Monthly Archives

August 2014



As the bus pulled up to the State Street intersection on my commute this morning, I looked out the window at the long, thin, tall pole marking a drive-thru with a notorious logo perched atop, a line of cars wrapping around the building.


They’re everywhere.

I’m serious…everywhere.  I’ve been to quite a few countries, and Americans dart to Starbucks like they just saw their family for the first time after a week of Wife Swap.


Inside Starbucks in downtown Madrid

I’m not writing this to start some anti-coffee-chain campaign or anything.  In fact, I’ve occasionally been found at the Starbucks counter in the back corner of Barnes & Noble, nervously casting shifty glances around to see if anyone caught me with a giant venti 600-calorie frappaccino in my hand.

It just hit me in the moment this morning how absolutely weird it is to sit in your car in a drive-thru line waiting for a coffee drink.  You can go on and on about how they have oatmeal, croissants, whatever…but you’re still in line for coffee.  People give themselves double the commute time so they can sit in their car, idling, waiting for their main squeeze, Joe.  For $3-$5 a cup, I might add. (I’d idle for a Joe…if he were 6’3″, tall, dark, and handsome.)

What sort of strangeness have we evolved to?

Our status and addiction obsession is really so interesting.

I like to think of coffee houses as social houses.  Places we go to meet with each other, face to face, to enjoy company over a beverage and talk about life.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to share your morning tasty beverage with the Top 40, but still…think about how alien it looks to sit in our big fancy cars, our manicured hands reaching out the window to intercept something we could’ve made at home for a tithe of the price.  We talk to someone when we order, talk to someone at the window, and we never actually make much of a connection.

Anyway, just seeing that line literally lap around the Starbucks building was the oddest ‘epiphany’.