Sunday, August 23, 2009

Starbucks - The New Melting Pot

I've come to terms with the fact that this site doesn't meet the technical definition of a blog as my last post was three weeks ago. Oh well. It isn't what it isn't!

So while Dan and I have gone out with lots of people all summer long and had a blast doing it, it occured to me with our kids going back to school that we never went out alone on a date for my birthday (which was in June). So my wonderful friend Claire graciously offered to babysit for FREE (yes she rocks) and we jumped at the chance last Friday night.

We went to Bonefish for dinner which we only do for special occasions, because they aren't the kind of restaurant that mails you big time coupons to lure you in. If you've never been I highly recommend it - get the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer if you go (the name says it all). It's funny I never ate fish before I turned 40 and now I love it. Well, if it's longfin tilapia and you stuff it with lobster & crabmeat and sear it in white wine sauce, I love it.

Anyhoo Claire encouraged us to take our time and after Bonefish we headed over to the most hoppin' Starbucks in the area (Streets of Woodfield for you locals). We decided to compensate Claire for her generosity in whole bean coffee, and treated ourselves to a couple of Mochas in the process. It was packed. There were two empty tables (out of more than 2 dozen).

What an interesting experiment in social studies this particular Starbucks is on a Friday night. It was the most intergenerational, multi-cultural, diverse crowd I've seen in one place in a long time. In the six tables surrounding us, there were:

1) Two women in their late fifties playing a board game they brought with,
2) An older couple (late 70's) playing cards,
3) A bunch of junior high kids (if that old) crammed into two tiny round tables (boys and girls) and they all hugged each other when they left. A lot. I kept wondering if their parents knew where they were drinking coffee and touching.
4) Two 20-something girls who looked like they came from work,
5) Two teenage girls texting (other people or each other?) like mad,
5) Three guys with laptops at one little table not conversing at all. Their computers made a triangle - it was like Battleship with a third player - no one looked up much.

Now, I didn't ignore my date all night, in fact it was really good to talk about things besides schedules and logistics for a change. Dan is really good company. But I did notice these other groups and found it really interesting how this seemed to be the perfect hang out for so many different people, that ran the gammit on the socialization spectrum.

There aren't many places you'd find such a diverse group together on any given night. I took a little comfort in it. And it's a great place to have a casual date.

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