I finished The Archivist last night (more on that in a forthcoming post) and since beginning it several days ago I’ve found myself in a swoony mood. Swoony, introspective, and quixotic. Who wants to be home, reminded of unfinished housework in such a mood? No one. So this morning when my man people went to do man things-soccer watching and chest bumping at Grammy’s where they are served personalized breakfasts-I took my Ella-girl to Black Forest Coffee to sit quietly and read and journal for a few hours.
Located inside the Half Price Books’ flagship location, Black Forest is one of my favorite Saturday morning spots. Before lunchtime it is fairly empty. The baristas look as half-asleep as you do (the coffee shop maintains reasonable human hours so none of their employees have been at work since 4a.m.), and when you gurgle out something about “latte” and “caffeine” they don’t ask a lot of questions they just grin with understanding and ring you up for a large.
Ella and I carved out a spot for ourselves at a corner table where she could chew on her stuffed bunny away from foot traffic and I could write by the window. The ladies seated at the table across from us (in fairness it must be noted they were there first) seemed to be having a subdued conversation about their fields of study and the graduate degrees they were hoping to pursue. I made myself comfortable and started my book.
Holy mother of shrillness.
Evidently Ella and I sat down during an oh-so-brief lull in conversation, since moments later they began to cackle in unnaturally loud tones about something they were working on (an IPO?), as if it were happy hour at Margarita Madness rather than 9 a.m. at a local coffee shop. I can say without bias that my not-yet six month old maintained a far more respectable noise level for the three hours we were there than these supposedly classy businesswomen-all drinking juices, my judgment abounded-did with their unceasing yelping over career goals. At one point Ella fell asleep (a nap which, had it continued, would have given me the chance to finish what I was working on) when as they were getting ready to leave they began to squawk about an upcoming trip to Choctaw Casino and woke her up. After a few muted squeaks she calmed down and they did finally go but the damage was done. Even as they walked away they scraped every one of their chairs against the floor and cackled their way to the sidewalk where-standing twenty feet away on the other side of a glass wall-they were still the noisiest things in the building. Once they were finally out of range and the pounding head ache in the spot between my eyes reserved for stress that comes from being overwhelmed with noise started to subside, Ella decided enough was enough. I have an exceptionally relaxed infant but being awake for five hours and hanging out in her car seat for three is generally as far as her cooperative personality will take her.
I will now go to work where I will be forced to smile and chat and fake interest in the lives of complete strangers who all feel compelled to shop between the hours of one and seven on the weekends. All I wanted was a quiet morning with my baby girl before the start of what is my Monday.
It’s ok. Since they generously shared with the coffee shop every minute detail of their professional lives, I took copious notes about where they work. Bright and early Monday morning, as their office is opening for the day, I’ll be sure to arrive with angry, unfed children so we can talk about this exciting thing called an IPO in more detail. I don’t have the faintest idea what an IPO is, and I feel they would be the best candidates to explain it to me. My kids will probably scream, but no biggie; after all, what’s a little noise?