FantasyLand: Starbucks or Books

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING more humbling than having to ask a stranger, let alone a young woman half your age (or more) if she has a tampon! I mean, come on, I should know better to carry such paraphenalia in my purse. And I am waaaaaay to old to be acknowledging that I am still fertile. The young woman looked at me with surprise, but then gave me a smile and said, “Wait, I have something in the back.”

Of course she would say that. This is Starbucks…the happy place! Where desires are fulfilled  (read my blog, Moring Coffee,, souls are refreshed, and everybody knows your name. The world just seems like a better place in a Starbucks. The employees eagerly greet you as you walk up to the counter. You get what you want, your way, the way you like it. (I get a black coffee, room for cream. Not too difficult.) There is “cool” music playing in the background, swanky leather chairs and neo-modern tables to hang, and a bulletin board that boasts clubs and events that save the planet. It’s all so zen. It is a shot of fantasy in a world filled with chaos, confusion, distrust, and mayhem. It is Fantasyland.

I like to dive into fantasy. Ummmm, I am a writer! I write about men being caring and romantic. Hello! Total fantasy!!!! But I think Starbucks has tapped into something that is more than serving coffee at high prices. They allow the average person a boost of happiness before they start work, a reprieve in the middle of chaos, or a sanctuary from the jungle outside it’s doors. It is this “fix” of fantasy that appeals to the average Starbucks’s customer, along with their favorite half/half, decaf, soy latte with extra foam. It’s not of course, fantasyland. That is just silly to think that there is a Disneyland for coffee. But when I am feeling particularly stressed, or unhappy, I run to Starbucks to lift my spirits. It makes my day. It is a smile for no reason, a childlike giddiness in the middle of the mundane. Walking into a Starbucks allows a moment to just imagine that the world is calm, cool, and collective; an escape of daily life.

Everybody loves Starbucks! So, I ask myself, why doesn’t everybody like to read? Reading is the same “fix.” Reading is a chance to escape your everyday life, take away your stress, ease your mind, and imagine anything. Reading offers you a fantasy of your choice. Want to visit an unknown dimension? Books can do that? Want to make love to someone new? Books can do that. Want to imagine a younger, sexier, self who lives in Paris? Books can do that. Want to learn how to draw a cat? Books can do that. All for the same price as a cup of coffee! And it last longer than ten minutes. A book can keep you in fantasyland for days, if not weeks. And if it is a good book, it can be a part of you for a lifetime. Reading can be dark or light, tall or grande, with whip or no whip. There are so many styles, levels, topics, etc that one should never have an excuse not to read. Books offer you the “fix” of fantasy any time, any place, any where. You can take it with you in the car, on vacation, or just alone in your room. They may not be able to know your name, (or hand you a tampon when you need one) but they can make your life a little brighter, smarter, and happier.

So, my challenge to you…buy a book, or two. Try it once a month. You might not give up going to Starbucks, but you might find yourself reading in one!

Let me know what you are reading these days…would love to find out what your fantasy is.


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