Monday, January 5, 2009


Happy Holidays. A new year is upon us and guess who’s observed a new dating conundrum? Rather than making a convoluted lead in to the situation, I think I may just lay the issue out there and then follow up with a convoluted explanation: If it worth dating a person you need in your everyday life? I’m talking about the mailman, your doctor, the T.A. who still has control over your grade, or the omnipotent coffee barista. There are so many people like this in our lives that it’s difficult to really account for all of them, but the common paradox is although you may have a professional, perhaps even a friendly rapport with these people, a disastrous dating situation can not only lead to an awkward falling out, but also to an abrupt end in service.

For example, I recently went on a lovely date with the barista at my favorite local coffee shop. I take my coffee way more seriously than most and the bottom line is that, the coffee house is a home away from home, an office, community center, and refuge. The key idea is that the venue for coffee consumption is as important as the bevy itself, and now, I run the risk of potentially ruining my spot because I decided that I would rather have Cafenista froth my milk in a more intimate setting.

As for the date, I wanted to make sure she was removed from her element to put us on neutral social footing, but also to do something creative and silly: Enter ice skating on the riverfront. Middle school style, absolutely. But there it was a great time and we followed it up with a tasty glass or three of hot (very alcoholic) cider. All in, a good date.

As per usual, now the complications come in. What if I manage to piss her off. Does this mean the end of my coffee home? Will I be shunned from my de facto office? There aren’t enough good spots in my ‘hood to risk loosing my café home.

The issue is clear. Should one gamble with romance when the fallout could have a wider ripple effect? The answer is jut as clear: Go for it as long as the service isn’t one of a kind. No monopoly suitors. No mailmen, no teachers (while in their class), nobody currently working on a project for you. Yes to everyone who is replaceable. The bottom line is, if it takes more effort than a trip to the Yellow Pages to solve your problem, then you’d best be moving on. No one wants to spend a year without getting any mail or doing a semester’s worth of extra special extra-credit in the professor's’ office.

As for Cafenista, I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, happy hunting in 2K9.

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