After a recent vacation to my home city, I was bombarded by invitations to “go catch up” with old friends. Before I knew it, my calendar was colourfully filled with names of the friends I’d be meeting and beside with the names of cafes in which we’d be meeting in. Yup, in the span of 7 days, I calculated I’d be consuming at least 35 shots of espresso, sipping 70 glasses of ice water, mowing down 20+ gourmet wheat-free chocolate cookies in almost every area of Toronto …while saying goodbye to my hard-earned vacation pay. Soon my calendar became filled with what drinks I’d get and the order in which I’d consume them so as not to over-caffeinate and have heart palpitations by the end of the day.
I couldn’t help but laugh at myself: as a Barista having served coffee for years, how could I possibly be planning my time off around coffee?! After discussing my dilemma with Friend 1, a busy, intelligent, popular city gal herself, she confided that she was having trouble managing her limited time off: she complained that her life had become too chaotic, that it was impossible to save money, and she was struggling trying to make her unfulfilled personal goals a reality. After only a day of coffee dates, I decided to have my friends come to me instead: we took a long walk in the park (without our phones or pre-purchased beverages)…
According to my careful Coffee Girl research, here is what a typical day-off looks like as experienced by the young, hip modern city woman:
9am: Americano + steamed soy milk and oatmeal/low-fat muffin at Coffee Shop 1- catching up on social media, browsing Facebook, online banking, taking ”Ms. Productivity” Instagram photo etc. “Me Time” $6
11am: Americano- meeting Friend A at Coffee Shop 2 –catching up on gossip, sharing stories of the week, making future plans, taking Selfie to post on Facebook $3
1pm: Raw, organic salad, organic mint water, almond milk smoothie at Hip Salad Bar 1 with Friend B –catching up on different perspectives of same gossip, sharing stories of the week, making future plans, taking Selfie to post on Facebook. $14
3:30pm: Iced -tea Lemonade and gluten-free chocolate cookie with Friend C and D at Coffee Shop 3 –educating new Friend Group on gossip, sharing stories of the week, making future plans, taking Selfie to post on Facebook. $6
5pm: Stop at Coffee Shop 4 to grab an Iced-Half-Caf Americano before going home to shower, change, text friends A and B about day and evening plans. $3
8pm: Fresh avocado rolls, seaweed salad and green tea at Hip Salad Bar 2 with Date A –having awkward, romantic evening while texting and tweeting status to Friends A, B, C, D and making plan with Friends E and F $0 (Date paid)
10:30pm: Gin and Tonics at Bar 1 with Friends E and F –planning next venue and where they should meet for coffee, texting Date B to come join, texting Friends A-F on what to text Date B and how they should follow-up with Date A $14
12am: Gin and Tonics 3-6 at Bar 2 with Date A, Friends A-F –Selfies…don’t remember rest of night.
$0 (Date paid)
Beverages Consumed: 12 Public Bathrooms Utilized: 10 Selfies Taken: 15 Pictures Posted: 8 Dollars Spent: $46 New Ideas/Personal Goals Discussed: 106 Ideas Actually Followed through With: 0 New Coffee Dates Made for Following Week: 25
No wonder it’s impossible for us working women to get real work done, and focus on ourselves, save money, keep up with the gossip, and save the world (all in under 120 characters or less, while snapping Insta-photos to tag and share!): We are just too distracted by the allure of the coffee shop and the beautiful beverages that provide us with the illusion of stability. I think we need less, not more, coffee to get us going! (But I totally just wrote this while sipping a Medium Latte I definitely didn’t make myself). At least I manage to fit writing in my busy, coffee girl schedule from time to time…