Divine Calm: I am the demographic Starbucks is targeting

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11.14.2005

I am the demographic Starbucks is targeting

Coffee is controlling my life. Like so many people out there, I am comforted by its warmth and aroma as I guzzle it down my throat. Sure, it costs me more money than I would like to admit, but like all addicts, I must keep the full effects of this addiction secret.

Caribou, Einstein's, and Starbucks are Disney World for me. When I enter these shops, I am on sensory overload and yearn to buy all of the indie music, chocolate nibblers, and squishy stuffed animal pencils that I can afford. The coffee cups, espresso machines, pastries and seating are all beautiful and appeal to my burgeoning yuppie mindset.

Like a game show contestant, I also look forward to being able to say, "I know! I know! I know the answer to today's '10 cents off your coffee quiz'." It's amazing how often my caffeine-deprived mind can correctly answer this trivia. What a boost to my morale. Not only do the quizzes make me happy, but the people who work in Caribou and Starbucks are the friendliest people, ever. They are masters of small talk without sounding obnoxious. By the way, Victoria's Secret and Express salesclerks could learn a thing or two from these employees. When I leave the coffee shops I almost always have a smile on my face, and I swear this is due to more than the knowledge that I will soon have my caffeine fix.

Yesterday, I further cemented my lifelong patronage in the coffee shop industry when I asked my boyfriend to join me in a walk to the local Starbucks. Without really knowing how long of a walk this was going to entail, my health-conscious boyfriend agreed once I mentioned exercise and walking the pups. It was a gloomy but relatively warm fall morning, and the four of us trudged along the roads without sidewalks for what seemed like an hour. My boyfriend continuously reminded me to be careful since we were so close to traffic, but I was on a mission for coffee and could not be deterred.

When we finally arrived at Starbucks while panting and sweating, I went inside while my boyfriend held onto the pups' leashes. The normally cheerful Starbucks employees quizzically eyed me when I asked for a large cup of water for the worn-out pups. The woman who was taking my order paused for a moment before asking if I needed ice with it. Um, no.

Murphy, the shep mix, gratefully lapped up the water as if he had been trekking in a dessert, while Winston, the beagle mix, scoffed at the suggestion of drinking after Murphy. Nevertheless, my caffeine-parched lips thoroughly enjoyed the grande-peppermint-mocha-skim-latte I purchased for 3 dollars and change. However, caffeine's clarity made me realize what a yuppie I have become. The next thing I know, I will be knitting little sweater sets for Winston's delicate constitution. Oh wait, coincidentally, I just taught myself to knit this past weekend.