I’m sitting in a Starbucks. Set up at one of those long tables people congregate at to work while sipping coffee. The busy hum of background noises fine-tuning concentration.
Coffee grinding. A woman at a nearby table asking a friend about her upcoming knee surgery. Drink titles rattled off by baristas with their pump and foam ratios so detailed and personal, some are surely meant to set the world record for Coffee Order Specificity.
And as I start to scratch down words on the page, think and type, reflect and sip my drink (a 5 shot venti Americano, just because), I realize that the bulletin board on the wall across from where I sit is staring me in the face.
Here’s a list of what’s been advertised by people in the community:
- Blessings of the Animals, a Sunday service at the United Church where pets (or photos of pets) will be blessed
- Our Unified Masculine & Feminine, a workshop at the end of the month that explores the true essence of masculine and feminine nature and the misunderstanding of gender barriers
- A Queer Family Playtime at the museum for LGBTQ families
- An invitation to become an Egg Donor for at a boutique fertility clinic
- A Women’s Tough Mudder to fight Cancer
- A Creedence Clearwater Revival Concert either featuring John Fogerty or an impersonator, it’s intentionally unclear who will be headlining
You can’t make this stuff up. For a brief moment I feel like I’m on the page of a Chuck Palahniuk novel. But I’m not.
This is real life. Real people’s lives.
As it so happens, I don’t have any eggs to donate, but I’m struck at how strange and interesting life is. That coffee shops are a collision of universes in one wild and earnest world.
If you’re sitting here reading this (first of all, thank you), I think we both need to agree together right now that there are things in your life and in mine that are worth being excited about. Slap-on-a-poster-and-invite-complete-strangers-to kind of excited.
If they can love their pets so much as to plan a church service to bless them or pictures of them, then we can get excited about what we love too.
For the sake of a stranger at a coffee shop, please do.