Mmm… coffee. The aroma, the chocolatey taste, the key to love swimming in its murky waters…
That’s right, the key to love, tucked quietly into everyone’s favorite drink. Or at least it was for me. Let me explain.
I was fresh out of college when I started working as a barista at the local coffee shop. I had just started dating this guy I met through some friends, so I was not interested in the flirtation of customers. And believe me, there is a lot of flirting that goes on at coffee shops. If any behavioral psychologists out there care to enlighten the rest of us on the subject of flirtation in the service industry, I’d love to hear it. But I digress–back to my story.
So I was not looking for love when I started my stint as a barista. I already had a boyfriend and thought I was reasonably happy with him. At least, I thought that for a few months before he became much less charming, much less interesting and much less intelligent. Okay, he probably didn’t becomes less intelligent, but I finally caught on to the fact that he was the most brilliant person I’d ever met.
While that relationship was crumbling, I was building new friendships at the coffee shop, not only with my co-workers, but with customers as well. A few of them are still some of my closest friends, and one of them is now my husband. A family friend of the shop owners, he was a regular who, rather than becoming less of all the qualities I listed above, became increasingly more: more charming, more intriguing, more intelligent, more attractive, more fun.
One night as I was closing down the shop and washing dishes, I glanced over at him sitting at a table, working on homework. I’m going to marry him. The thought snuck into my mind and announced itself with a giant exclamation point. I nearly dropped the mug in my hands. I let my eyes stretch back to where he was sitting and felt myself calm down. I was going to marry him, and that was a great thing.
About two weeks later, the boyfriend I was still clinging to for no apparent reason dumped me. Another six weeks later and I was on my first date with my husband to be.
Today, and every day, I am grateful for coffee. I’m grateful for the little conspirators in our lives that push us towards a happier, more fulfilling life, all while we think we’re just making lattes.