Flirting @ Starbucks
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Flirting @ Starbucks
How to rub elbows with those white-collared, blue collared,
and everything in-between-collared Starbucks' clientele - from the DATING KING

Flirting with a Fetish

Unless you haven't lived in, or visited the United States sometime in the last ten years its unlikely that by now, you aren't acquainted with the contemporary cult fetish that is Starbucks. An overtly modern, arguably postmodern, café donned in retro Kelly green and brown décor, vintage jazz and blues paintings, etc., and known to blare contemporary underground and pop jazz and rock tunes, the "upscale" cafe has become as much a cult following for the neophyte coffee drinkers as for the uber corporate business tycoons. It's not uncommon for people to splurge on a fanciful concoction like a Café Macchiato, Mocha Frappucino, or other such dreamy confection on a daily basis; and at an average of $3-4 a pop that means a huge bill at the end of year.

That's right, the average Starbucks patron that purchases one "cup of Joe" a day can count on spending around $90-100/month; that's $1,200/yr in coffee, excluding extras like additional shots, biscotti, or other pastry goodies also offered at the shop!

With all this high-end coffee drinking commencing its no surprise that people have turned their daily "cup of Joe" into a prime social opportunity: business associates gather around the tables at lunch discussing current professional affairs; students tuck themselves into the dark corners of the café laboring for hours over their laptops, Ipods on, slaving over their latest assignment(s), often Starbucks is a prime venue for group "study sessions"; new couples will pause their date for a quick cup of coffee and some intimate reminiscence, etc. That in mind it's no wonder it seems increasingly difficult to find an open seat, let alone table at your local Starbucks. Indeed Starbucks is one hopping place to be. Regardless of personal and professional affiliation, Starbucks seems a safe haven under which all banners wave.


Iced Lattes and Breaking the Ice

So if you're still single and in the mood to flirt, what better place to stake out than the potentially prosperous Starbucks. High traffic, high volume sales, and consistent turnover promises dozens of fresh faces, male and female alike, from which to choose to make your company privy. And surprising as it may seem there are quite a few sexy singles just waiting for the opportunity to mingle over a piping hot Café Americano or chilled Iced Latte. Thus, with Iced Latte in hand the next question is, pardon the pun.breaking the ice. If you've spotted a "potential" occupying a table with a chair to spare you're in luck; this is prime flirting ammunition.

A Successful Testimony

Testament to the scenario was my own observance of such slick flirting moves the other night, when once again in a usually packed Starbucks on a Friday night, (yes one might argue Starbucks has become the replacement venue for aged bar hoppers and/or serious students inept to enjoy the flirtatious frivolities of alcohol and music on a Friday night), a guy genteelly approached a female, sitting solo at a table. With a warm, unpretentious smile he politely asked, "Do you mind if I sit with you?" After a brief disarmed giggle he encouraged, "I'm sorry to bother you its just that there's not an empty seat in the house." Within two seconds she smiled approvingly and suddenly guy and girl we're joined at the same table. Although studying, declared as the prime motive, was exactly what occurred for the better part of the next half hour or so, eventually, between repetitious half-glances and smiles, the guy once again initiated conversation. Within two minutes the girl had completely forgotten her homework assignment (or so one assumes) and launched into a full-blown conversation with this completely "intriguing" stranger who made himself at home opposite her chair. I would say it was an instant flirting success; the guy was as smooth as honey, as sweet as it too, and most of all, just as real. There was a general interest to begin with, and his primary interest in his "mystery table guest" kept him down to earth and as interesting as interested. His flirting tactics seemed to come straight from a flirting handbook: yes, he was that good.

Flirting Failsafe

To recap: Starbucks is a flirting fiesta waiting to get rolling. To set the ball in motion seize the opportunity to become that "second seat" filler. If you see someone you're interested in, pause first to observe what they're partaking in. Is it casual conversation with another; there's still potential, especially if it's with the same sex. Are they reading a book; inquire as to text in an interesting way. Are they doing homework- try to garner attention without being obnoxious or invasive.

If you're one of the ultra-tentative types you might try initiating eye contact and a smile before breaking the ice verbally... remember how important body language is in determining whether someone's behavior is receptive or no. If you have initiated conversation and all seems well try to maintain a friendly, platonic ground. If you are still interested as more than friends after a solid five or ten minutes (Note: unless you can hold their attention that long, and/or unless you're conversation can smoothly sustain this duration its unlikely there's any "lasting" potential) of conversation casually try to establish a common ground: are their particular venues, parks, etc. that you both enjoy attending around the vicinity of the café. If yes, this is a great way to suggest sustaining the conversation at an alternative locale, either presently or sometime in the future. This, it seems, is the smoothest, most successful and natural way to suggest a "second date", so to speak.

Whatever you do, don't flippantly ask them out at the last minute in a way to make it seem a formal, and thus awkward situation. If you flirt with the hopes of gaining a friend than a fling your chances will be much better than if you start aggressively and scare any tentative "maybes."


Corporate Cult Café

Some people feel that Starbucks, cult fetish or no, is simply "not the place" to be. Whether unfortunate or not, it is arguably a fact that Starbucks does tend to have the reputation of being the "corporate cult cafe": in other words the atmosphere is going to be distinctly different than that of a local mom and pop shop. Still, with their universal marketing campaign and overtly aggressive expansion, it seems that everywhere you look; if there's a corner, a main street, or main shopping venue, there's a Starbuck's to be found. Not to say that they're uprooting mom and pops everywhere, but it is to suggest that Starbucks is pulling business from the smaller shops; thus introducing those marginalized, "underground" types into the culture, one might say, progressively multi-cultural environment that is Starbucks.