The Usual Problem

A fiend invited me out for coffee to a place she had “just” found.  Not a chain coffee place either, just an honest to goodness local cafe which happened to serve French style pastries as well.  Who can resist?  Certainly not I, and since I was feeling decent-ish there really was no reason not to go.

As we don’t live in the same neighbourhood, my friend and I agreed to meet at the cafe’s parking area so we could do some catching up while walking in.  (You might say we have a lot to catch up on!)

An interesting thing happened upon our stepping through the door.  The two women working behind the counter called out my friend’s name and said “the usual?” as a cup was already being pulled off the shelf.  Interesting in that my friend had just found the place so how could she have a usual?  I didn’t say anything, but I raised my eyebrow as my friend said she might in fact be changing up her order.  This declaration created a bit of confusion for one of the ladies working behind the counter because she had already grabbed a pastry and put it on a plate.

There is nothing wrong with having a usual.  It’s nice to go into places where people know exactly how you like things and see you as more than just an order of coffee.  The problem arises when you suddenly want to change up the usual.  It alters the easy routine, and can affect the relationship as well.

I’m not sure how many times my friend had been to the cafe to have a usual, but the minute she altered her order it was as if she was a new customer to one of the employees.  The light and causal conversation became a little awkward, as if by changing her order my friend had created some type of insult.  In the end my friend had her usual to go because she couldn’t resist the pastry or the coffee.

Being a city girl, I have found very few places that I go to frequently enough to even know e names of the employees let alone have a usual.  While I relish the relationship my friend seems to have with the employees, I don’t relish the idea of only being a specific order all the time.  After all part of the fun is changing things up, which is hard when you have a set usual everyone knows and expects.

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