Today, I collected coffee cups like a hipster collects nightclub hand stamps.
After dropping off the boys at their preschool, one of two days during the week when they are both there, if only for a few hours, I decided that I would load up my gear and get some work done at our local Barnes and Noble. I have always envied the oblivious laptop users I would see in cafes, so it was high time that I tote my new laptop to a local cafe and get all oblivious-like in my work, too.
Apparently, there is some secret among said oblivious-laptop-users in these cafes that they are none too interested in spilling... and that secret involves how you access the wifi connections. Ah, wireless Internet! How you escape me!
After being assured by the barista (no matter how many times I read that word, it still sounds pretentious) that all I had to do was open my browser and I'd see what to do, I was hesitant to return to her and say that, in fact, I did not see what to do. Something about the smirky tone in which she delivered my "instructions" suggested that if I didn't get it, I shouldn't be allowed to breathe their French-roasted air.
Maybe it's all the times customers give fake names to be written on their cups like "Chewbacca" or "Spanky" that make them lose patience with customers. How many times can you call out, "Tall half-caf Pumpkin Latte for Magnum P.I.!" before you crack?
In any case, after an hour of trying to hack the secret code embedded in the AT&T wireless site, I gave up and moved to the next cafe.
By the way, AT&T, I was absolutely willing to pay $3.99 for 2 hours of your lousy Internet connection, so how about making it easier to take advantage of the desperately relieved to be out of the house? Like, a big blinking button on your front page that says "Click here to pay an unreasonable amount of money for a very brief amount of access. Because who are we kidding? You just paid $4 for a coffee." I would totally click that.
Nevertheless, I was off to the next cafe.
Which didn't have wifi.
A fact I was informed of as the barista was handing me my "I'm not here to take advantage of your free wifi connection" coffee.
Hm. I need to get the order of my questions down better. First ask if they have wifi, then order your coffee.
I now have two coffees, have consumed about half of each, of which I really wanted neither, and I can feel the coffee-sweat-jitters setting in. Clearly, I would need to buy a $12 muffin at my next stop to soak up some of this caffeine. Clearly.
Next stop, the cute new coffee house I've been meaning to try but whose exterior suggested that I would need to be wearing eye makeup if I wanted to feel comfortable. As it happens today, I have on eye makeup, so here goes...
I've got the system down now:
Barista: How can I help you?
Me (scrutinizing coffee board as though I'm dying for an obscure dessert drink, while holding in my sweaty armpits so she can't tell I'm OD'ing on caffeine already): Hmm, let's see... Oh, right, do ya'll have wifi?
Barista: Yes, ma'am, we do. You should be able to just open a browser and see what to do.
Me (experiencing déjà vu but feeling optimistically wicked smaht): Great, right, so I'd like a tall white chocolate mocha. Er, half caf.
Barista: Here's your change. Oh, by the way, when you look for our wireless network, our wifi is AT&T.
I'm back at home now. Three dessert coffees poorer. Three doses of caffeine higher. On my already-paid-for wireless connection, trying desperately to ignore all of the chores that need to be done and pretending that my now-home kids are just noisy cafe patrons that like to spill things.
Oh, and did I mention that since being pregnant for a seemingly solid four years, I don't usually drink caffeinated coffee?
I'll be up til Monday.
jitter jitter buzz buzz shake sweat jitter buzz