taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I work in this little historic district, surrounded by quaint shops ("Original stained glss pilfered from a real mansion! Ony $495!") and not much else. The streets are populated with a combination of mothers with strollers and too much time on their hands, stoned hippies old and young, and a new type that I wasn't even aware existed: the Young Hipster Vegan in Recovery. In my business casual, high heels, and bright pink coat, I stand out like a sore thumb.

One advantage of being conspicuous, though, is that now all the neighborhood regulars know me. Crazy Coffee Man repeats the same line over and over: "I love your coat! I'll buy it off ya. $5! No? $7.50! But that's as high as I'll go!" Wine Shop Guy, who looks far too young to own such a SOphisticated shop, and who is bald as an egg and knows everything there is to know about chevre, waves cheerfully from his front step as I go by and inquires how I liked that last apricot-pumpkin salsa. Antiques Man says I look like a movie star every time I go into his shop, but the movie star I supposedly look like is forever changing (and in fact, it's usually someone third-rate and who I don't want to look like: Allison Janney? I do not look like Allison Janney. I'm far too young!)

And finally... oh great God in heaven--I have finally become a Regular at the coffee shop.

I realized this transition had occurred today, when they knew what I wanted, actually SMILED and chatted with me, offered to let me taste a new organic blend, and charged me half the regular price. It's entirely possible that today they were on E instead of just plain old smokin' the tweed, but nonetheless. I am now a regular.

This coffeeshop, mind you, is not suited to the needs of businesspeople. Nothing in the little historic area is--you have to plan at least an hour for lunch, and plan to pay at least $7 for it. (Oh, and it will be vegetarian. I don't care where you eat, it's not gonna have meat.) The service at this shop is is relentlessly slow, the food half-heartedly warmed. The breads are delicious, and the coffee varies, and the counter help sport tatoos and those giant earrings that look like you stuck a cork in your earlobe. They know people's names but if they don't know yours, they ignore you relentlessly. They are all about 20 years old, but their world-weariness makes you imagine for a moment that they're all eternally old. The shop is only open when they want to be, and never on Mondays, and sometimes not the rest of the week either. And they're probably the only coffee shop in town that opens at 10am.

And yet I kept showing up. It was the closest place, after all, to get my fix. And the quiche was okay, when I could put up with getting run over by double-wide Peg Peregos pushed by Hip Mamas. And after a while, I guess they kinda got used to me. They started offering to cook my lunch in advance so it would be ready for me at 12:30. They started asking me questions, and knowing what I liked. And, mind you, I am not particularly friendly in general. But still--I am now a regular. And so I get the special treatment.

It really is true. All you have to do is keep showing up.

3 Comments:

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://entertainment.msn.com/celebs/celeb.aspx?c=298301&mp=m

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peregos are for dumbasses. I'm dying to know what your sandwich is.

 
At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well not literally.

 

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