Shoes to Console a Broken Soul

I’ve become a regular at the coffee shop near my office – the place where my heart’s been stolen by my “Barista Crush” (my latest conquest until the new season of Manolos arrive) – and I’m learning to time my visits to avoid the daily rush of everyone’s java jolts.

By arriving at precisely 11:45 a.m. I can snag some quality time to chit-chat with my potential beau in that brief period before lunch crowds jam up the front counter and a long line of hungry panini fans makes it impossible to even catch those handsome eyes.

Unfortunately my clock-watching was interrupted last Tuesday when the boss rescheduled a conference call that made ME reschedule my break. Not to be thwarted, I decided I would just go at 1:30 p.m. instead – nearing the end of lunch hour prime time and right before BC would be done for the day.

The Crush works the morning shift, up at the crack of dawn to serve up hot espresso – and a few hot looks – at the wee hour of 6 a.m. I’m completely impressed by his work ethic; the only reason I would get up before sunrise would be if Prada slides were on sale. Or Christian Louboutin had invited me for coffee to discuss designs…

After my meeting, I scurry over to the café as planned, eager to catch BC (whose given name is Paul) before the end of his shift. I even planned my outfit for the occasion, a pink and white ensemble: a pink pencil skirt and frilled white blouse, complete with pink and tan scalloped patent Blahniks – okay, I was in a very girly-girl mood on said morning – and as I coiff my hair on the glass door of the café, I see him right behind the counter, his handsome self…

Talking to a perky little blonde. Wait, not just talking. Flirting. She’s smiling just a tad too much. Giggling just a little too loudly. And wearing a pair of Gucci knock-offs that are too tall for her frame.

I catch myself seething with jealousy, and decide that green is not a color that matches well with pink and white.

I put on my best smile and strut on forward, ready to greet the boy and and finish sizing up his friend.

“Please, please let her be just an old friend from high school, your neighbor, anything but your love interest’ I’m praying all the way to the counter.

His eyes turn to me for just a moment as I walk towards them, and soon I’m standing next to this…bombshell (for lack of a better word) who is shamelessly flirting with MY CRUSH!

‘Hi Paul,’ I coo as sweetly as can be.

‘Heyyy,’ he replies in his usual dreamy way. Only it’s not so friendly anymore. And not encouraging any further dialogue.

Clearly, I’ve trotted myself and my Manolos into a private conversation.

‘This is, umm’ he clears his throat, ‘Melissa. My, uh…’

‘His ski instructor!’ she squeals in her high-pitched cheerleader voice that makes me – and a few bystanders – cringe. ‘Nice to meet you!’ she exclaims as she extends her over-manicured hands for a handshake. ‘In fact, we’re getting ready to hit the slopes right now, aren’t we Paul?’

‘Um, yeah’ he mumbles and averts my questioning glance as I’m clearly trying to figure out if Miss Melissa is more than just his teacher. He’s packing up and getting ready to leave, and she’s waiting for him.

They have a date. And some new hire is making my espresso.

I grab my cup from the counter and pretend to get a buzz on my blackberry. I give them a distracted and totally forced wave goodbye as I head out the door, trying to look very into the “message I just got,” and determined not to let my disappointment show on my face.

It looks like it’s just me and my Manolos for now…and the new AmEx that just came in the mail yesterday.


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