I was at a coffee shop the other day, don't worry I was only spying on the enemy, and I couldn't help but overhear the conversation at the table next to me, probably 'cause I was eavesdropping. A guy and gal, in their mid twenties, the guy was apparently trying to win the admiration of his female companion for he told her, "Your where I was three years ago, I'm older than you so I know exactly whats going to happen to you." I choked on my cof .. er, uh .. hot black drink, trying to stifle a laugh and perhaps a retort.
I'm sure he thought he was doing quite well, as she appeared to be paying rapt attention, however it was quickly evident that he was her superior in a company and she was merely paying him lip service in hopes of advancing her career. And amusing game when you are watching it from the outside, but it got me thinking and I started looking around the coffee house and watched about a half dozen mini dramas unfold.
Everyone in there was playing a game, putting on a pretense or pretending to be something their not. They all felt like they had to fit into this socially acceptable mold. Everyone was showing everyone else how they were better, whether it was the car they were driving, the area they lived, their career, vacations, clothes, etc. It was really quite amazing, it was like they had put on a persona just like we might put on clothes, I wonder with all the games these people played if they even knew who the real them was, or if they were just a collection of the roles they played.
I even started to notice the judging glances, apparently my plaid shirt, generic denim, and converse shoes weren't up to their standards, and perhaps the fact that I still laugh every time I say grande or use more than three adjectives to order a drink. Nonetheless, my covert spy mission was blown and it was time to haul out of there, I felt wound up, stressed and judged. I needed to get away from the hypocritical coffee drinkers.
Off to find people of my own kind, so I headed for my favorite tea cafe. Now I've been coming here for years, and while I see new and different patrons every time I visit, they all just blur into the background and could all be described in roughly the same way. They are like perfect background jazz music, the song might change every few minutes but the feel and the vibe is the same, and if your not listening closely you don't hear when it changes.
Now i am surrounded by my people, everyone comes as they are, no one is judging those around them, and I don't even see any posturing among the tables. Everyone here is who they are, they know what that is and they don't feel the need to become something else just because what someone else thinks, nor do they feel the need to judge others. To a degree I accredit this as a tea vs coffee phenomenon, however I also give credit to the establishment.
Remedy Teas is by far my favorite tea cafe, they set a great atmosphere and are comfortable, confident yet unassuming. They know their stuff, yet whether you are an old friend an experienced tea connoisseur or first time drinker. They help you become part of the beautiful jazz. They know tea yet are not overbearing about it, they don't shove information in your face but rather let you decide your course down the road of tea, offering to be a patient guide. If you ask them something they and don't know they will tell you, a novel concept indeed! They don't pretend to be what their not.
Yep this is my home away from home, quality tea, knowledgeable folks and good friends. Next time your in Seattle, stop in for an excellent cup of tea, unassuming conversation and good friends and tell them I sent you. Oh and if you see a guy with a plaid shirt, generic denim and converse shoes then pull up a chair together we'll become some of the finest jazz you've ever heard.