People Watching at Starbucks

By: Christine Hersom


(4 min. read)

Starbucks is the caffeinated hub where people from all walks of life come together to fuel their caffeine cravings. Every Saturday, I treat myself to a Starbucks coffee. I figure that after chasing little kids for sixty hours a week, I deserve a treat. I also love to people-watch, and Starbucks is an oasis for people-watching enthusiasts like myself.

As I am waiting for my beloved Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, my eyes wander around the room in people-watching mode. This morning was a delight. Although early, there were already college-age students vying for the prime seats near the outlets. They were ready to set up for the day and complete any work required while fueling themselves with caffeine. I am curious how the busy Starbucks can be helpful while working. I then noticed that all of them were wearing earbuds, and let’s face it, caffeine helps with work.

Moving my eyes away from the “Wi-Fi Warriors,” I notice a lovely older couple trying to order. The Barista is being patient with them. They informed her that they would like to order two small coffees, cream only. They apologize for not knowing the correct terms to use at Starbucks…it’s their first time there. They usually treat themselves to Dunkin’ Donuts, but it was crazy over there. The Barista is patient and friendly. She places their order and tells them to grab a seat, and she will personally deliver it. They were adorable. I hope that I am that adorable when I am their age. (Probably won’t be.)

By this time, my drink is ready. However, I am not ready to depart. This was just beginning to get interesting, so I moved to a chair in the corner. About five minutes later, a group of young ladies came in and proceeded to set up their drinks in a perfect mimicry of a magazine layout. Cameras were pulled out, and selfies were taken with their favorite drinks. God forbid their “people” don’t know they are at Starbucks.

We are experiencing a week of “Summer” here in New England. Although it is Fall, the temperatures are in the high 70s and low 80s. It doesn’t matter to the next group that enters. If the calendar says Fall, they are dressed for Fall. They bustle in wearing sweaters, scarves, and puffy vests. You can visibly see the sweat on their faces, but it is Fall. I did notice that they all ordered iced drinks. I can’t blame them. It was warm.

As I sipped my drink and marveled at how busy this store was for 7:00 a.m., I noticed a young professional man enter. He was definitely in a hurry and immediately rolled his eyes at the number of people there. He immediately announced to everyone that he was in a rush and needed to cut to the front of the line. Fat chance. It is funny to watch people who are desperate for their first cup of coffee. They will not let you cut…you should have arrived earlier. This young man immediately set to pacing back and forth in the line. He was muttering to himself and checking his watch every few seconds. He should have placed a mobile order so that his drink was ready when he arrived or shortly after. That’s what I do.

I am particularly fascinated by the people who change up and add “extras” to what I consider to be “fancy” drinks already. They love to order things like a “Unicorn Frappuccino with extra glitter.” These kinds of orders challenge the Barista. I believe that is why they do it. They want to see what kind of concoction the Barista presents them with. These orders are what I consider to be part of the “secret menu” at Starbucks. Although the Barista may look at you funny, she goes out of her way to create a concoction that will delight the consumer. It is usually very colorful and full of sugar. Not for me…I want the caffeine.

I decide that my “treat time” is over and pick up my belongings to leave when my attention is drawn to a couple in the corner. They are sitting across from each other, eyes locked in a deep gaze, hands intertwined, and whispering sweet nothings to each other. We cannot forget the “Coffee Shop Romantics”. The cozy atmosphere, soothing music, and aromatic coffee seem to make Starbucks a destination for blossoming love stories. This is all romantic until somebody walking by spills their coffee on your table or sneezes. This brings the lovers back to reality. How cute is Love in the Lattes?

In the delightful realm of Starbucks, people-watching becomes an amusing pastime that never fails to bring a smile to my face. From the fashionably quirky to the caffeine-obsessed, each person adds their own flavor to the Starbucks experience. So, the next time you find yourself in need of a good laugh or a dose of human eccentricity, grab a cup of your favorite brew, find a cozy spot, and let the Starbucks stage unfold before your eyes. Just remember, laughter is best paired with a side of caffeine-induced joy.

I have to wonder what description would be given for me by other people watchers…

Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC

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