September 11, 2012

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop (and why you probably shouldn’t)

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Cue “There She Goes” by The La’s and picture me, (feel free to be as flattering as you’d like), wandering through a small town with a cup of coffee in hand and waving to passersby. For me, coffee is something that would serve as a turning point in my life.

When I was younger, I would watch Gilmore Girls obsessively, and therefore felt that if I was to have a quirky life, I would need to adopt a coffee addiction. Perhaps I would spend my days sipping coffee, reading classic novels in the town gazebo, or lying on the grass, staring up at the blue sky. I would also need to meet the love of my life in a coffee shop.

You see, I had this idea that I would be sitting in said coffee shop, shamelessly dancing in my seat to a song that just came on, while sipping my coffee and typing an article furiously on my laptop, because that seems like something quirky people might do. I would glance up and notice a guy shamelessly dancing across the room. He would have thick-rimmed square glasses, green eyes and a dazzling smile. We would blush slightly as we noticed one another and that would be that.

Cue “My Little Corner of the World” by Yo La Tengo. We would talk over coffee, which we naturally took the exact same way. We would smile at each other as we realized this and proceed to share musical interests, which once again, would be the same. Flash to images of us walking through a park, feeding bread to ducks as he takes my hand (zoom in on hands). Flash to the fall where we’re sitting under a tree, reading Proust to each other. Then in the winter, after playfully throwing snowballs, we would kiss and go inside to lie by the fireplace. That, to me, was love. And all of it would happen because of my addiction to coffee. Fade out as song ends.

That’s all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day if you actually meet a guy at a coffee shop spasmodically dancing, you shouldn’t give him a call. He probably has some form of Tourette’s or owns a family of ferrets and has a healthy obsession with taxidermy. Either way, bad idea. Also, if you happen to meet someone who seems pretty normal at a coffee shop, if he’s wearing hipster glasses and reading Proust, I can almost guarantee he’s overcompensating for something. If he has to put on some anti-government, non-conformist, vegan, conspiracy-theorist, underground music-loving front, toss him in the NEVER DATE pile. He probably has some deep-seated father issues or swings his bat in a different direction.

The scenario that I listed above sounds like some crap fan fiction a la Nicholas Sparks. You will come to note that I refer to good ol’ Sparks often when making these types of comparisons, and for good reason. He’s makes money by feeding into the delusions of impressionable girls. Don’t buy into it!

Maybe you will meet “the one” at some clichéd coffee shop or mom-and-pop bookstore. But the likelihood of your relationship turning out like a montage in a Rachel McAdams movie is slim. So lower your expectations. Not in men, but in their abilities to conform to our views of ideal romantic protagonists. They don’t have directors narrating their every move. Trust me. No one is inside their heads saying, “Climb the Ferris Wheel — she’ll date you then!” or “Stand outside her window with a boombox! That’ll win her over!” They have to figure out what we want for themselves; they won’t meet our pre-set expectations. So throw those away and let your own relationship unfold, because your story could be one for the books,(and not the sappy romantic kind, but the realistic but equally satisfying kind.) Don’t look to make your life become a romance novel, but rather look for your life to write its own romance.

Gag me, I’ve been watching too many Hugh Grant movies.

Original Author: Rachel Ellicott