The question has nothing to do with preparing the beverage for consumption, but everything to do with the atmosphere where the beverage is being consumed.
My first cup of the day is bulletproof and I sit with my sweetheart, Suzanne, as we chat regarding our plans for the day, before I depart for the gym, before the sun rises.
The environment surrounding this cup is 98% guaranteed. That includes the chair, the quiet atmosphere, the ambience of the room that Suzanne has designed, and her sweet self snuggled up on a love seat under a blanket.
My second cup of the day is serendipitous. I may catch a friend at the gym and we may opt for stopping for a cup before work. Other times, I skip out of the office at lunchtime to grab a cup of coffee. Getting it to go is just a cup of coffee. Sitting in the shop is part of the atmosphere. Especially if it involves a friend and conversation.
My local Starbucks is notorious for a lack of seating. Oftentimes I go there alone, expecting to do some writing, but I am unable to find a seat. Lately, if I see an open seat, I may ask a strange person if I may join them, and share the small table. Most times people oblige me and I am able to write. But more frequently, I find myself engaging in conversation, which is far more interesting than what I was writing.
Today was particularly delightful. As I placed my order and left the cashier, I stepped into the room and began searching for an open table. Ironically, to my immediate right, outside of my peripheral vision, I heard my name. It was a young woman I know from my doctor’s office. She is an assistant in his practice and she often tends to me during some of my tests. She has a name, but I’ll protect her anonymity.
I was surprised to see her, simply because she was out of context. I asked to join her and she concurred. She had her laptop open, but I distracted her from her screen as we began chatting about everything under the sun. I discovered that the sweet woman who frequently takes my blood pressure, who has had such a calming effect on my readings, is an aspiring MMA fighter. I had no idea that this lovely young blond woman could kill me instead of heal me.
I am late to the party when it comes to sports and athletics, only having started in my sixties. I am a CrossFitter, I confess I know very little about martial arts. I mentioned my friend, Diana, who does some kind of kick boxing. She explained that it is probably Muay Thai. She then enlightened me about it, and Brazilian Jiu Jitzu, UCF and much more.
I sat there looking at this lovely young woman and I tried to envision her kicking the crap out of someone, preferably not me. She described grappling and sparring, and I sat there fascinated by the direction this conversation had taken. Eventually she said, “Chuck, you should try it.”
Whoa! I told her that I have never been big on contact sports, and MMA fighting seems to me to be a bad place to start when you’re in your sixties. She told me that lots of guys start in their mid-fifties and even sixties. She told me one of the sharpest guys at her gym is a seventy year old purple belt, who can kick her butt.
We discussed strength conditioning. She complained that she bulks up and her arms are muscular. I told her that I am jealous, I’m an old guy who can’t pack on muscle to save my life. We talked about careers, traveling and a few other things. But I confess, as I sat there sipping my coffee, I kept looking at her, being very aware that she can break my neck on my next doctor’s appointment. So much for my improved blood pressure.
When I got home Suzanne asked if I wrote anything interesting. I told her no, and I added, “I had the most fascinating conversation with a young woman at Starbucks. We talked for an hour and I never even opened my laptop.” She then quickly replied, “Do you ever meet any guys at Starbucks?”
I sure hope she doesn’t develop in interest in MMA or Muay Thai.