Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Starbucks, It's Not Me. It's You.

Dear Starbucks,

Remember how we met?  I was in college and you had just moved from Seattle down to San Diego.  I was seen frequently with Espresso Roma or Allegro.  But you didn't let that stop you.  You were smooth, casually popping up by the bank or in the grocery stores until I started to notice you.  You were always there, always around--quiet yet confident.  Very few could rock a green mermaid and make it work.  

Eventually I couldn't resist your nod to Melville, your intellectual yet modern look, your accessibility.  When I cheated on Espresso Roma and Allegro, you didn't judge.  Instead, you welcomed me with open arms and made me so comfortable--encouraging me to stay a while and even study if I needed to.

And before I knew it, we were in love.  We spent time together every day.  You were there for me when Espresso Roma and Allegro weren't.  Eventually I let their hard locations and lack of parking go.  I could only do that because I knew that day or night, beach or city, grocery store or book store I could always find you and you'd have exactly what I'd need.

We've been through a lot together, Starbucks.  California to Washington.  Washington back to California.  California to Oregon.  We've been to New York, Vancouver, B.C., Charleston, Arizona, Dublin, Ireland and I'm sure you'll be in Paris by September if you're not already there.  And that's what the problem is.

Lately, Starbucks, you've been working my last nerve.  You're getting all possessive and shit. You've kicked Espresso Roma and Allegro's asses and taken over their turf.  You're coming into my neighborhood's new little shopping center despite the fact that everyone wants Peet's and that you have 4 additional locations within a 1/2 mile.  It's too much, Starbucks.  You're suffocating me.

I appreciate the gesture of you hanging up a sign that says my experience should be perfect every time I come to see you.  It shows that you know it has been lacking lately.  But it's actions not words, Starbucks.  You say you want to give me what I need, but you don't.  Lattes are SUPPOSED to come with foam.  You're NOT supposed to get a third degree burn when you hold your cup for longer than 3 seconds.  You've gotten so ... aggressive all of a sudden.  And that's another thing.

You used to be happy to see me, Starbucks.  But now you just lift your head and barely gaze my direction.   I think you're asking what you can get for me, but honestly, it's so inaudible that you could be saying "ajdoislandln osdfjoiaflwef jdoifjoda?"  and I wouldn't know the difference.  Where's the effort?

Where's the confidence to let other people in without feeling threatened?  It's like you're building your own little empire.  Where's the warmth in atmosphere?  Maybe you could take a little from the boiling coffee temps?  I've tried to make it work, really I have, but you're just not who I fell in love with anymore.

I think it's time we part ways.  I wish you all the best.  I know there are plenty of people who want what you have to offer and you won't miss me at all.  Oh, and if you do happen to see me in Paris, please don't be offended when I cross the street and pretend I don't know you.

We are so over,


Anonymous said...

They are and have been in Paris. Where do you go to find the Americans?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the time we've had together, and I realize that you need your space.

But I'll be here, waiting for you with open arms when you're ready to come back.

And I know you will ...


Anonymous said...

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Just want to say you are a very entertaining writer, great voice and creative. I added you to my favorites, look forward to more great stuff. thanks and keep it up!

Don't fall for those suave french cafes with their Louis Jordan/Maurice Chevalier atomosphere. They only want you for your money, they don't love you for you.

Love, American Style. It's truer than the red, white and blue-oo-oo-ooo (you are probably too young to remember that song or show. Great tune by The Cowsills).

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