I still work one day per week at a local bakery coffee shop. This means I get paid minimum wage, have to share minimal tips, and people pretty much treat me like dirt because they are the only ones with special requests regarding the urgency of their order or the only ones that request I bend or break company policy regarding discounts and gift certificates.

So, what exactly is my motivation for this form of masochism? The few delightful customers who are appreciative of a place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee with their friends. I might mention that most of these customers are over the age of 70.

One such customer is a man who will be turning 87 in a few days. He informed me of this news this morning. But of course, I went out to greet him due to the following conversation:

Manager: Hey, Laura, your boyfriend is here.
Me: Who?
Manager: You know, the old guy with the puff ball on his hat
Me: David!
(later in the back of house)
Manager: How’s your boyfriend?
Me: I don’t mind you calling him that. He treats me better than most of the men I’ve dated anyway.

No, I’m not gold-digging, nor do I have any intention of developing romantic attachments to bakery customers. I would like to admit, however, that in observing several regular customers, I do start dreaming.

I look at the older women and men that come through and hope that my later years are filled with good friends and coffee. I hesitate to call my employer’s coffee “good” though. Back to the point, I’ve seen several couples stay loving and sweet through each others’ health issues. They still treat their spouses with respect even after their better years have long past. They continue to cultivate meaningful relationships with others in the community through common interests. And even though an adventure might consist of having regular coffee instead of decaf, they still branch out. They are quick to smile and share their learned experience while taking interest in others’ lives. They are not “cute old men/women.” They are dear souls living out their days with enthusiasm and activity.

A few weeks ago, I watched as a table of said elderly people left for the day. As they remained jovial and said their good-byes, I found myself thinking, “I hope I marry someone who will grow old that way.” Maybe I’m weird. Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first time.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cathi Willms aka "Mom"
    Dec 10, 2011 @ 10:35:21

    I hope you do too.



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