Friday, November 04, 2005

Starbucks. Ahhhhh

You hear people joke about it all the time. How Starbucks are everywhere. Well I guess it is not really a joke. In a new shopping center there is a Starbucks inside the Barnes and Noble, a Starbucks inside the Target, and just a regular ol’ Starbucks. No kidding, three in one shopping center. And they all will do well. One morning I found the silver lining to having so many cookie-cutter coffee shops. There is no doubt that most people have walked into a few Starbucks in their day. You will notice that they all resemble each other. Same tables, chairs, counters, cups, and posters on the wall. Now here is the beauty of this unimaginative uniformity….when you walk into a Starbucks you can forget where you really are.

See I moved away from beautiful Ventura County about a year ago. For love (why else?) I moved out to a small desert town called Banning. A town that celebrates Stage Coach Days, has one main street, a restaurant with a big rooster in front and that about it. It’s more of a rest spot for people who are driving to Palm Springs. A place for travelers to stop, stretch their legs, fill up the tank and get back on the road. As you can imagine the housing is much more affordable here in Banning than in even the slummiest part of Ventura County. This is why a young couple like us would choose to settle down and buy a house here. Well really we didn’t chose, its what we could afford.

The longer I am here the more and more appealing Ventura County becomes. My memories have become exaggerated with perfectly manicured lawns and no litter or graffiti. A place where old people can safely walk the streets at night, the beaches are always clean and open, and little birdies land on your shoulder to sing zippy-do-da with you.

Okay so back to Banning and Starbucks. The first few weeks that I was here in Banning were tough. I have never been good at adjusting to change. So when I walked into the Banning Starbucks I was immediately put as ease. It felt like home. Sad huh? The familiarity of the place helped to ease all the unfamiliarity of a new town. I could order my usual, vente iced coffee with room for cream, sit in a purple cushy chair, close my eyes and pretend that outside the window was beautiful Ventura County. Even after a year of living in Banning, I still feel that same home-like sensation when I walk into Starbucks. It is the crushing disappointment of walking out of the Starbucks back into my reality of Banning that get harder and harder to deal with.

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