Decades ago friends would gather around the kitchen table to talk, sip coffee, and enjoy homemade coffee cake. This simple, social pleasure is still enjoyed, but the party’s moved to coffee shops at which patrons purchase scones and muffins and drink espressos in one of an infinite variety of forms. But nothing beats the intimacy of a family kitchen table in a friend’s home. So why  do we go to coffee shops? I have my reasons.

First, I personally like getting out of the house and think a coffee shop is a far more festive place to drink coffee in than is my kitchen. Coffee shop walls display art produced by people over the age of 10. It’s refrigerator door doesn’t have ‘to do’ lists and post-it notes dangling. At a coffee shop I see other adults enjoying adult things, like reading, conversing, and laughing. And they’re not laughing at the milk coming out of their friends’ noses. Second, coffee shops don’t beckon me to clean them. No matter how much they are in disarray, it’s not my problem. However, in my own kitchen, try as I might to sit down, I’m compelled to bounce up again and wash dirty dishes, wipe crumbs from counter-tops and spills from the floor. Even if I turn my back to my kitchen, I face the family room and see the mess that’s in there. Before I can sit still in my kitchen I have to clean my house first, and after I do that I’m ready for bed, so what’s the point? A good friend and mother of three shares my sentiments. She says, “Furniture is for other people to sit on; I just straighten it.”

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