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Observing People: A Couple in Starbucks Essay

It is 5pm on a Friday afternoon, and an elderly woman is sitting in the corner of a Starbucks that is adjacent to a grocery store. It is typical for people to stop by this particular Starbucks before they do their grocery shopping for the weekend, and it appears as if she is relaxing and enjoying the end of the week. The woman is wearing loose black lounge pants along with a green and black floral print blouse and a light fleece jacket. On her feet is a new pair of black Converse sneakers, with the white rubber part of the toe still spotless and shiny.

Converse sneakers are a favorite among new college students, therefore hinting that the woman may still have a youthful spirit and interest in fashion, despite her age. There is an elderly man sitting with her at the small round table in the Starbucks corner; and judging from the wedding ring on her finger, he is her husband. The ring is gold and plain, indicating that the couple is probably of middle-class wealth. The ease and comfort of their interactions suggest that they have been married for a long time—probably between forty and fifty years.

In terms of the husband’s wardrobe, he is wearing high-water khakis high up on his waist, tube socks, brown suede loafers, a khaki jacket, and a blue collared shirt with white polka dots that looks like the pattern of someone’s grandmother’s couch. He has age spots and is wearing glasses, appearing to be considerably older than his wife. There is also a bandage across his high forehead, bridging the space between his eyebrows and sparse receding hairline. This bandage is probably the result of an injury.

Perhaps he slipped and fell on the kitchen floor in his house; or maybe he tripped and fell outside on the pavement while checking the mailbox. He is seemingly comfortable and still mobile, although there is a cane resting on the back of his chair. Like his wife, he is wearing the same plain gold wedding band. When observing this couple, it is clear that the wife takes care of the husband. As he ages, she still has hints of a youthful personality such as her makeup that makes her look younger—bronzer on her face and shimmery pink lip gloss.

The only aspect of her appearance that reveals her age is her thinning hair that is styled in a short, curly style. There is a folded newspaper and a cell phone resting on the table in front of them, but neither the wife nor husband is paying attention to either. Instead, they are having a leisurely conversation with frequent nods and smiles. It is clear that the two have a very loving relationship built upon mutual respect and a long history together. They probably have at least one child who is an adult, along with some grand children.

Their friendly personas seem as if they would be especially good grandparents—the type who spoils their grandchildren and insist that the family gets together on holidays and other special occasions. It is quite calming to watch this particular couple. Although the husband is wearing a watch and there is a cell phone resting in front of the wife, neither of them periodically check what time it is or appear to be in the slightest bit of hurry. Time does not matter to them as they simply enjoy the later afternoon that leads into early evening.

In front of them are also two matching coffees, both tall. This is yet another feature that demonstrates how compatible and in sync with each other this couple truly is. Everything from their seated posture to choice of beverage mirrors one another. They are the quintessential couple that has been married for decades and are still going strong; and as they sit in Starbucks completely unaware of the time, it is obvious that they are quite content and peaceful in their life together.


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