Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bustin' Up a Starbucks

Recently I read that the smell of coffee causes a relaxation reaction in most humans... This post falls into my list of things that make me say, "Hmmm."

The scene is the Starbucks off PD in Madison. I don't normally get frufru coffee in the morning but I was going to be driving for about three hours so I thought I'd stop. I pulled in to the drive as two girls were walking out of the store. There was a vehicle in front of me that stopped to allow the girls to pass.

The parking lot is narrow. You drive through vehicles parked on both sides to get to the drive through and the lady in front of me was planning to use the drive through. The girls were parked towards the front of the lot and, if the lady in front of me (let's call her Ms Too Nice for Her Own Good, Nice for short) had pulled forward, she would have blocked the girls in.

Then a car pulled up behind me. She had not seen the girls walk out and could not see them in their car. All she could see was that there was this huge gap in the cars in the drive up line. She (let's call her Honker) started honking.

And then there are the girls who walked out of Starbucks, in front of the vehicle that allowed them to pass, and are, now, sitting in their car chatting -- as opposed to pulling out of their parking spot so that Nice could pull forward.

And me in the middle, waiting to park. Honk! Honk! From behind. Oblivious girls chatting. Nice, sweating an uncomfortable decision: Who to inconvenience?

As Honker became increasingly impatient and, obviously agitated a parking space opened at the far end of the lot. Honker, tires squealing, whipped around Nice and proceeded to park at the far end of the lot. Nice, finally pulled a bit forward, blocking in Oblivious Girls but opening room to another parking spot that I took.

I walked into the Starbucks thinking Honker was rude, but that it was over. As I was standing in line, I watched, dumbfounded as Honker walked up to Nice's car and proceeded to tell her off for... what? Not pulling forward? Honker, apparently having said her piece, turned and walked into the store. Nice, looking miserable, chucked an empty water bottle at Honker's back (apparently intending to miss -- it was a wimpy throw).

That was the end of the altercation. Honker got in line behind me. She was pretty, blonde, over 6 feet tall in her heels and didn't look like she had just reamed a complete stranger for being overly nice.

Nice must have made it through the drive through, eventually. She was an attractive African American woman.

I got my frufru coffee and left. Oblivious girls were still chatting in their car.

I ended up wondering who was more miserable. Was it Nice for being right (mostly) and mistreated? Or was it Honker who, inconceivably, believed that it was appropriate to tell someone off for no good reason? Or was it me, who watched the whole thing and once again decided that I really don't get people.

One thing I know. It wasn't Oblivious Girls, who are probably still having a good time talking somewhere.