Thirty Pieces of My Thirty Years #2: Coffee Shops

Perhaps it's a little sad that coffee shops are making my list as one of the 30 most influential things in my life. I'll be honest. I do like coffee, and my husband likes coffee - a lot. So we spend more than our share of time at our neighborhood Starbucks (I walked there this morning in fact). But I like to think it's more than just a yuppie obsession. After all, coffee shops have been a major part of a lot of big things in my life. It was in a coffee shop that I:

*Stayed up until 2 a.m. talking about boys and life with the KAR squared group.
*Met my first NOVA roommates, Jill and Leah.
*Was first asked out by CJ.
*Dated CJ - we were both in grad school while we were dating, so many of our dates involved studying in a coffee shop together.
*Conferenced with my first freshman composition students.
*Developed my friendships with Becca, Cortney, Lisa, Randi, Tyler, Sue, Heidi, Kellie, Kimberly, Abby, and pretty much everyone else I know.
*Graded thousands of middle school and college essays and read my way through grad school.
*Enjoyed newlywed Saturday mornings - reading and Starbucks followed by a walk to the farmers' market.

So thank you Starbucks, Murky Coffee, Le Madeleine, Greenberry's, Dunkin Donuts, Panera, Caribou, Prince Street Cafe, Seattle's Best, Jazzman's, Saxby's, Chestnut Hill, Peet's, and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Thank you for hundreds of house coffees, iced blendeds, pumpkin spice lattes, and hazelnut iced coffees. Thank you for comfy chairs and clean tables. Thank you for space to people watch and eavesdrop and be surrounded by people even when you need to be by yourself. Thank you for good memories with my husband and for creating a place in our culture where relationships happen.