#23 – First World Problems – 9/7/16

You know what really under-blends my Frappuccino?  It’s those who contribute very little and expect everything in the world.

Today I sit at a table in the middle of the cafe, uncomfortably, as I wait for another table closer to an outlet to open up.  It’s going to be a long day.

Others are busy at work, too, with laptops open and admirable focus.  And then a pair of preppy Caucasian twenty-somethings enter, speaking unnecessarily loud about the things going on in their lives, to drill that focus into the ground.  I’ve been quiet on this blog for a week or two now — but not because I haven’t been working and consuming unhealthy amounts of caffeine, but because people have been generally well-behaved.

Though I have a million things to be doing right now, this couple has decided to pull focus, so let’s go ahead and let them have it.  The female of their species, with her almost modern day valley girl-type voice, booms loudly about a mutual friend who she’s avoiding because the friend — and his sister — are “inappropriate” when drunk.  I could only wonder if their “friends” were some of my old coworkers …

The Valley Girl pushes her sunglasses atop her head to see her preppy (and clueless) companion in designer jeans.  Preppy listens, seemingly interested, and seems to be looking for opportunities to insert himself further into the conversation (and her life), but sadly he has no game and generally falls flat all the way around.  He complains about having to work four hours a day (because it’s too many, not because it’s too few), and I suspect he will probably mope about it further when he pulls out of the parking lot in a luxury car that he didn’t earn following this visit.

The formerly-focused customers leave, freeing up tables.  I get as far away from them as I can, dependent upon table/outlet availability, and they congregate near the entrance.  And I can still hear them.  Valley girl asks if he’s “healing,” presumably about a relationship.  He says that he is, and proceeds to play the emotional card, ultimately sneaking in a flimsy, “Hey, if you know any single girls … you know …”

Valley Girl stares at him as though he’s morphing into an ugly red carpet dress — which she surely have opinions about — and searches for a response.  I gotta admit, dating at Starbucks is like watching behavior from the animal kingdom.  It’s like, you have stuff to do and want to tune out, but you can’t turn it off because you’re dying to see if the tiger eats the gazelle … or something.

“I have one single friend,” starts the Valley Girl, “but …” she shakes her head and giggles.  Preppy laughs, as though she’s protecting him from her friend, but realistically it’s probably the complete opposite of the fantasy playing out in his head.  See, the thing with Preppy is that, though he’s awkward and a bit creepy, he’s overflowing with confidence.  Cocky, in fact.  He’s the kind of guy that’s probably not used to people telling him no.  Valley Girl is similar to him in that respect, but being the female of the species and holding all the cards, so to speak, she probably doesn’t have to hear it very often as he does … in the circles that they run in, that is.

After an awkward silence that must have lasted an eternity for Preppy (but only seconds to the rest of the world), Preppy burst into academic jargon — clearly the reason they’re here together in the first place.  Shifting gears, they conduct their business as though it’s business as usual.  He comes off as an authoritarian in his observances, going over her work and paying her compliments in a somewhat condescending manor.  I was expecting him to toss her a treat for everything she got right, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Just high fives, thus far …  (Yes, I’m serious.  A compliment, followed by a high-fucking-five.)

Before long, Preppy shifts the subject back to his ex-girlfriend and how it all fell apart.  Then, in a beautiful, perfectly-executed counter move, Valley Girl spins the conversation right back to the work, basically giving him the coldest conversational, “I do not give a fuck” cock-block that I have ever seen in my life.

At this moment, they’re talking about timeshares.  I’ll be turning my music up louder now.  It’s less to try desperately to tune them out and more to drive myself permanently deaf so that I never find myself in this situation again …


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