5 Questions I Have For My Barista

I feel like we know each other. Like there’s this unspoken relationship going on between us. You know what I’m talking about, right? I’m sure you do. Listen, I know we never really talk much. I’m sorry, but small talk makes me really uncomfortable so I consistently make the decision to spare you every single visit. But since I’ve already opened up the dialogue here, there are a few things I just need to ask you. And sure, I get it — you’re really busy making all of those fancy drinks behind the counter, but this will only take like 5 minutes tops. I promise.

1. How come it’s so hot in here? Always. I actually start to sweat every time I get up to the counter to order. I can feel it… can you see it? And you know what happens when I start to feel the sweat beginning to form? I sweat more. And then our interaction just spirals downwards into new levels of uncomfortable. So I don’t know, can you look into lowering the temperature in here? If not, that’s fine. You know I’ll be back regardless.

2. Why is it that every time is the first time? You remembered the guy’s name in front of me and the chick behind me, but when it’s my turn to order and you pull out that black sharpie to scribble my name across the cup, you look at me with that blank stare of yours. What’s that all about? I’m polite, I order the same thing like 85% of the time, and I’m here every day. Should I start wearing a name tag? Let’s create a system that works for both of us because this is just getting embarrassing.

3. Are you judging my payment method? It’s okay if you are. I mean, I am too. I just wanted to clear the air because either we’re both being weird about it, or my self-consciousness is so out of hand that it’s dramatically and irrationally affecting how I view your opinion. Really though, there’s no reason a 20-something with a (semi) grown-up job and pretty self-sufficient lifestyle should pay for her daily $2.85 Americano (with steamed soy) with her… debit card. It feels so silly every time I whip it out. Am I afraid of carrying cash? It’s possible.

4. What’s with all of these CDs? I came here for caffeine, not Zooey Deschanel’s Christmas album, ya know? All of this clutter at the register is messing with your coffee cred. Like go ahead and push that free Paul McCartney song at me as I wait anxiously for my hot beverage, but I’m admitting to you right now that I’m judging the gesture. I’m judging all of it.

5. Why is it either hot or cold? And no, I’m not talking about the drinks. I understand the temperature differentiation amongst the menu options. You’re always so great at clarifying! (I can see why they hired you). I’m referring to our interactions, in general. Either you forget my name completely or you insist that my coffee is on the house. Either you look right through me or you compliment my yoga outfit (cringe). Either you forget about my order or you ask me out via that little paper cup. Is my life just a string of extremes? Is merely having this thought contributing to the extremes theme? Have I lost you through this abstract monologue? Normal. TC Mark

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