Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A cuppa 'interesting' with me

It is overcast this morning. A 30% chance of rain was predicted. It looks like it’s going to be a good day... This morning I decided to do something a little different. I felt compelled to come to the local M & B (Mug & Bean) for breakfast and coffee at 9am. A first for me for sure. (I used to be a religious ‘nine to fiver’.) Join me for a cup of steaming ‘interesting’....

Initially it was rather busy. Against one wall you have all the tables filled with people typing away on their laptops. Same is true for the opposite wall. I did not know this before, but at this M&B they have made provision for electrical points for those with laptop computers so that you can stay all day. I did not even pack my power cable, thinking I would not be able to use it anyway, and calculating how much battery time I might have as an indication of how much I can get done whilst at the coffee shop. I’ll remember this for next time (smiling to myself).

Next to the lined up laptops, you have the more traditional news paper readers. They don’t need a power point off course, maybe the precise reason for having brought the newspaper instead.

Against another window you have two mommies having some ‘girly coffee’, as a friend of mine calls it. They have just dropped the kids off at school, and use the valuable time available for some woman to woman chit chat. Just watching them, it certainly looks like being a mommy is hard work. I often wonder how I would fare as a mother, but it appears as if their lives are basically consumed with the wants and needs of the children and the husband. I wonder where do you find time to be a woman; an individual. Who sees to your wants and needs? Or where do you squeeze it into your schedule? Or do you eventually not even notice anymore that all of that has faded into the lives of the other in your home, and wondering “who am I”, or is there not even time to think about that? I think you have to be a mommy to understand it.

Against the one pillar sits a young lady – not married (by the look of it) – also on a laptop. It would appear that she does this frequently. She seemed to know that you can plug your computer in at the M&B. I can’t see what she is doing, but she stares at the screen, and occasionally types something. I’ve wondered to ask her. Maybe later.

At another table you have four men in their mid fourties or fifties. They’re obviously discussing business of some sort. I wonder how many 'power deals' are made in coffee shops and restaurants, over a cup of coffee.

And at another there are two gentlemen having, what sounds like, a job interview. “So, what is it that you say you do again...?”

A young, pregnant lady passes in front of the coffee shop on foot. She seems to be in a hurry. My impression makes me wonder whether she is employed. Is she married? I could not see if she is wearing a ring; is she able to take care of the little bundle of joy that would be arriving fairly soon, by the look of it...? Does she have someone to help her? How will you ever know? More often now than before, so many young girls (almost not qualifying for womanhood yet) fall into the ‘trap’ of pregnancy with no means to support the little innocent baby. So sad for both the mother and the little one... I had a broken family. No one should have that, yet too many do. Also, the young ladies, now a days, often look so much older than they are. Society does not grant kids the opportunity to be children anymore. Everything has to be instant, happening at the speed of light, including growing up. I think we often then land up with a society of young ones who did not have time enough for laying proper foundations, and here they are trying to construct adulthood. Obviously it is not the same for everyone, but I think it most certainly is the story of many a young life in the modern century.

The smell of freshly ground coffee and muffins fill the air. Just the way a coffee shop should smell; probably one of the reasons why many flock to them so frequently.

This morning I realize how much of life happens over a steaming cup of coffee: business deals are closed, mommies meet about the kids, and woman meet to preserve their sanity away from the kids, friendships are formed, estranged friends reconnect, people fall in love, dreams are dreamt, conflict is resolved, hearts are encouraged, special occasions are shared and celebrated, and sometimes it is just a little time out, to find yourself again in the rat race of everyday life; to snack on a little something for the hunger and a little something for the soul.

Shortly after nine everyone seems to 'evaporate'. It makes me wonder what they do for a living. What hours do you keep, if not nine to five? Amazing how narrow minded you can become in the tunnel of nine to five. You lose sight of the reality that there is a whole wide world out there; options you have never even considered, as you drag yourself through each day toward that salary cheque at the end of each month, thinking you have no other choice. Or do you...? It is only when you emerge from the 'tunnel' that you often get to see the sun. Many never do.

Waiters start to sweep the floor. Others wash the windows. Another sits down at a table doing the admin for the shop. These are activities that I don't usually think of when a coffee shop comes to mind. Yet, they are necessary, and done in between life over a steaming cup of coffee.

Sitting here, looking at what happens around me, I realize that every day is completely unique. Not one day has the same people, coming for the same reasons, passing by at the same time. A different view of the world for me indeed.

The sun is starting to peak through the clouds. It’s going to be a beautiful day! Maybe it will even rain a little later. I think I'll be back for another cuppa.

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