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A Mom, a Knitter, and a Magician Walk into a Coffee Shop

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Maine chapter.

I recently was stuck in writer’s block–feeling a lack of inspiration to write all these really cool ideas I had for articles. Maybe it was the weather, the lack of sun, or the busy schedule, but after a little experience I had at a coffee shop downtown today I’ve realized that it had nothing to do with those factors at all. I’ve experienced a lack of human connection that has left me stagnant in place for the past few weeks. 

I ordered my coffee, the same one I get everytime: a maple cinnamon latte with oat milk. This time I asked for the lovely barista’s name who never hesitates to compliment me or make me smile. We exchanged names and smiles and I went and sat contently, sipping on the hot latte in the “bonita” mug, which was said to be made for me. I saw a sweet looking lady with blonde hair, having the time of her life sipping her drink-just like me- knitting away at what seemed to be a sweater. I decided to begin a conversation with her, which led to us talking all about our crochet and knitting projects, and how much we love it. We talked about possibly meeting up to do it sometime at this very coffee shop, when a bystander interrupted and asked if she could join. After that, another lady sitting contently, similarly enjoying her goods asked to join us as well. Within a matter of minutes, four strangers become a bit closer with one another than ever anticipated. A simple conversation regarding colors and size of yarn led to conversations about where we were from and our futures emerged. Four strangers opening up, talking about their families, their struggles, schools and cities-all from a simple compliment on a knitting project. A singular compliment led to connecting four people, who otherwise wouldn’t have connected with one another. This led me to think, why doesn’t this happen daily? What prevents us from complimenting each other? What prevents us from talking with strangers when time is allocated to do so? Today, I created a group chat with two ladies, out of my age cohort, who were just lovely, who I would’ve never had the opportunity to meet otherwise. 

Just when I had thought my day couldn’t get any cuter, it did. I was packing up my laptop and study supplies when a man and his wife at a table next to mine started asking me some questions. At first it was nothing more than “What’re you studying?” or, “What do you wanna be?” This led to a simple question on my end, “What do you do for a living?” A simple question, to an unexpected answer; “I’m a magician.” I sat there thinking, “oh god, what did I get myself into.” To my surprise, I ended up being amazed by this strange, unknown man’s abilities. He was so incredibly talented, and made things appear and disappear in a way I’d never seen before. I spent the next 20 minutes in laughter and smiles. After the magic demonstration, he told me all about his life, how he was friends with Dolly Parton and David Letterman, showed me pictures of them together, too. A wholesome moment between strangers, once again.

Here’s some food for thought: let’s say when you die, you wake up in a world that only has the people you remember within its confines. Who is there? Is there a variety? Did they really know you?

I’d like this concept to be the driving force behind connecting with others. If you challenge yourself to compliment one person a day, maybe ask that barista what his/her/their name may be, even take the time to really ask someone how their day is, what would the outcome be? How could you benefit? How could they benefit?     I started out the day feeling down, tired, and uninspired. After a little odd connection with strangers, I left that coffee shop with a smile and newfound inspiration. Despite differences, geographics, and all the odds against us, I met some new people. Moments like these make you feel less alone in a despairing and detached society, I propose you oppose this common trope. Help yourself, and those around you feel a little less alone.

Emilee Roy

U Maine '24

Hi! My name is Emilee and I am a junior biology student at the University of Maine. I love to write about various topics from personal growth/relationships to my studies, and even current events. In my free time you can find me cooking up a good meal, watching New Girl again, or listening to a philosophy podcast.