25 Presumptive Descriptions Of People In This Cafe

  1. Woman in her mid-thirties, possibly a lesbian, reading the “Sunday Styles” section of The New York Times, her face partially obscured by a Calvin Klein ad. Legs crossed like a man, wearing jeans, Lorazepam sheen, and converse all-stars.
  2. Asian female in black rim glasses studying profusely highlighted textbook with myriad of post-it notes bearing self-annotation; most likely studying law or business from the severity she exudes. Her latte is untouched.
  3. Attractive woman whose slender neck is unveiled under auburn hair tossed in a casual bun. Spent childhood summers in Europe in small towns 40 km from historic cities, her father a liberal arts professor; very “white,” in the sense that she seems vaguely annoyed at herself for being the kind of person she is.
  4. Three gay men happily sharing a table meant for two, in good spirits and perfectly pressed shirts.
  5. Somber woman with at least half-a-dozen barrettes in her hair, giving it the look of a wig which has been stapled into her cranium; eerily using her middle finger to make iPhone “do things” to which she does not react.
  6. Counter-culture 26-year-old man with ear gauges, thin mustache, and a large skull tattooed on his sternum being critical of latte foam design Barista — who has a recent art degree — sincerely poured.
  7. 90 lbs. woman with curly Jewish hair wearing a sheer silk blouse reading GOOD magazine, her fickleness towards the page she’s currently reading portrayed by its clasp between her index finger and thumb, as if any moment she could flip away.
  8. Unseen guy hopefully in the bathroom, his corduroy blazer and eco-friendly canvas tote bag trustingly hanging on the chair; a half-full glass of water marking his eternal optimism, its half-emptiness directing our attention towards his hypothetical trickle inside the bathroom.
  9. Well-adjusted couple seated ass-to-ass looking at week old photos of themselves on a tropical island, the man pointing at details of certain photos by which good memories are evoked, the woman leaning into him with a kiss, to corroborate her sentiments.
  10. Mexican busing tables at whom people feel mildly irritated when he buses their particular table — believing their mental space has been encroached upon, or even violated, however tentatively, to a small yet discernible degree.
  11. Someone using a thick book to stack their Kindle from which they read closer to them.
  12. Young woman with asymmetrical hair and choppy highlights intently hunched over laptop probably on Craigslist seeking a new living situation, having just been kicked out by her roommates due to heroin addict boyfriend.
  13. Man with archaic IBM ThinkPad, his fleece vest bearing the logo of the company whose convention he once went to, with left hand fully cupped over his mouth in concentration; wearing jeans two sizes too large, such that his gait resembles an elephant.
  14. Cute perky woman whose remarkable jacket, boots, miscellaneous jewelery, and tote bag were gotten from Etsy, in that everything on her seems mildly edgy but ultimately bourgeois and precious.
  15. Overweight guy with severe eyeglass prescription and acne in a black trench coat emphatically bent over his journal in which doodles depicting violent scenes involving women and dragons are drawn and later masturbated to.
  16. Woman in tight ponytail and post-workout clothes editing her wedding’s Williams Sonoma gift registry account, upping the price point, tapping away with newly manicured nails at items to which she feels entitled.
  17. Two girlfriends “dressed up for the day,” one whose green palette seems both unnatural yet pensively considered this morning, ordering their respective coffees with default abrasive “attitude” towards the cashier for no decipherable reason.
  18. Bald man in mid-forties with austere and literary beard who looks exactly like Michael Stipe does now, wearing huge North Face jacket and seemingly okay in general. Not everybody hurts.
  19. Young Indian man with sweatshirt from Ivy League school from which he received a B.S. in Computer Science expressing such knowledge by rapidly coding something he will soon make a lot of money with.
  20. Attractive hipster couple whose affected entry into the cafe assumes a much more abashed sensibility than their actual subtle ostentation actually allows, their perfectly frazzled DTF-hair and neck tattoos casually coordinated, lost in each others’ coed mirror image of themselves, a sudden waft of vapidity following them in.
  21. African-American woman whose well-kept yet indiscreet Afro proudly expresses ethnic autonomy, wearing a large colorful shawl (most likely from Africa or Banana Republic) wrapped multiple times around her neck.
  22. Guy with tortoise shell Ray Bans wearing potentially ironic red Marlboro sweatshirt distractedly answering “uh huh” to presumable girlfriend whose iPhone’s content, perhaps the calendar app, is causing massive confusion for her.
  23. Guy in Grateful Dead t-shirt demonstrating how bad his taste in music is.
  24. Morbid looking woman with 17″ MacBook Pro, probably a graphic designer, no makeup, staring into the rectangular void while gnawing on her cuticles. A cat waits for her on a couch covered in its own hair, next to a remote with which its owner listlessly changed channels last night.
  25. Bald Asian man whose facetious smirk directed at others barely hides his internal self-loathing, typing into WordPress platform for a popular website, the dried brown ring at the bottom of his cup evoking his anus. TC mark
image – Antony Mayfield


More From Thought Catalog

  • Woo

    Fuck yeah Jimmy Chen.

  • Mamajamerson

    You’ve just inspired my new hobby – vicarious people watching.

  • http://damnvixen.blogspot.com damnvixen

    Haahahah epic lol

  • Anonymous

    #25 hahahaha

  • Ashley Oliver

    2. black-rimmed
    4. men
    21. most likely
    22. confusion

    but what an entertaining and creative article! favorite part: “a sudden waft of vapidity following them in.” well said.

  • Melissa

    you are the best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alejandra-Clippard/1265070174 Alejandra Clippard

    very creative descriptions. love #3 auburn-haired woman. though i’d fear what you’d say about me.

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t hear my roommate talking to me for the 12 minutes that I was imagining these characters. 

  • Christina

    This is pretty great. 

  • mfjonny

    Most likely from Africa or Banana Republic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/summer.gillen Summer Gillen

    I do this all the time at a cafe near UPenn – it’s fantastic to try and guess majors. Great post!

    • Sophia

      Wait, I go to UPenn! What cafe? :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/summer.gillen Summer Gillen

        Green Line Locust AND the Green Line on Baltimore and 43rd!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    JC stop watching me I am #25

  • http://mason-jar-memories.blogspot.com/ Grace Elizabeth

    I do this. I have a notebook full of this. I never showed anyone because I thought it was too critical or judgmental of me. This makes me want to hear what someone would analyze about me, in a cafe. It would probably be harsh though. Great article.

  • Sebastian Melmoth

    Learn how to punctuate, use grammar in the proper fashion, and in the future avoid the prosaic insertion of the narrator.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      26. Book nerdy dick appropriating obscure Oscar Wilde pseudonym to convey online his irl turmoil by directing anger and – this is really sad — grammatical hubris at an Asian-Canadian blogger whose first native language is Chinese.

      • Sarah

        27. The so-called “writer” who uses self-deprecation to excuse his educational shortcomings and knocks trolls for being well read in hurried comma-less sentences that will leave you gasping for oxygen unless you are in excellent physical shape.

      • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

         i said blogger not writer, and having a native language other than English is not self-deprecating, though i’m not surprised you think so

      • Jesus

         28. The TC commenter who is very very upset that someone more intelligent than her exists.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      26. Book nerdy dick appropriating obscure Oscar Wilde pseudonym to convey online his irl turmoil by directing anger and – this is really sad — grammatical hubris at an Asian-Canadian blogger whose first native language is Chinese.

  • is that weird?

    this would be the perfect mix of people to make a movie out of if a man runs in with a gun and says EVERYBODY DOWN!

  • Jessica Baumgartner

    might be weird, but a very large part of me wishes i had been in this cafe when this was written

  • Hollow

    Not every black person you see is African-American. This list (real or not), perpetuates the assumption that every black person you see is African-American. Get it together!!

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

       i can’t do this anymore

  • guest

    “Jewish Hair”? Wow, you just lost another reader…

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

       i can’t do this anymore

    • http://twitter.com/Commander_Co0l Tony F.


    • hello

       there is an “ethnic” gene/allele responsible for curly hair in most ashkenazi jews

    • LM

      As a jewish woman, I can say with utmost confidence that “jewish hair” is both very real and very hard to deal with. 

      • RS

        second that.

  • akkemhcs

    #23 Guy in Grateful Dead t-shirt demonstrating how bad his taste in music is. ^brilliant

  • Anonymous

    I like these cafe ones !


    Deadheads are idiots, but have you ever actually listened to the Grateful Dead? They’ve got some amazing (amazing) songs. 

  • Pleb

    great article, dont let the haters get you down 

  • Sebastian Mammoth dbag

    get off jimmy’s back guys

    he is an artist

  • Southernvtgal

    I do this all the time, just sit and watch people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/black.moon.ghost.girl Moon Temple

    I desperately want to know how you’d describe me

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