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Living Large in Northeast Ohio


7100 Lockwood Blvd. # 392

Youngstown, OH 44512

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March 5, 2016

And this is not quiet discussion among the various groupings. To the contrary, you could hear some of the conversations down at the bottom of Route 224. And the cell phone conversations…yikes!! Over here I heard that Millie didn’t come home last night. She was having an affair with Bill. Over there I heard that Betty’s dress didn’t fit and she should really take it back for a refund. And the lady with the hot pink shorts, lime green top and died (I know...dyed) bleach blonde hair…you forgot to write down a dozen eggs on your shopping list…and yogurt…your sister told you not to forget the yogurt.  And don't forget the facelift. Then I found out Bill, the one Millie is having the affair with...is the guy with bony knees in the plaid Bermuda shorts with the oxygen tank sitting at the round table in the corner.  Millie...next time pick one that is breathing. Hello people. I can hear you. Too much information.


But you know what? Notwithstanding the bad clothes and the cholesterol laden breakfast food and the loud talking and the scary legs and dyed hair and the cell phone conversations, these folks were all having fun…and I wasn’t. And it was even more poignant because I knew most of the people in there and love them all. The last time I sat for a leisurely morning coffee klatch was when I was in college too many years ago, and I felt guilty because I cut class. It's Italian mother guilt.  The worst kind.


Maybe we should all take some time and go to the coffee shop, get some bad coffee that everyone is pretending to be delicious, and order one of those individual egg quiches and a Danish…and sit back and watch the world go by.


Maybe I can do it tomorrow…no…I have a hearing. How about next Monday…no…there is that real estate closing. I know, next Wednesday, except there is that deposition and campaign finance meeting. Maybe the week after…..no.....


Mark G. Mangie  






Okay. So I had to go to Panera’s in Canfield this morning to deliver some papers to a client. I dutifully packed my valigia and drove in the AM traffic and parked my car and strolled into the coffee shop. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but a whole bunch of people sitting around drinking coffee, eating bears claws, and having a good time.


But was I drinking coffee? Was I eating bears claws? Was I having a good time? Nooooo. I was delivering papers to my whacked client who may or may not pay me. Then I had to go to work. I had to get my coffee to go…and all of the coffee urns were empty. The ladies who worked there had to confer about what to do. They must have exceeded the 8 – 9 AM quota.


Where do I sign up for that life? When do I get to wile away the morning sipping java and eating pastries? What am I doing wrong?


There are two phenomena in American culture that are a real hoot. The first is the mall walkers, of which I am one. That is a subject for another day. The second is the coffee shop culture. These are the folks who have turned the coffee shop into their living room, dining room, and office. They can buy a cup of joe for $2.50, log into the wi-fi, and they are good to go for the rest of the day.


Then there are those who make it the center of their social life. These folks are there every day, sitting at their usual table where they solve world problems discussing all the issues of the day. Included in this group are senior men, often times wearing shorts baring legs that would scare the hell out of many small children…no offense to senior men. Many of them are refugees from McDonald's, not as classy, but still a coffee hangout early in the morning. And as for the women…do you really think those stretch pants make you look attractive? Why not opt out of an age appropriate jogging suit. Maybe an orange one with some sort of animal logo on it.