Saturday mornings are usually coffee mornings for me. I don’t typically drink coffee, as I prefer tea. However, Friday night is the one time that I work away from home and I don’t arrive home from my shift until late. That means that on Saturday morning I am really tired–not only sleepy tired but physically and mentally tired too. (And pregnancy does nothing to help this situation!) So, come Saturday morning, I want coffee. (Interestingly, I only drink decaf coffee. I wonder if it’s just my brain wanting the taste of coffee.)
Last Saturday I decided to treat Strawberry and myself and go to a little doughnut shop nearby. It’s not like a Dunkin’ Donuts or a coffee shop. It’s more like an old fashioned diner-ish place. You know the kind you see in old movies where the stereotypical police go to get their doughnuts in the middle of the night? It’s open 24 hours and it has a long counter with little short bar stools that spin around and a couple little tables for two along the windows. There is a whole wall full of doughnuts (so many to choose from!) and a glass case (like in a deli) with lots of pastries and cookies. They also have a window you can see into the back kitchen where they make everything, which I have always thought was cool. It reminds me of the place in Homer Price. The story about how Homer has to watch his uncle’s (I think it was his uncle’s) doughnut shop for a little while and a lady with a fancy bracelet comes in and then has to come back later because somehow she has lost her fancy bracelet at the shop. And meanwhile the doughnut machine has gone wild and won’t stop making doughnuts. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I recommend getting yourself a copy of Homer Price. It’s an awesome book and that’s the best story in it.
Anyway, this place is two minutes from our home and we decided to go last Saturday. We sat at the counter and Strawberry had milk and a pink bunny cookie (she is enamored with the color pink right now) and I had a blueberry puff pastry turnover and decaf coffee. I might have tired to imagine I was in an old movie had I not had an antsy two-year-old with me. She quickly found that the stools spun around and so had plenty of fun with that.
As we sat there, no less than three different groups of people talked to us. That’s the kind of thing I imagine happens in small towns on a regular basis–people stop for a bit of friendly conversation. We don’t live in a small town. Here it is much more common to give a polite smile if you happen to make eye contact. However, since having a child I’ve noticed that people are much more likely to stop and talk. We talked to a mother with an energetic little boy. Then a couple with a teenage daughter and her boyfriend stopped on their way out to tell me they thought Strawberry was cute (always a nice thing for this mama to hear!). Lastly, there was an older couple sitting behind us that we talked to for quite a while about kids, grandkids, and family life.
I think if we had gone to a Starbucks or Panera Bread or Dunkin Donuts we probably would not have these conversations. (Here I should note that I enjoy going to those places too!) But there is something about the atmosphere of a neighborhood doughnut shop that encourages us to be more friendly. And we spent quite a pleasant hour enjoying coffee and human connection on a rainy Saturday.