You know, it's time for a lot of people to stop hating on Starbucks.
My semi-weekly therapy sessions there with girlfriends began about the time my firstborn left home for college. Friends who had already been there, done that, and learned to enjoy the newly empty bedroom as a sewing room, sympathized with me over Cinnamon Dolche lattes.
The departure of my last child at home leaving for college was commiserated in comfy purple chairs listening to James Taylor CDs and holding Grande Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino decafs. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times to quote some book I read in college a long time ago.
The news of future weddings of friends' children is shared regularly now over Salted Caramel Latte decafs. Genius: sweet and salty in one taste. And a great substitute when I found out that guilty pleasure named Macchiato was too guilty with 430 calories. (Or light with 180 calories and no taste.)
Even the drinks' names drive my spell check crazy. My brother-in-law, who does not "do" Starbucks, will sometimes call and ask me to tell him what I ordered at Starbucks recently. I repeat the Starbuckese language and he laughs uproariously. My sister is usually ratting me out in the background saying, "And she says 'thank you' when they charge her $5.00 for that!"
So, I was greatly delighted last Sunday when Starbucks came up during a DVD that my Bible Study was watching. The name of the series is "Love and Respect" (sing it, Aretha), and it is basically about the differences between men and women. And there are a few. Oh yes there are.
Anywoo, the speaker is talking about women's need to visit and share and have face to face contact. And his example was that Starbucks has little round tables and the aforementioned comfy chairs for just that purpose. That you never see 6 foot 6 inch construction workers huddled around those little tables (or sunk in those little chairs) 'sharing' with each other. Those men like to sit shoulder to shoulder looking straight ahead in bars and not share or have face to face contact. A place for everyone, and everyone in his (or her) place.
So, when I searched my Yahoo Mail to see how many times "Starbucks" is mentioned in my emails, the number was 97. I hope that represented 97 great convos I had with girlfriends about important things. How many times we sorted out our lives. And how many times we laughed until we ached. (And not 97 x 430 calories because I have quit the Caramal Macchiatos and refuse to Google the Salted Caramel Frappuccinos. I have boundaries about protecting my happiness.)
My son in college works at a locally owned coffee house in his college town. They are rabidly anti-Starbucks at that venue, fists raised in the air for solidarity against The Man that invented the $5 latte. But guess what? Every time I visit him in his college town and Mom is paying? He wants to drive through Starbucks for a Venti Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino with Creme. He tries to eat healthy food, so green tea is a good choice, right? I will not be the one to tell him it has 650 calories with 15 grams of fat. I'm sure he would not be jiggy wid it. (No, son, you cannot erase embarrassing words from my blog from your computer screen.)
So. In closing, Starbucks has a place in my world. And a place in many people's worlds. Lucy would probably hang her "Help 5 cents" sign there, since everyone else seems to use it as their office. And if you don't understand the Lucy reference, perhaps Starbucks is not for you anyway.