Offline Connections

So, I’m thinking about a few things this morning as I sip my coffee.  I’m thinking about how my dog poos, salads, and how we connect in the real world.  Let me explain.

I’m up for a new job, a good one, with a digital, creative, ad agency.  However, I do not want to get my hopes up because I’ve been on the precipice of just the right job before.  But, this new job and our move into the big city have me thinking about several things at once.

As it relates to the job, I’ve been thinking about an old, co-worker of mine – we’ll call her Katie.  Katie was amazing, in every sense of the world.  I wasn’t sexually attracted to her in any way, but I WAS attracted to her as a person.  I wasn’t the only one.  Katie just lit up a room.  She was sort of Amazonian.  A big tall girl with long, curly, red, hair.  She had this huge personality and everyone at the company loved her.  Everyone.  Because Katie had that amazing thing where she could be larger-than-life, but never obnoxious.  If you know larger-than-life people, then you know that the spillage over into obnoxious-land can be quite common.  Katie never did this.  She walked through the halls with a grace and a guffaw.  She was uncommonly funny and warm.  We were friends when we worked at the company, but lost touch after that.  I could look her up if I really tried, but it’s not necessary, we weren’t friends like that.  What I admired about Katie was the way she connected with everyone and with ease.  I’m a really good connector too, but sometimes I have a wicked mean disposition.  I don’t mean to, it’s just part of my upbringing.  I can’t help, but think about Kate’s upbringing when I think about her roaming those office halls like a master.  Her parents must have either been perfect or Kate learned, very early, how to win at the emotional intelligence game.  I don’t know, but I do know that she was gifted.  Maybe I could work that kind of finesse now, but Kate had this concept in the bag when she was in her 20’s!!  It was amazing to watch and hard to explain.  It was a nuance – a certain way she said hello, or shared a laugh, or set up a meeting.  You just wanted to be around her.  If she ran for President, you would’ve voted for her.  She had charisma, a Bill Clinton-esque charisma and charm.  I don’t know if it was natural in her or if she worked at it, but I know that she had it.

"Katie, is that you? Would you like to go to lunch? Oh, you already have other invites...Wow, no problem."

When I think about working in an office again, I think about modeling myself after Kate.  I think about how Kate used the work environment to make real life, very human, connections.  She didn’t see it as just a “paycheck” or at least she didn’t seem to.  She had more of a – “Feck it, I’m here, I might as well build an alliance like on Survivor” kind of attitude.

Now, doggie poos and salads.  I loved the neighborhood qualities of New York.  New York is an enormous place and an enormously diverse one at that.  I’m so interested in this, that I happen to know some the statistics – 40% of New York is foreign born.  (40%, almost half!)  There are 1 million people who live on Manhattan proper – the island itself.  Then there are about 3 or 4 million who live in Brooklyn.  The rest of the boroughs make up the other 3 or 4 million making New York’s total population around 8 million.  That’s a big feckin’ city.  But, of course, it’s not the biggest.  What makes New York so unique is its diversity AND the fact that people live on top of one another in NEIGHBORHOODS.  New York leaves you with the oddest sense of community, if you open your eyes to it.  Here are some of the best examples that I can remember.  There was a great market a few blocks down from my apartment.  It was old world with different vendors selling meat, fish, produce, etc, out of their individual stalls.  I wanted to make a particular meal, so I stopped at a meat counter that I had never been to before.  I ordered my steak from the guy behind the counter, who struck up a conversation with me.

“Have you ever been here before?”

“No,” I said.  “Well, I’ve been to the market before, but not your butcher booth.”

“Oh, this is on the house then,” he said.

“Whattttt?” I asked.

“It’s on the house,” he said again with a smile.  “You see, this meat counter has been in my family for 3 generations.  My grandfather ran the meat booth and then my dad and now me and we’ve always had a policy that a first time customer should get their order for free.”

“Wow, well, thanks,” I said.

“You’re welcome,” he said.

His name was Jeffrey and I’ve never forgotten him.  I’d see him around the neighborhood delivering meat to his customers on a bicycle!!  It always made me smile.

"Thanks for the meat, Jeff." - I don't mean that how it sounds!

The second moment I remember happened with my tailor.  I had a Puerto Rican tailor – a sweet and good looking guy who had a shop right around the corner from my apartment.  To get my pants hemmed only cost $3.  Late, one day I went into the shop to pick up my pants and they weren’t done yet.  My tailor handed them to his co-worker and asked him to do them now.  Then he went up to his front door and locked it, concluding business for the day with my last pair of pants.

As he turned away from his keys, hanging from the keyhole, he said, “Would you like a Corona?”

“A what?” I said.

“A Corona, a beer,” he smiled.

“Ah, sure,” I said.

My tailor opened two, ice cold, Coronas – one for himself and handed me one.  We clinked bottles and sipped.  Then we just talked about the price of tailoring and about rents in the area, small talk, you know – normal stuff.  In a few minutes, my pants were done and so was my beer.  I thanked the tailor, paid him, and went on my way.  But, I never forgot that interaction.  Nope, I never will.

Katie, the Corona-tailor, and the free-meat butcher ALL fostered in me this sense of offline community.  I LOVE my online community, but you need one in your day to day life too.  I think it’s incredibly important and incredibly human to need, want, and have your own Cheers – a place where “everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came.”  The British do this very well with their pub culture.  Everyone there has a local.  America is becoming more and more fragmented in this way.  You have to drive here.  Then you have to drive there.  Interaction REALLY takes work.  However, you can get lucky.  You can find a local in some great cities or small towns that were built with the citizen in mind an not just around the highway and the car.  If you don’t have a local you can substitute that experience with a great office environment or neighborhoody interactions like I had with the tailor and the butcher.

So, what’s this got to do with salads and dog poos?  I read this great Huffington Post article (link below) where the writer discusses going to the same exact deli and ordering the same exact salad, everyday for years.  When you read the piece, you get the sense that she did this because everyone at the deli knew her name and her order.  She’d walk in and get that immediate, Cheers-community effect.  They’d say, “Hey, Laurie’s here.  Let’s get Laurie’s order ready!”  She loved that aspect emotionally and spiritually.  She ate the salad religiously to get healthy.  In other words, the salad-a-day let her indulge in pleasure when she was away from work.  Healthy lunches were the tradeoff for sinful dinners.  She loved the real-life interaction just as much as I love it when people make comments on my posts.  But, in the real world you have to seek these out.  You have to interact.  There is no real life, just hit “publish”, and wait.

"Anyone wanna hang out, offline?"

Lastly, the doggie poos.  We changed our dog’s diet.  Wifesy brought home this high fiber dog food.  Before the high fiber vittles, Doggie had been eating the same regular old stuff for years.  But, her poos.  Oh, her poos.  They were like soft serve.  She seemed lethargic and often got stomach issues.  I suppose, in doggie-speak, she was unhappy.  We changed to the high fiber brand and now Dogsey sh*ts like she’s the log-making machine doling out perfectly cut logs at the log factory.  Bing, bing, bing –  perfectly cut logs.  Everyday.  Every time, like she’s Coca-Cola.  It’s amazing.  Dogsey is so happy she practically dances away from her droppings.  Truth be told, there’s a lot of shit in the world to dance away from.  I think Dogsey is on to something and bottomline – I want that kind of happiness.

To wrap this all up in a bow, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I want to improve in a social-ish and physical-ish kind of way.  As we make this move, I’m hoping I can do it all at once.  I think I need to find a creative job for a digital ad agency in a cafe that sells high fiber salads and freshly made juices.  I’ll learn everyone’s name and I’ll be the Katie of that community, just like I’m the Sweet Mother of this one.  It’s worth a shot – hey, make it a wheatgrass.

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Sweet Mother is updated daily.  If you’d like to follow this blog, you can do so by clicking the “follow” link at the top of the page.

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Interesting articles:  Social Isolation Grows in US, Huffington Post Piece

Photo creds:  Cheers, Pied Piper, Delivery Guy, Comm. Cafe

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74 thoughts on “Offline Connections

  1. tl;dr

    I used to work at a restaurant where there were people who would come in every day, sometimes multiple times a day. My dad came in probably 3-5 times a week. Even though the management was awful and most of the other waitresses were bonkers, I got really attached to a lot of the customers, and it was the sort of place where even though it was a chain, I had relationships with my customers. When my dad got sick and eventually passed away, it was bittersweet there, because everyone knew who he was and was incredible about supporting me. That said, it was like working in a graveyard after that, and so I got the hell out. But I still miss some of the regulars because they were such caring, lovely people who bothered to find out who their waitress was.

    1. this is exactly what i’m talking about. it can even happen in a chain, but it is a sort of chemistry thing, i bet it was you…and your charm that had the customers getting involved with you. doesn’t sound like it was the place…but, i will say whatever it was – so worth it and so wonderfully human these interactions. sounds like your dad knew it too. but, i can understand you leaving after his passing. i would’ve done the same. great comment, badfads. thanks for reading this super-long thing and thanks for leaving your beautiful comment here. – mother, not to be confused with mothra

    1. lesbos don’t hem. okay, the ones who are in ‘bitch and stitch’ clubs do. but, mother does NOT. i barely iron. but, i do dry clean and tailor. always always always. i had an obsessive relationship with my new york tailor. obsessive. and now wifesy has to get everything tailored too. she didn’t like it at first, but now i think she secretly does… and yes, i need my gays back. can’t wait to rejoin civilization. can’t wait.

      1. You could be a stage-lesbomom and make a fortune off of a mini-Margaret-and during her breaks she could hem your pants. Hey, she could hem everybody’s pants. US$3 a piece. 😉
        A micro-industry!!!

      2. i’m too much of an advocate — i’d start a union for my mini-margaret and i’d get her better wages and i’d made sure the public massaged her hands in expensive lotion and paid her $20 per pant leg like they do in the ritzy areas and then i’d send her to yale… but, i’m an a-hole. whatcanyoudo?

      1. I’ll do ’em…for a small price…hehehe…don’t tell wifesy that I said that. 😛

        And I was actually offering my services to pinkagendist…and even though I wore a disguise, he recognized me from the last post…lol

  2. I feel your pain. Since I’ve been a freelancer for quite some time now, I’ve lost that human connection, the everyday ritual of going in at a certain time and sharing my day with other humans. I think about rejoining that world, but it’s tough; more and more companies are contracting jobs out.

    You’re right on about NYC and even the Island of Long nearby; it’s comprised of old-fashioned neighborhoods, a sense of community. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather, where me, hubby and our two dogs, Baxter and Sophie will enjoy a boardwalk stroll or some biking. I wish there were more designated bike paths cause’ you have to watch the whizzing traffic (and the constant horn-blowing), but most everyone is nice, if you take the time to make eye contact and inquire about their day (remember manners?) :).

    Our pups had to go with a new food because of “hot spots” (one was constantly gnawing at his paws — he’s an obsessively clean pooch anyway), but once we introduced them to the natural, organic eats, they adjusted quite well and are more than regular.

    The best of luck to you, Mother. Fingers crossed that you join the ranks of creative souls in that agency and I’ll bet you’ll more than master the charismatic charm of the Kate you speak so fondly of. :).

    1. brigitte, this is such a great comment. i’m sorry it’s taken me a bit to respond. i’ve been so backlogged as of late, but hopefully things are calming down. i’m so with you on the neighborhood concept. and bike paths, oh, bike paths. i used to bike everywhere even in manhattan! the dutch are the best at this…in amsterdam, everyone bikes. but, you have to build things close together, which we so do NOT do in the rest of america. i have a friend who is studying to be one of those urban planner/ engineers – he lives in portland now and his wife wants to get a car so they can get out of the city and he is adamantly against it, bc he feels that’s the whole problem. and i so see his point, but i so see her point of wanting to get out of the city. it’s hard to do, it would take a big, collective, movement of some sort to change it, i think. as for doggie and the high fiber, it’s like we have a new dog, seriously. that’s how good the stuff is! once again, thank you for swinging by here. i really, really appreciate it. xo, mother

  3. When I first started reading, I had no idea how you were going to get all of those topics into the same post, but I shouldn’t have even questioned it. And all wrapped up in a nice bow as well.

    I think you are already wonderfully charismatic and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for you for that job. 🙂

    1. the job would just help us so much financially. and it starts part-time and then moves to full. which is perfect because i’d be able to keep up the writing and get a few projects i have open closed. but, we’ll see, i seem to be in this space where they like my resume, like my experience, call me in for an interview, and then i literally do 3 or 4 interviews, it gets down to me and one other person, and then i don’t get it. that’s happened to me a lot lately with a couple of potentially very good jobs. it’s frustrating, but i’m trying to focus on, ‘hey, at least they’re calling me in.’ ugh. anyway, thanks for saying that about the writing, wendy. it means a lot. some of my pieces are too long and a little bit all over the place. this was probably one of those, but this is all a process, i suppose. a process. xoxo, sm

  4. Very nice tie in and really interesting commentary on community. I’ve always been interested in community building and what activities/things people build groups around. I actually did my Master’s dissertation on the subject (a specific aspect of it). There is this really great book called Communities of Practice by Etienne Wenger that illustrates how we form communities. But I agree, I think we all want somewhere that we can walk in and are greeted in the same manner as the cast of Cheers.

    1. i read this great book a few years ago about online tribes and i love them and man, we’ve got a good one going here, but you need those face to face tribes too. that sounds like a fascinating subject to write a disertation on, seriously. i don’t know why, but stuff like this is right up my alley. should i read that communities of practice book or is it really textbook-ish? thanks for the great comment, shannon. seriously. much love, sm

      1. It’s a bit textbook-ish. I remember it being in three parts and I think I skipped the second because it was a bit boring. But… You can always search Etienne Wenger on Youtube, he has several video interview up where he explains his theory and decide after that. He based his theory off of a work community (I think they were insurance people…). I actually attended a lecture he did and was interesting. He has a new book that just came out/is coming out too.

  5. I Know how that feels when you enter a shop and the guy on the other side of the counter knows what you want… there was this guy (he left now) in the Subway near my office, he knew exactly what kind of sandwich i wanted and what kind my friend liked. we both had different taste and usually when we go together its difficult to explain but he just knew. he would always smile at us and boom start making our sandwiches without asking what to add and what not…
    you are also an Amazonian, an online world Amazonian
    and the kind of warmth you spread online tells me you can easily be better than katie …..all the best for the job…
    🙂

    1. little miss, you are the sweetest thing ever and i can’t wait to do your reggie profile!! thank you for saying those kind things. that ‘everyone knows your name’ feeling is a good one, isn’t it? much love, mother

  6. It’s kind of funny ( or sad however you look at it), but since I started blogging back in October, I’ve become less social in person in exchange for being moreso online. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m really tired of the work that I do and am aggressively trying to switch gears and become a freelance writer, but with limited time during the day for that, I have given up a lot socially, especially at work. I used to fly around the country for 7 years as a consultant before grounding myself 2 years ago. I got to know the lady who works at the Wok N Roll by Gate G1 at the Minneapolis Airport. When I told her that I was taking a new job and wouldn’t be back, she gave me a spicy tuna roll for free. Sometimes I miss those days.

    1. this is such a cool story, rob, becoming friends with the lady at the ‘wok n’ roll’ in a particular airport. airports are always considered such transient places, but of course, if you fly constantly and along the same route, you’d become a ‘regular’ at places like this. you should write something about this, if you haven’t already. it’s really interesting. and i here you about the transitioning to freelance writing. it is NOT easy. so, something’s got to give. and it depends on where you are. i’m about to live in a place where face to face networking and socializing could actually help my writing – job – contacts, but when i lived in more remote places, i definitely cloistered myself off more… it’s a situational thing, i suppose. hugs and stuff, mother

  7. Amusingly, I know a woman who fits that description who’s in that line of work in New York. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if . . .

    I loved what you said about losing the sense of community in the Internet. That’s a good part of the reason I’ve been making myself shut off all the e-devices during the day, so that the kids and I actually go out an interact with, you know, real people. Neighbors. The ladies who work the dayshift at 7-11 and the guys who own the florist up the street. I love that people like you and I can meet and chat and share some slices of our lives online, but there’s nothing quite like walking into the florist and having Gary recognize me, with a cheery, “It’s February! You want lilies for your Mom, right?” or me seeing Gary without his smile and asking him what’s wrong and how we can help, then bringing back some bread and a crockpot of chili because life’s happened in a not-so-good way that day. The digital world, as awesome as it is, doesn’t connect us quite the same way.

    Anyway, you made me smile. Maybe I’m not as crazy as my constantly-connected friends and relatives think I am 😉

    Cheers!
    Kelly

    1. not crazy at all, kelly. i’d say you’re spot on…the girl i know in new york, the ‘kate’ is also of irish descent…is the girl you know of such? i’d die if it were the same person, too funny. anyway, i hear you. i have to make sure i shut things off, do blogging for only a certain amount of time per day, and be okay if i miss a post or two (though i’m really trying not to), and sometimes i have to be okay with being a bit delayed on writing comments or the rest of my life would stop and that would not be a good thing! i think it’s so great that you’re forcing yourself and the kids to go out and meet people. i can’t even imagine what it’s like for kids growing up today. they could literally have all their interactions online and something tells me that’s a) not healthy and b) dangerous. anyway, kell, always love seeing you here and reading your comments. much love, mother

  8. Yes, we are meant to be social animals. Face to face in person, not chatting online or skyping. I don’t think it’s any surprise that so many social problems have gotten worse as we’ve gotten more “connected” via the Internet.

    And as a writer, that real-word time is vital for generating ideas and stimulating the creativity!

    1. i’m so with you, jm. so with you. if i didn’t go out into the world, i’d have nothing. nothing! lol. looking forward to catching up on your blog today. xo, sm

    1. looooolllll, so i shouldn’t tell you what my practically all salad diet is doing to my body? i don’t know what’s happened to me on here, but i’ve become a tad scatalogical and i always considered myself so high brow…well, high brow-ish. lool. looking forward to reading your blog today, car. xo, sm

      1. You can never get too scatalogical as far as I’m concerned. I’ve noticed a direct relationship between my years of education and my love of this type of humor…

  9. I used to be a reporter, and I hated it as much as sh*ting soft-serve style poop, but I do miss the camaraderie of the news bureau. It was the best. We would do impressions of the people we interviewed. I once turned this transcript of a unbelievably crazy interview with a slum lord and his buddy Ralph into readers’ theater for my officemates to perform, which they did with relish. It almost made covering the annual wheat festival a bit bearable.

    1. people underestimate the importance of the QUALITY of people you work with. if the people are cool the environment and the job can be raised ten points on whatever the hell scale it is that measures such a thing, but you know what i mean. it can make a world of difference. can’t wait to do your reggie post, 7. can’t wait!

  10. Wonderful, thoughtful post! As someone who has just – this week – moved to a bigger city and is living right downtown in a 100+ year old hotel converted into condos, I can say that my husband and I thrive on knowing people in our immediate community. Before we moved, we were on a first name basis with servers and bartenders at different establishments, and we couldn’t go out without running into people we knew. But this was in a small city – one that we outgrew. It became tedious to know EVERYONE. I couldn’t go out without makeup because I’d inevitably run into my biggest enemy or an ex.

    This is a community I’d lived in – on an off- since I was born. When we are young, we make stupid mistakes and decisions (not illegal ones), but not ones that you want everyone in the world to know about. Back home, in nearly everyone’s minds, I’m a lawyer. Why would I give that up and take a job doing anything else? Every choice I made there was addressed with judgment. Here, no one know me, my background – anything about me. I can take a job serving coffee if I want without people questioning why I’m not working as an attorney.

    So while my hubby and I look forward to forming relationships with the servers and bartenders at the restaurant right across the street and people all over downtown, I’m glad that when I introduce myself, I can say, “Hi! I’m Cristy.” And when they ask me what I do, I’ll respond, “I’m a writer.” Starting over is a wonderful thing. As far as trying to be a Katie goes, I will tell you, “Give up now.” Being a Katie doesn’t come easy. I’m married to a male Katie. There’s no way to describe the way that my husband just naturally attracts people and puts them at ease. Everyone LOVES him. It’s really annoying, but not enough to keep me from loving him too. I don’t think this ability can be taught. If you’re like me – a pleasant enough person with the ability to piss off people at random – you need to know now that you’ll never become a Katie. It can’t be learned Just accept that you a are person whom people either love or hate. There’s no inbetweens. And that’s okay. Why? Because I adore you and your blog – and lots of others do as well. It’s our ability and willingness to piss people off that endears us to our readers. Yeah, you could change yourself and have more people that like you, but you won’t have more people who LOVE you. Just keep doin’ what you’re doing!

    1. cristy, i would give you the same opening words right back, this is such a wonderful and thoughtful comment! seriously, thank you for reading it. i thought it was so spot on that i dedicated the next post – ‘most annoying week ever’ to a good portion of what you’ve said here. i also linked back to you, so i hope it gets you more eyes, as you deserve them. AND i KNOW, first hand, how difficult it can be to keep this sh*t up while you’re trying to move! lol. anyway, i’m really glad you wrote this here. i needed to hear it. feck ’em, i am who i am, and that’s a pretty cool thing too. xo, sm

  11. You’re onto something here Mum and I think the operative word is ‘small’. Small family run businesses, small neighbourhood hubs and small interactions, one individual with another. All those things give us a sense of belonging and of being /known/.

    We moved to Warrandyte [semi-rural fringe suburb of Melbourne] about seven years ago but even before we arrived we knew our neighbours because they had watched over our block while the house was being built. The day after we finally moved in one of our neighbours knocked on the door with a plate of freshly baked scones.

    We’re not in each other’s pockets but we all look out for each other. If one of our dogs goes wandering off someone will snatch it away from the road and bring it home for us. When we shop we go to the small shops in the ‘village’ where the shopkeepers know us by name. And many of us, myself included become involved in community issues such as bushfire prevention because this is our place and we feel a loyalty to it.

    I haven’t felt this sense of community since I was a kid and I love it. I hope you get the job and I hope you get to experience that sense of belonging again. -hugs-

    1. yes, this is so great, ac/ andrea. i can’t even tell you how right i think you are — spot on, spot on. the thing is america was really and truly – being such a young country – built around the car. and that is disastrous in a lot of ways. it’s sprawl, sprawl, sprawl, and mall, mall, mall – a lot of places that you go. the trick is to find some community within that. AND for the future urban planners of america to build things around main streets and downtowns, even in small villages. to build things for and around the pedestrian and the biker and less around the car… time will tell if we ever accomplish this. as always, love reading your comments. much love, sm

  12. I miss community. It’s the reason (among many) that we left the ‘burbs and moved into the city. But we somehow found a street of cold hearted fuckbuckets. THEY DON”T EVEN HAND OUT CANDY ON HALLOWEEN on this block. That’s pure evil, that.
    Anyhoo, we’re moving, but just to say that community – real, live community – is essential to the human condition. A big part of good mental health, too.
    I would hang out at your cafe. I’d nurse the same coffee for 3 hours, but I’d be there, dammit.

    1. you had me at ‘cold hearted fuckbuckets’. i basically agree with everything you’ve said. period. and i’d love to start that cafe. i just don’t want to work at it. i’d throw it money, but, oh, shit, yeah – i have to wait till i have some. 😉 moms

  13. That’s one of the few things I love about my neighborhood in Orlando. The Masshole and I ride our bikes everywhere on the weekend and we’re constantly yelling hello to people on the sidewalks and restaurants we ride by. I missed that when I moved away from Orlando.
    Good luck on the job! And the high fiber diet. Oye

    1. that’s so cool about where you live in orlando. i have a cousin there and have been a few times. but, orlando – not everyone realizes – is one of the biggest cities in america and i have always thought that it was more sprawl and mall-ish like parts of LA can be. i didn’t know there were little enclaves where you could do stuff like that. so, i’m glad to hear that there are. good to see you here, too, adrienne. xo, sm

  14. I always wanted to be a “Norm”…
    Cheers was my all-time favourite show. I’ve still got the video I took of the last episode. Nice to see you used the picture with the original cast; I was only thinking about Nick Colosanto the other day and remembering how much I preferred “Coach” to “Woody”. (No disrespect to W. Harrelson)
    This whole post just fills me with warmliness and mush.
    Thank you, Mumsy, I’ll sleep well tonight. 🙂

    1. i’m really glad you liked it, mee. and as cheers indicates, that sense of LIVE community exists places, even here. i just need to find it in my new city…but, i will seek it out for sure. xo, sm

  15. I’ve never been good at interacting with people face-to-face. I get nervous, and then start breathing really heavily and sweating. I’m sure most people assume I’m playing with myself through my pants pocket.

    Also, I finally got my picture with the bowel goodies. Post coming SOON.

  16. I used to work at a Starbucks that was in the financial district of downtown Seattle, so we had tons of regulars that came in nearly everyday. It was so great to see them walk in and have their cup already marked or if it wasn’t too busy already made when they walked in the door. You know it made them feel special and that made me feel great. I still think about some of my favorite regulars and can even remember their drinks. It’s the regulars that make me want to go back, they make it easy to forget to crappy parts. 🙂

    1. i swear i responded to this lovely comment and now poofsey, it’s no where to be found. anyhooch, i think that’s so cool that you felt that way at starbucks. have you ever read the book, ‘starbucks saved my life’? i highly recommend it. a fascinating, fascinating read about an older man who lost his advertisint copywriting job at nearly 60 years old and had to go to work at starbucks. it is SOOO GOOD. check it out if you get the chance. xo, sm

  17. Okay, I’ve known some Katies in my life, and because I’m such a curmudgeon cum bitch, I don’t like them. Just want to smack them. It’s envy. I know. I recognize my weaknesses.

    As to pub culture, ack, I long for it. Now that I’m home full time, I don’t see people. I used to go to a bar every Friday night after work, and they knew me, and they knew my order, even knew that I drank beer, hot tea, and ice water simultaneously. It was like being royalty. I miss that. I want to be royalty again. And I want free meat from a third-generation butcher.

    Good luck on the job.

    1. looooool. i hear you. it’s easy to love AND hate a katie. and on the pub culture, i’m sooooo with you. a great place like that can really make you feel like royalty. thanks for stopping by here, poietes. i always LOVE reading your comments. xo, mom

  18. Damn mother, whatever the prize is that they hand out for articles like this, you ought to have it.
    Brilliant AND fecking funny, all in one piece.

  19. SM,
    I’m a social butterfly for a clown, which is not always easy, as many tend to run the other way when they see me coming. In some cases, like at the grocery store, some don’t have a choice but to stay and talk to me, because they’re paid to scan my food, for instance. And we get to know our names, and they end up saying: You’re not bad for a clown.
    But seriously, I make an effort to get to know people who I interact on a daily basis when it comes to “customer service”. And I’ll introduce my kids, and we end up enjoying the time we spend shopping for food…
    God this was long and pointless as a comment.
    Le Clown

    1. not long and pointless at all. and i’d expect such a great quality from le clown. i truly think it’s great that you’re teaching your kids such a thing. it’s so easy in this day and age to just hole up and never reach out. so easy and so counter-human — or whatever the word for counter-human would be…machine-like? robocop? tired.

      xo, sm

    1. nope, just getting back to it…fumbling through our apt search, but it’s almost done. almost done. then we have to feckin’ move everything. ugh. love you, pink, love you. gonna catch up on your blog today too.

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