Free theatrical performances going on now at your local Starbucks

Just about every time I go to a Starbucks and stay and sit, there are these two people who are always there. It doesn't matter which Starbucks, or what sort of community, or what time of day -- there are these two people who are always there. I think Starbucks might hire them as some sort of entertainment.

They usually come across as two women, though occasionally there will be a woman and a gay-presenting man. They're almost always white, but periodically one of them is Asian. About half the time they're in their 30s or so, and about half the time in their 50s. Sometimes there's one of each, but I think this might be a production glitch, as it's uncommon.

The two people stay and talk for a long time, as if they'd planned to do so, yet they never order their drinks in a "for-here" mug. They rarely order anything but a drink. They frequently also have a plastic cup of water in addition to their coffee-esque drink.

Their discussions are loud enough for everyone to hear pretty clearly, yet not quite reaching the level of annoyingly or inappropriately loud. The discussions span a variety of topics, but they're clearly rehearsed, and everything discussed is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. There are never any "um"s or "hm"s, and absolutely no laughter. They speak with polished grammar, and always use a lot of adjectives and pop-psych words. The passive voice is used excessively. The discussions involve a lot of insights into people's feelings and motivations for doing things, as well as what is wrong with people and how this might be fixed. There's an early-adolescent-like amazement in their voices, as if they've JUST DISCOVERED that it's possible to have insight into why someone might do something. Also, they seem to have just discovered adjectives. Actually, most everything is an extremely new and exciting revelation, and the other person happily plays along. They'll talk about how they just discovered that you CAN ACTUALLY PAY YOUR BILLS by going ONLINE ON THE COMPUTER. Now, these always seem to be people of a great deal of education and privilege, but everything is NONETHELESS VERY SHINY AND NEW. Even a simple compliment just isn't so simple:

"I wanted to tell you that I REALLY LIKE that hat that you are WEARING. The textures and the COLORS are just so FLATTERING."

"Oh, it's so INTRIGUING that you MENTION that, because this HAT is one that was given to me by this NEIGHBOR, who really has this KNACK for knitting things, and I feel that it's very MEANINGFUL to have gotten a HAT from this NEIGHBOR, who gave me a HAT, particularly during this phase in my life when I've been laying the groundwork to address my naïveté."

"Well, it would appear to me that perhaps it is NOT actually knit, because if you'll LOOK, you'll see how there are these PATTERNS, which makes me wonder whether it's actually WOVEN, because sometimes clever people who are inclined to give hats to their close confidantes might actually take the initiative to WEAVE them."

"On second thought, it seems that perhaps you are RIGHT. Regardless, having received a HAT just further affirms to me that I am a good person, who deserves to have good things happen to me, such as being the recipient of a hat, whether woven or knitted. Now, at times when I've been wearing a hat, as well as at other times that I'm NOT wearing a hat, I'm beginning to realize that I'm starting to install this ABILITY to determine whether I can think POSITIVELY about a SITUATION."

Also, it bears mentioning that these people never come in, and they never leave. They're just there.


Molly said...

OMG, I know where these people audition! It's at the Waban Starbucks! There's frequently (I would say always, but she's not ALWAYS there, but then again, I arrive at various times of the day) a woman in her late 40s-early 50s talking Very Earnestly to a usually-college-aged, always-white-or-Asian (but-usually-white) woman.

I thought she was doing job coaching or life coaching or something, but now I know, she's running auditions!

OH, and just today, there was a pair of college student females talking about how some guy had visited one of their rooms and then decided he had to go study at 2AM instead, but there was no giggling or indignant huffs or hesitations or anything; it was like they were reading a script.

Maybe they were rehearsing. Or maybe they're interns, I JUST DON'T KNOW.

Jodie said...

Wow, they talk like Miki types.

eeka said...

Oh, I should add...

Someone who read this a few months back pointed out that the similarly aged pairs in the Starbuckses are AA or NA folks. Totally makes sense.