops around here.

    1. See? Another great and logical reason to stick with people-sized seating! I gotta say, too, if I find another coffee shop close by who makes lovely art in their lattes, I may be turning in my gold card. Maybe. ;)