Thursday, February 18, 2016
Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Coffee House
There will be times when you want to meet with people, but don't have the energy or time to host them in your home. Lucky for you, there are other places to go.
The coffee house is an extremely popular location. I would suggest that you know your location before extending an invite. Some of them have bands and loud teens, others are so small that everyone hears your conversation. Ideally, there would be a steady flow at the counter but with mainly to-go orders. Lounging in the back also provides some sense of privacy. Chains can be good for meetings, though the feel of a local joint can't be beat. You can always get your coffee to go an pad take a walk with it, if it's too loud or small.
There are other types of places to meet besides coffee joints. Some small restaurants, walking paths, breakfast joints, downtown shopping corridors (you learn a lot about people when shopping with them), bakeries, book stores. Just about anywhere.
In these type of get togethers, don't expect there to be deep emotional revelations. You're in public after all. They're mainly to say, "Hi!" Coffee house meetings are somewhere in between an email and a hand written letter. Yes! I said it, hand written letter is more precious than a coffee house date. We all know it. It's better than a text message, but by its nature there is just a level of sharing that can't be easily breached in public. It still says "I want you in my life." And that's important. And sometimes, coffee house time is all we really have.
For the emotionally recovering introvert, sometimes the coffee house is the perfect place to go. Yes you'll have to do small talk, but it also keeps the subject away from the raw. All the same, take tissues, people surprise us sometimes.
For the extroverts, going out for coffee is a safe friendly thing to do. The energy is different for them. There is a different enjoyment at the end of gathering. But for us introverts, we need to make sure that there are some people that we have in our lives that it's just not enough to chat over coffee in public. Sometimes the best part of coffee house talks occur in the parking lot, when the eyes of others have disappeared and the urgency of our time together has become tangible. We reach out with our words in a final attempt to have someone see us. Listen well and you may have this experience more often than not.