No, don’t get me wrong, dear reader. I am a true coffeehouse disciple. I may be a New Yorker, but a part of my heart was born in Seattle, the motherland of java consumed sitting on a sofa that isn’t yours.
While coffeehouses have a ton going for them—free wifi, caffeine, sugary baked treats, and the freedom to chill indefinitely—they’re not perfect institutions. Let’s let off some steam together.
Charge that guy rent. As much as I appreciate the fact that coffeehouses let you hang out there for hours on end, even after just purchasing a $1.25 in coffee, there’s always a couple people who take it too far. Like that guy. There’s always one guy who snags the best table in the coffee house early in the day and then sets up camp. He’s got a lap top, an orthopedic pillow, a lantern, cracker jacks, and a humidifier going in on his table, which now has ceased to be a table in a coffeehouse and is some sort of hobbit hovel. At the absolute minimum, this guy should pay more than you or I for his coffee, and be made to share his cracker jacks on a dish within convenient reach of everyone.
The starer. There’s one at every party and there’s definitely one at every coffeehouse. The guy that likes to stare at you. You look up, and he’s staring, no flinch or movement that indicates he’s uncomfortable with you noticing him and hence becoming uncomfortable. The starer has eyes like a squirrel. He blinks every other minute. There’s a deadness to them that makes you think, “religious cult.” Your actions are inconsequential to him. You could continue to work, stare back, jump on the table and do the chorus from Annie Get Your Gun, and still he wouldn’t blink.
No ottomans. What, I can’t put my feet up? That’s frowned upon? Look, if there are couches, there should be ottomans, to make the entire experience full and complete. And besides, ottomans would help me nap better when I’m sipping on a decaf cappuccino.
The loud guy. Listen, I know that coffeehouses can’t enact hard and fast rules like libraries, but come one. There’s always one person who will be sitting at a table in a sea, an OCEAN of people quietly reading or silently working, who will get on his cell phone and practically SCREAM out a conversation, “YEAH, LAST NIGHT WAS CRAZY. HALF THAT JAGER BOMB WENT UP MY NOSE AND I COUGHED UP PURPLE. I STILL TOOK HER HOME. NOTHING HAPPENED. SHE WAS REALLY WASTED. AND I’M A GENTLEMAN.”