Cafes harbor a cast of summer characters, attracted by temperate climes, edgy muzak, and speedy Wi-Fi. Take this quiz to determine which character type best fits your personality.
The Great American Novel writer
This lovable mascot, the Norm of coffeehouses, is here for the long haul. He or she arrived at 7 a.m. and has been coddling the same perspiring espresso for several hours. This person is usually identifiable by a laptop that’s treated like a large pet. When he or she wants to use the bathroom—even creative geniuses have personal needs—a trustworthy bystander will be asked to babysit it.
The mom with Madonna arms
She's fresh from yoga class and needs a smoothie!
The corporate titan
This slick, well-tailored viper is exceedingly important and wants you to know it. So important, in fact, that he must conduct business at Starbucks, not within the confines of a typical office. He or she commands a wide berth and turns his seat into a posh corporate suite: laptop, briefcase, phone, stacks of paper, ear-buds. Maybe even a plant and a family photo. Occasionally, he or she receives a phone call, which is intercepted while striding through the seating area and bellowing.
The retired husband
Identifiable by socks yanked up to knees and cell phone holster in pocket, this poor fellow has been reading the same page of The Economist since last Monday. He does not want to go home.
The trysting couple
They arrive at 10 a.m. on the dot, usually sporting corporate ID badges from an office park a safe distance away. Apparently Starbucks is their secret go-to for a morning canoodle, because their romance is rare and special. Usually found on couches.
The awkward duo
This is typically an interviewer and an interviewee. The interviewee is usually auditioning for a thankless job and appears pained; the interviewer gesticulates wildly to compensate for lack of charisma. An untouched caramel pecan sticky bun—purchased by the interviewer to show what a generous, down-to-earth guy he is—congeals nearby.
Often found in troops of no fewer than six. They are blissfully oblivious and extremely loud. No conversational topic is off-limits or too mundane to share with the entire store. Occasionally the subject of furtive, wistful glances by the Novelist, who has found new inspiration.
This person has needs: culinary, dietary, and otherwise. It was for this customer that the iced triple skinny vanilla caramel no-whip latte with room was invented, and because of this customer that Starbucks associates get health benefits.