1) The “Can You Watch This” Woman
Most easily identified by their hedging creep over to your table, gentle tap on the shoulder, or casual lean in, followed by the phrase, “Hiiiiiii. Sorry to bother you, buuuuut. Could you please watch my laptop/briefcase/baby while I run to the bathroom?”
(Seriously, you guys. Last week a woman asked me to WATCH HER ALIVE BABY. ME. A SUSPICIOUS STRANGER IN A COFFEE SHOP.)
2) The YouTuber
Spotted at nearly every coffee shop that’s ever existed, this particular flavor of fartknocker insists on watching YouTube videos as loudly as humanly possible, blasting the noise through the tranquil space and laughing disruptively rambunctiously. Usually, the videos contain so many curse words that I feel the need to walk over to the “Can You Watch This” Woman and clamp my hands over her baby’s ear, because OH, THE HUMANITY.
3) The Conference Caller
Tries to hold elaborate and serious multi-person conference calls as the soundtrack to an indie college party blares through the Starbucks speakers. At least 64% of the conversation consists of, “What? WHAT?! I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. What?! Can you just. Hold on. Can you repeat that? Let me go outside.”
4) The Huffer
Tucked away in the corner, this coffee drinker is noted for his or her repeated and consistent exhales. Open an email. Huff and puff. Get a text. Huge, drawn-out sigh. Their lives are clearly the most stressful, and if they don’t continually release these pent-up puffs of air, they are likely to explode and/or blow a gasket, whereupon it shoots across the room at alarming speeds and embeds itself into the wall. Catastrophe ensues.
See also: Frequently mumbles phrases like, “The kids of this generation,” and “In my day.”
5) The Novelist
Works almost exclusively on a Mac. Drinks Americanos. Tells anyone in earshot that they’re a writer.
6) The High School Homeworkers
Usually in groups of two or more, these specimens are spotted in shorts so short I’m convinced they had to change after they left the house. Giggling and excited, they drink Venti blended drinks that have more calories and sugar than I’ve consumed in the last three days combined. Blissfully happy. Talk adoringly of The Great Gatsby movie. Falsely proclaim that One Direction is such a better boy band than N*Sync ever was.
7) The Reader
Identified by their thick book that they crack open slowly, propped vertically on the table at an uncomfortable reading angle in order to make the cover as visible as possible to anyone who passes. Makes really dramatic faces that indicate how engrossed they are in the text, but only change the page once every five minutes and twenty two seconds. When someone takes the bait and offers up an, “Oh my gosh! I love that book!” they laugh noncommittally and say, “It’s decent, but it’s no The Catcher In The Rye.”
8) The Roommate Daters
This is a rare and exciting sighting. Usually spotted around college campuses or moderately-sized metropolises, this group consists of two roommates who are awkwardly interviewing a third person that they’ve likely found on Craigslist. The conversation reads as such:
Interviewer 1: “How clean are you?”
Potential Roommate: “I’m pretty clean! But, y’know, not weird clean. Clean, but not obsessive.”
Interviewer 2, nodding enthusiastically: “Oh, totally. Us too. Clean, but not weird.”
Spoiler alert: One of these three people adamantly refuses to ever do the dishes, and instead stashes them under their bed where they get so encrusted with dried nachos cheese that they have to be thrown out. One insists on wiping down the shower every single day and considers passive aggressively asking who’s turn it is to take out the trash to be one of their favorite hobbies. One of the three is actually the “normal” amount of clean.
9) The Complicated Coffee Orderer
Has never ordered anything that contains less than twelve words. Usually carries a Kate Spade bag. Typically has an enviable hairstyle and perfectly-pressed slacks.
“I’d like an iced half-caf triple grande sugar-free vanilla soy upside down caramel macchiato.”
(Bonus: according to the barista I just interviewed, the above order actually checks every single box on the Starbucks cup.)
10) The Blogger
Often spotted in yoga pants, 3-day unwashed hair, and bright red lipstick, this asshat stares intently at each and every person in the coffee shop, counting how long it takes them to turn a page, crunching obnoxiously on the leftover ice from her iced half-caf triple grande sugar-free vanilla soy upside down caramel macchiato and making sweeping generalizations. Seeing the emails piling up in her inbox, she sighs too loudly, shuts her laptop, tucks her copy of The Catcher In The Rye into her vintage-inspired briefcase, cautiously leans over to the person on her left, and says, “Hiiiiiii. I’m so sorry, buuuuuuut. Can you please watch my stuff while I run to the bathroom?”