Sunday, August 27, 2006

A tale of two Starbucks

Yesterday morning around 6 a.m. before heading to Will Rogers "World" (you can't fly direct to anyplace in the world further than Chicago) Airport I stopped in at the new Starbuck's on Kickapoo Street in my parents' town of Shawnee, OK, population of approximatley 30,000. It was very surreal since I felt I was back in SF or Manhattan or DC or wherever. Yes, all corportate chains are pretty much the same regardless of the location. But if I'd walked into the McDonald's next door I'd be surrounded by bubbas with belts that have their names carved into the leather and counter help with press-on nails and heavy eye shadow greeting me with "Darlin'."

The staff and customers at Starbuck's made me feel like I was on Union Street or in Noe Valley. The blond, gym bodied barrista was decidedly familiar, and Miles Davis was playing on the sound system. The fact that there's a Starbuck's in this little town is even stranger since it was a HUGE deal when they came to Oklahoma City just a couple of years ago, supposedly one of the last places in the world with a population of over 50,000 not to have a Starbuck's.

To make this even more surreal, this afternoon a friend and I went to Starbuck's after a Target run. They were playing the Dixie Chicks (okay, granted they've become red state gals who now appeal only to blue state listeners) and (swear to God) the barrista called me Darlin'.


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