This Starbucks is extra crowded this morning. I shouldn’t have picked the seat closest to the register. Every minute there’s a new butt in my face. Big butts, small butts, tight butts, saggy butts. Just a variety pack of various styles and sizes of butts. In a bar this might be known as a flight of butts, but this is a coffee shop so they should be labeled individually as tall, grande, or venti butts. And none of them are appealing to me.
The only butt I’ve been interested in hasn’t moved since I came into the building. Up until a few minutes ago, she had been sitting alone on the other side of the room. That never happens with attractive people. Usually attractive people have somebody with them, whether it be a boyfriend, a group of friends or a group of boyfriends. Their magnetic field is just stronger than that of an average person. Even if they don’t arrive with somebody, they will probably leave with several strangers following behind like lost puppies.
This particular girl sat by herself for a full fifteen minutes after I ordered my drink. She never once looked at her phone to pass the time. She never once sent a text or snapped a selfie. She just sipped her tea and stared around the coffee shop, enjoying this overcast Saturday morning. Twenty years ago, this would have been more common. It’s probably why more couples met accidentally in public places back then.
I glanced at her a few times, but never long enough to make her think I was staring. I was hoping for a moment of eye contact, like you sometimes see in the movies. We would share a connection and exchange smiles. Then I would gather my things and walk over to her table.
“Is this seat taken?” I would ask.
“It is now.” She would say.
And we would spend the rest of the rainy day cuddled together, talking about fine art and cultural things.
Playing that scenario over and over in my mind didn’t prepare me for anything. When she did actually look over and smile at me it was terrifying. I hid behind my laptop so fast you would have thought she pulled out a throwing knife and chucked it at my face. My eyes froze on my computer screen and I didn’t move. I just read the same tweet seventy-three times and cried inside. As much as I complain about how bad I am at meeting girls online, I do it because I’m far worse in person.
Now there’s a man sitting with her. He came in about twenty minutes ago. I figured it was her unappreciative boyfriend, running late because he doesn’t actually care about her feelings and only uses her for sex. This character was also part of my made-up scenario. But this man is older. He carried a briefcase with him when he first arrived and they shook hands before sitting down. Either they’re conducting an elaborate, kinky business partner roleplaying scenario, or I’m witnessing a job interview.
A job interview can be a lot like a first date. Everyone involved is nervous, it’s kind of awkward, you dress up and, if all goes well, something long-term comes out of it. One big difference is that, in a job interview, you can ask somebody where they see themselves in ten years and nobody runs away. On a first date you can give a goodnight hug and nobody gets served harassment papers. Regardless, it all looks kind of the same in a Starbucks.
Once this mystery man came into the picture, she stopped looking my way. The window had closed. My chance of meeting somebody had passed. I was safe to start writing this blog post about missed opportunities…or job interviews…or Starbucks. To be honest, I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. Maybe there are a few…
1. When an attractive girl in a Starbucks smiles at you, always smile back because…
2. Attractive people sitting at a Starbucks are never actually alone for long and…
3. Never sit by the register.