Thursday, May 25, 2006


I get creeped out by people who feel intense loyalty to corporations. While corporations are technically “persons” under the law for some purposes, a corporation won’t suggest you put on a sweater when you are feeling cold, or feel sad for you if you are unwell, or tell you that you have spinach in your teeth after a meal. Unless, of course, you pay it to do so.

Loyalty to people, I get. Though sometimes the distinction between the two kinds of loyalty gets confusing. Things get even more confusing when dealing with small businesses.

The result of this confusion is that I currently carry the great guilt that comes with sneaking around behind someone’s back. In short, I’m a coffee slut.

For the past eight months, the object of my affection was Shakira. Shakira works at the nearby mom and pop coffee shop. She is tall and exotic with a mass of black curly waist-length hair. She calls me pumpkin. She noticed my haircut.

She also remembered my order after my very first visit: “Large coffee no milk, Pumpkin?”

Unfortunately, the coffee there just isn’t that great. It is rather weak. I kept going back because I like the idea of supporting local business, and because of my platonic Shakira crush.

But three weeks ago another little coffee shop opened up about a block from my place. I was lured in by the smell of freshly baked scones. The beautiful and perky co-owner welcomed me with a big smile. As she poured me a large she chatted to me about how she and her partner “fell in love” with this coffee and felt they just “had to” open a coffee shop. I was charmed.

The coffee was the best I’ve tried. Bold, but not bitter. Spicy flavour. Deep and heavenly aroma. I was hooked.

My walk to work brings me first to the new coffee shop, moments later I walk by Shakira’s place. I’ve taken to grabbing a coffee at the new place, and then guiltily rushing by Shakira with my head down on the opposite side of the street. Sometimes I take a one-block detour to avoid the large window through which Shakira sometimes looks out.

Unfortunately last night I unexpectedly bumped into her at the grocery store.

Shakira: Oh, hi!
Me: [looking at my shoes] hi..
Shakira: Haven’t seen you in a while…
Me: Um, yeah. I’ve been, well. You know.
Shakira: Yeah. I know.
Me: Okay – well, bye. See you soon…
Shakira: Right. Bye.

She totally knows. I’m so busted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post. I also find that sometimes I avoid places because of TOO MUCH loyalty. Like I live around the street from a bar that I go to at least twice a week. Sometimes I get embarassed walking by so I intentionally cross the street. This is not really a good story...

Anyway, sorry if I seemed overly aggressive re: drawing lots today. I was in a rush and well on my way to extreme dehydration at the moment. You know...

6:20 PM  

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