Missed Connection for a barista gal in 1950s cat-eye glasses and vintage dresses

Seriously, can we get any more banal or clichéd?

It must be tough working in a coffee shop, in terms of customer crushes. The customer can come in day-in, day-out (and even multiple times a day, as I recall from a teen job at Tim Hortons) under the guise of getting their cappuccino fix. It really is the perfect venue for this kind of ongoing crushing behaviour.

We can think about the relatively high prevalence of Missed Connections for “baristas” or coffee shop staffers (as compared to other types of workers) in two ways.

First, while some of these baristas may indeed be particularly attractive, I suspect that there’s a propinquity effect happening. You see the same coffee-swinging lady or gent just about every day, and this person grows on you.

If we really wanted to stretch this further, we might speculate that there’s even some kind of neurological pleasure centre activated by the caffeine, which endears the server to you even further. Like I said, this is probably a bit of a stretch. Meh, I’m a sociologist – I care about how you interact and stuff, but not how your brain functions, so gimme a break.

Second – Let’s say you see your barista daily, the coffee is good, and the shop is right in your neighbourhood. As this writer notes, even with a big crush, you don’t necessarily want to jeopardize your supply of delicious, delicious espresso. (Mmmm….)

Solution: Missed Connections. You needn’t risk overt rejection or the fear of becoming “that guy” [/gal] who can never show his/her face in the coffee shop after an unsuccessful attempt at making his affections known.

But is it really a solution? Even behind the Craigslist veil of anonymity, the barista (and/or his/her colleagues) might be able to figure out the identity of the lustful customer… perhaps especially when he blurts out uncommon expressions. From what I’ve gathered from chatting with the baristas at my local, amazing coffee shop, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out which customer might have written the Missed Connection. Furthermore, the local “barista community” (that’s a thing, right??) isn’t very large, and there are only so many people working at a given coffee shop that match a particular description, so peers are also likely to know the barista of the writer’s affections. Bottom line: possible and likely embarrassment for both barista and customer.

It’s a no-win situation, isn’t it?

A final digression: I love the expression “the bees knees.” It’s so old-timey and wonderful. Additionally, it always reminds me of “Reel Around the Fountain” by The Smiths. And that’s always a win.

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6 Responses to Missed Connection for a barista gal in 1950s cat-eye glasses and vintage dresses

  1. Ali says:

    Another possible reason for the propinquity of barista MC’s could be the masses of people who work from home and their only daily social interaction is when they emerge from their work cocoon to go get coffee ….not that I can relate to that at all 😉

  2. Ali says:

    And because I’m a commenting trollop today, I have another idea: because baristas fall into the category of “people who are paid to be nice to you,” some people might confuse this with “lust for you” and become attracted to these people. You should see if there’s a trend towards Missed Connections for other people in that category – servers, sales clerks, etc. !

  3. I definitely agree with you – while I haven’t actually tallied it up, my sense from years of reading Missed Connections is that this is extremely likely! And just go ahead and be a comment trollop here anytime you like, Ali!

  4. Matt says:

    I guess it’s also someone you don’t really get a chance to have a conversation with, despite their involvement in your daily routine.

    And since you don’t know much about them (other than the fact that they’re a barista and probably nice to you), you’re free to project whatever ideal personality you might imagine onto them.

  5. Pingback: Book worms | lust & found

  6. Pingback: Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart | lust & found

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