Trying the Frothy Monkey today. It’s lovely! Great music, good coffee house feel with all organic foods, delicious caramel apple cider, nice artwork on the wall, and (until the lunch crowd appeared) a great community of loners.
Ever wonder why it’s perfectly acceptable to sit alone at a coffee shop? Try this at TGIFriday’s. First the hostess grabs for the menus and says, “Do you need a table for just one?” emphasizing "just" just enough to express disdain without being offensive. Then she seats you at the table between a couple meeting for lunch and a group of thritysomething women who probably lunch weekly for their ladies time. And the other tables never fail to glance at you every once in a while, their eyes drowning out the words they speak to each other: "Oh, she’s eating all alone. I wonder why. I would never eat on my own. She must be sad by herself. Or maybe someone’s meeting her later. Yes, that could be it. Or she’s just one of those people who eat and go to the movies alone."
So you find yourself oversmiling in response to show you are, in fact, perfectly content sitting alone. And then you start feeling sorry for the lady at the table whose boyfriend speaks to his cell phone while she converses with her chicken salad. Your eyes then speak the loneliness she must feel. And, of course, you believe her loneliness is so much worse than your coming to Friday’s alone. At least you can read a book. And you always have a book when you lunch alone. Or a notepad journal. Or a cell phone. But something cradles you while you sit there. And the server always apologizes whenever he approaches your table. I don’t know if it’s out of respect for your solitude or simply because he doesn’t know what to think of you sitting there alone.
But loners are applauded at coffeehouses. In fact, the woman sitting on the couch, sipping a latte while soaking in the atmosphere is revered. And laptops and notepads are perfectly acceptable. Maybe a bestseller lives in the screen or on the pages. Students sit at the table together but do not speak as they finish papers. Being to yourself actually places you in the community.
Yes, I now try to go to even a Friday's without my book and only my company. But God knows I prefer the community of solitude at the Frothy Monkey any day.