October 5, 2008
I've tried weaning from the Starbucks teat for a long time. I'm closer than I've ever been.
About five years ago, my daughter began attending daycare in Worthington. There was a Starbucks next door. When she was very young, I remember with perfect clarity, the real work of the day began after my leisurely 9-to-5. Before picking up the kid, I would stop in Starbucks for a meditative break before the nightime mania. It was there I'd adjust my patience and expectations between my professional and personal life.
The Worthington Starbucks on N. High (sadly - closed now) delivered the coffee giant's marketing directive: the Starbucks Experience. I'd shoot the breeze with the baristas, share with them my current read, tell them of parenting horrors and victories, and knew their names. I was at Cheers and chatty as Cliff Clavin. I got coffee too.
Frankie's now in school and closer to home. I was transferred to the North Broadway location. Sucks. The employees greet you properly - smiling and happy. I am served efficiently. I return to my table with my steaming hot beverage. I can practically hear the sigh of relief as the workers fall in and resume their chatter entrenched in each other's daily lives. My coffee's half empty and I can't stand it anymore.