20 Minutes In A Coffee Shop (My Reason For NOT Joining Pinterest)

Coffee with - POD -
Photo by Hallbadorn

Hansel had an early Friday morning breakfast meeting for his work--and I decided to tag along to go hang out at the coffee shop across the street with the intention to do some reading and journaling.  Instead, I became mesmerized with people watching.

It all started with the lady behind the counter that took my order.   She was obviously flustered by the morning rush and greeted everyone with a sour expression and a put-out, hurried attitude.

My smile and patience seemed to have no effect on her.  She was numb to any human kindness and instead quickly rushed me aside and moved on to ask the next person what they wanted before I could even get my credit card out to pay.


Then there was the short, little guy who came in driving literally one of those monster trucks that seem to terrorize the Arizona roadways.  Even though this is the busiest time of day for the coffee shop--and parking is sparse, he made a point to park his truck diagonally over two spots so that it would purposely take up even more space than it already obnoxiously does.  I had to chuckle when he got out.  He was such a little tiny guy in stature, pushing 60, and obviously dyed his thinning hair blonde.  He stood in line texting texting texting--and never once looked up.  Not even at the sour lady behind the counter when he ordered his latte something.  The thing about this guy is that he didn't just walk.  He stomped.  He stomped out of his monster truck, across the parking lot.  He stomped those six feet in line.  And with his latte something in hand, he stomped his whole way back out again.


Next was the business man.  All dressed to the nines in a designer suit.  He had this incredible air about him.  Confidant. Determined.  Sexy.  Like he walked right out of a magazine ad. He stood tall and alert in line.  No cell phone in hand, but his credit card ready to go.  You could tell he was a pro at this.  A usual morning stop, I'm sure.  He ordered with a polite smile, direct eye contact,  and then left as finely pressed as he was when he came in.  But he surprised me as he leaned over and put his key into a 1960's black Mustang.  The kind that has the white racing stripes down the middle.  Not what you expect from a man in a periwinkle dress shirt and tie sporting a carmel drink with whipped cream.


Last was the Grandma holding the hand to one of the most precious little girls I've even seen.  She had pigtails in her hair.  Pigtails.  Need I say more.  And Grandma didn't look like your average Grandma.  Nope.  She was wearing skinny jeans snatched right out of the juniors section of JC Penny's---the kind with the fancy embroidery on the back pockets and all.  On top, a tight little purple shirt covered by a form fitting denim jacket--possibly from the junior's section as well.  But it was her hair that caught my attention most.  If you would be standing behind her in line you would immediately think she was a woman in her twenties.  She had long blonde hair--styled like any college student--except her face, with all those beautiful wrinkles of a life well lived, gave her age away.  She ordered a latte something and sat down on the couch with her granddaughter and handed her a coloring book and crayons.  The little girl scribbled in and out of the lines and Grandma paid more attention to the men that came and went.  Finally, Grandma came over to me,  showed me her digital camera, and nervously said:

My friends say if I don't take photos of my granddaughter, well, she'll grow up so fast I'll be sure to forget.  Would you mind taking a photo of us please?

I would love to.  And so she sat back down, wrapped her arm around the cutie-pa-tutie and I tried to coax the little girl into a smile.  But three photos later, she never smiled.

When I sat back down the cutie-pa-tutie ripped a finished page out of her coloring book and came over to show me.

Are you an Artist?  I asked.

No, no I'm not an Artist, her Grandmother replied--having no clue what her cutie-pa-tutie just did.  Oh, oh you mean her, she said.

And the cutie-pa-tutie turned around and went and sat back down.


At that point I had enough.  Twenty minutes had gone by.

I turned to look out the window for a second and watch the chubby little birds dance and prance around in the rocks next to the bushes.  The sun at this time of the morning is the most beautiful of golden.  And the breeze was so vibrant that it kept making the door to the coffee shop open and close magically on its own.

And hey! Wasn't I suppose to be reading and journaling anyways?!?!

Maybe it's because I spend a lot of time alone.  A lot of time just working and staying at home.  That sometimes, when I go out, I feel like the whole world is putting on a show for me.  I always become so mesmerized--yes, mesmerized is the only word I can use to describe it--by everything I see.

And here's my whole point---my whole reason for sharing.  I feel our lives are overflowing with inspiration--seriously, just go and sit for a twenty minutes in a coffee shop.  Or turn the radio off when you're driving and be fully present for the scenery.  Or look out the window during your lunch break, instead of staring at your cell phone screen.

Call me old fashioned, but I still believe that the best inspiration for my creativity comes from living--breathing--and taking in every little nuance of this beautiful life I live.

This is why I haven't even batted an eye at that stinkin' Pinterest thing.  This is why I refuse to jump on the bandwagon or worry if it's infringing on copyright or not.

Spending hours pinning things that others have created/invented/dreamed of--just doesn't appeal to me.

It only seems like it would get in my way.
Suck up precious time.
Steal my inspiration.


Kirsten Alicia said...

Hello Connie, I could type hundreds, probably thousands of words in response to this post. Instead, I will just say; yes, I agree with you 100%.

amber said...


Peggy K said...

As I read about each character you encountered, I felt sort of sad about what they are not experiencing. But I always need to remind myself that they are doing what they need to do in their lives to fulfill whatever destiny is before them. I guess it's really that I feel sad that I am not experiencing what they are being offered.
As far as Pinterest, I have joined, but it certainly isn't a priority. I like it that way.

Jules Dolly said...

You have just proved a wonderful point about creative writing. Those characters were taken from a story by Maeve Binchy surely? If you don't know Maeve, she's a wonderful storyteller. I love the descriptions, your expressiveness and I totally get the whole pinterest.. what a waste of damdoodle time... much rather make my own vision board... You're a gifted writer Connie.

Joanne said...

hi connie -- wonderful post -- you are an inspiration -- I did join pinterest, but have no desire to take part -- I dont understand the concept and i really dont care about it :0)

Julie said...

People watching is great ... I love coffee shops that are off the beaten path, but all the ones close to me are in random little strip-malls, which is rather disappointing.

I think you are right about inspiration, I am on pinterest, but I go weeks without even looking at it. I get bored with it and find it rather pointless. I've never used any of the pins as actual inspiration. Strange how some are obsessed with the same thing that fails to grab my attention.

I love your writing style, its very honest, and I like that :)

Heather said...

I love peopel watching.. I don't think that it has to be one or the other.I think they both expose different points of view,ideas and inspiration at least for me and I think a lot of other people would agree. I go on everyday just about but for maybe 5 minutes, it can be used as an awesome tool and it's not a mindless pointless thing that some people want to make it out to be. Glad it's there for those who want to engage in it.

Emmanuelle said...

Beautiful post Connie, and certainly made me ponder about staying on Pinterest, I've been having doubts about it and I guess it's just another tool to procrastinate, something I do really well.
Thank you for this wonderful reminder that inspiration is everywhere!

Cynthia said...

Can I just say thank you?

I just deleted my Pinterest account; I honestly feel that all this 'pressure' of social networking is much like being back in high school - you aren't cool if you aren't engaging in the latest 'trend.' I wonder how we live while blogging, tweeting, texting, pinning, etc. It is quite the tightrope. And isn't there so much inspiration in just living?

Thanks again!

Maggie said...

Absolutely ... {deep breath} ... Thanks, Connie.

Ardith Goodwin said...

Oh Connie, I totally understand where you are coming from and respect your point of view! We each have to find what works for us in our daily walk of calm, focus, and creativity. I have found Pinterest to be a great tool for many things, but I approached it differently than most. When I joined and checked it out, I realized how much of a time stealer it could be, and decided to create a productive plan for Pinterest so that I could make sure it created a positive benefit in my life. I have before and after boards, projects completed boards, but those that I am most proud of our the art/educational community boards I am part of that help others boost their knowledge and creativity for sharing with their kids. It isn't for everyone, but for me, it has enhanced my connections, not necessarily my creativity, and for that I am grateful. People watching will always be on my list of fave things to do though, it is the juicy tidbits of life that make it grand isn't it?

Eco Yogini said...

yep, i agree 100%. pinterest just makes me feel like I'm not cool, or inspired enough. :)
I like real life better :)

Jeniffer Hutchins said...

I LOVE it! I was doing just the same thing the other day after my yoga class. I drank my tea outside in front of the coffee shop watching everything. The man sitting next to looked like the spitting image of Gandolf, with long white beard, smoking a pipe and even carried a walking stick. Together we just sat and breathed in the beauty of the day watching the world go by. Thank you for your reminder of that moment! Love ya!

~hali said...

yep. right on. i, too, am perpetually mesmerized by the living Life all around me in the world when i just go out and pay honest attention, above the box view of a network screen.... everyone else can keep pinterest. :)

Patty - Why Not Start Now? said...

oh yes...a thousand times yes...i spent an hour in my garden today...pinterest just can't beat the real world.

Jenna Kannas said...

GREAT Post!! nuff said!

Nan Robkin said...

When I was in my late teens and going to college in New York State, I would go into the Big City from time to time to see matinees. I had lunch and cheesecake at Lindy's, mostly, but sometimes I would go sit at the counter in a drugstore that had a HUGE mirror on the wall and watch my fellow customers while I ate a tuna sandwich. I called it the Drugstore Game, and I played it in high school, too, when I would have to wait for my aunt to get off work so we could go home together. I would make up stories for the people at the counter, based on their appearance and expression, and what they ordered. I still play it whenever I am alone in a place where there are people to watch. People were so interesting, before they got involved in staring at electronic devices all the time!

Harmony said...

In my immediate sense to your article I don't even think of pinterest - I just think of the way I choose to live life.
To allow my soul to drink lavish from an internal well, one that for some reason never runs dry.
A dropped ice cream cone, a screaming infant, a biker dude, a mama duck with her babes, fall colors on the leaves - I mean really - if I learn to love the silence, there is more noise in life than I know what to do with anyway. :-)

PS lovely Connie - I WISH WISH WISH you would make your subscription available through email. I miss you soooooo often cause, like we just shared, I am not so keen to go to my Google reader either. But I do see email everyday, and if you were there, I could come to that field and meet you. :-)

foxysue said...

Not pinterested, but I do have a nice people watching story ~>

Hospital waiting room, very old lady in wheelchair, very young lady carer. Old lady says she doesn't have anyone, young lady says "but you have me", then rooting in her handbag she turned to the old woman and said " here lets put you some lippy on before we see the handsome doc".

Loved your people watching post!

Cathe said...

Oh I so agree. No texting, no Facebook, no Pinterest for me. I am learning to live my own authentic life and do not have time for what others are doing. Can't wait until Sunday. Hugs, Catheyea

Wendy said...

Amen to all of that!

RenaisyDaisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RenaisyDaisy said...

I'm so glad I came across your blog, and I completely agree. I've been swept up by social networking and overwhelmed with thinking I need to keep up in this cyber age. Luckily I've just come back from a month in West Africa with no internet access. I got plenty of people watching experience and interaction that I am refreshed with life.

Nelda said...

Okay, that's it. You need to write a book. We need you to write a book. It would be a good one.

Emily Lagore said...

you have a wonderful way with words Connie!! I totally agree with you - thanks for having the courage to say it outloud!!

Whytefeather said...

Exactly it on the pinterest.
Aren't people interesting... and exhausting. As I wait for my first Grand daughter to show in about two months, I can't help but feel sorry for that grandmother that just doesn't really GET it.

Natasha said...

Clearly I am terribly behind on my blog reading, but AMEN. There is only so much energy, and if you waste it, there is less to spend on the things that really do matter. That really do fuel you, and create in turn extra bonus energy. And we all get to make that choice.

Kelly Jeanette Swift said...

I love to people watch when I'm out and about. They are very interesting to me, much more then spending time with gadgets. I don't get people who spend their heads down texting or whatever and not looking at the world around them. I have no interest in Pininterst either. I'll never join it.

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