Back at Starbucks – 7 (And they’ve ruined it)

I dropped this thread 2.5 months ago (because it was worn out), but now I unexpectedly find myself at Starbucks so it’s time for another post. I come here, partly to consume their product, but mostly to have a place to hangout while my house is unavailable to me (due to an unwanted “guest”).  At first I resented being exiled but then eventually started enjoying my day at Starbucks as “my” day. After a few weeks of travel I thought the Sunday invasions were over, but, no, it’s just the time that has changed. So in the middle of doing things at home in my first Sunday at home in nearly a year, bam, here I am on the street again.

That would be bad enough but it messes with my diet. Normally I left Starbucks about 5PM for my weekly visit to my mother and I’d indulge myself with my only junk food meal per week. But now my schedule is off. I have to stay gone too late tonight to eat an early “dinner” so instead I’ve having a Starbucks snack (410 cals) and will still have “dinner” and thus blow my calorie budget for the day. Oh well, that’s what the 600 cal/day fast is supposed to fix.

But the real irritating thing is that Starbucks decided to remodel. They re-arranged everything (can cram in more people) and the soft chairs I used to inhabit are gone. So instead it’s a hard chair (tough on my butt with all the lean muscle mass I’ve lost as part of my extreme diet) and a tiny table. Definitely not an encouragement to linger very long.

But this was a refuge, not a quick and/or social stop. I guess Starbucks saw me (and a few others as freeloaders, in for the cushy chair, free WiFi and bathrooms, and the free refills). But, hey, I have my gold card, I’ve spent more at Starbucks than any other establishment like this (especially since coffee is zero cal). But assuming Starbucks made about 50% gross margin, it is true I was only paying about $0.50 to consume their pleasant space. Some analyst somewhere figured this out (curse you, big data) and decided Starbucks outlets can make some marginally larger amount of sales if they discourage people.

And of course it’s summer now, where I can’t survive outside for more than a few minutes (this isn’t the nice climate of Wyoming high country where I spent 24 hours/day outside and loved it). Years ago when I’d be evicted from my house (same reason) I used to drive to a rest stop on I-80 that was on a creek (and I had a VW van then), so I used to pick up on the old Chris Farley sketch of “Livin’ in a van down by the river”. I enjoyed that too, for about two months out of the year (winter-time, at least all I had to do was wear lots of clothes, but summertime – no cure).

If outside were tolerable I’d just get an annual pass to the state parks and keep my camping stuff in the car and just leave early Sunday morning and come back Monday, but they’d find me dead if I tried to spend the entire day outside here in the summer (for me, it’s worse than the southwest is today for normal people, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity)

So now what am I going to do. My limit sitting on this hard chair is probably only 30 minutes. I guess instead of treadmill in the basement now I’ll do laps around Starbucks until I’m ready to drop of heat prostration and then duck back inside for a dose of AC. What a way to blow a Sunday.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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