Sunday, October 21, 2012
Is Starbucks overpriced?
I'll admit part of me doesn't really get the whole Starbucks thing. When something as basic as a cup of coffee costs as much as twice that charged elsewhere, you'd be forgiven for hoping the thing dispenses fairy dust on its way through your digestive system. That it requires you to learn an entirely new language to order without embarrassing yourself is another tip-off that this is as artificial as artificial, margin-boosting pretension can get.
And yet, here we were on a Saturday night, one of those unplanned, errand-running slices of time that somehow turned into an ersatz date. Because you never want to miss an opportunity to go on a date with your wife. The more blue collar Tim Hortons seemed a little, I don't know, too blue collar, too fluorescent, too cafeteria-ish. Besides, their WiFi never works properly and the largely septuagenarian staff there think wireless networking is the work of the technological devil.
And despite the fact that here in Canada there's now a Tim's on every other corner, the nearest one was about 800 metres away, as the crow flies. And it was cold and raining outside.
So Starbucks it was, and despite the outrageous bottom line, my barely suppressed desire to call it freakin-huge instead of venti, and the fact that every last table was occupied by zombie-eyed, laptop-toting hipsters watching Gangnam Style video parodies on YouTube, it was the right place to be.
After a few minutes, a table opened up and we scooted into the dim corners between the zombie-eyed YouTubers. And we chatted. And we shared a blueberry scone. And we people-watched. And we chatted some more. And we just...enjoyed.
I still don't get Starbucks. I can't imagine spending 7 bucks for glorified coffee on anything remotely approaching a regular basis. But on this once-in-a-while rainy night, I'm glad we found ourselves here. Because sometimes a bit of a treat is just what the soul needs.
Your turn: How do you treat yourself?
About this photo: We're celebrating Thematic's "drink up" week. You can, too, by heading here. New theme launches tomorrow (Monday) at 7pm Eastern. Suggestions welcome.