Dear Dude Whisperer,
I frequent a coffee bar/ cafe. I have a crush on one of the baristas
there. I’ve been pretty warm towards him, not just courteous like the
rest. He seems receptive towards me. He’s very chatty, attentive,
smiles at me a lot and will blush at me as I blush at him. A friend
who’s often with me said she feels he favors me, his treatment of her
isn’t the same as me. My question is – is this just excellent and friendly
customer service? I know baristas must be solicitous and social toward
customers per their job description. And to be blunt, I’m a plain, big
woman. He’s an attractive, young man. If there really is interest, I
would approach him.
Any insight would be appreciated.
Oh man, has the DW been in your shoes. There was a waitress at a breakfast place he used to go in his single days that he crushed out on so hard she could have brought him a $20 poop omelet with a side of doody fries and he would have told her to keep the change.
Like you, the DW had no idea if she was nicer to the DW than other patrons. It felt like it. But maybe she was just layin’ it on for tips because it was so obvious the DW was all googly-eyed and bonered up over her. Maybe she was just good at her job. Maybe the DW was so blinded by the cutes that she wasn’t really all that nice at all, anyway. The DW, frankly, never figured it out.
In other words, you’ve hit right on it. Service jobs make people really hard to read because it’s an artificial setup. Someone is getting paid to be nice to you. The DW has been on the other side of the equation, waiting tables, and can tell you with great certitude that his behavior became more and more calculated over time. Not calculated in a cynical way, just as a means of survival. Dealing with the needs of the general public is a tough gig in any capacity, so a person collects and employs phrases, looks, excuses, assertions, clues, winks, jokes, and anything else that gets a good reaction and keep things moving. If the DW ever gave off waiter signals that stood out they were directed to kind, understanding, easy customers more than anyone else. Yes, even more than women with cute smiles and nice boobies. God almighty with a cherry on top, do you appreciate someone reasonable by the end of a dinner shift.
So, maybe hold off on asking the dude out for right now, and that advice has nothing to do with your frank self-assessment of looks. There’s nothing here so overt you can be sure of his interest. Also, it sounds like the place you would do the asking is at the coffee shop while he’s working, and the DW is generally a fan of asking people out when you encounter them “in the wild” if you can swing it. Being on the clock is hard enough without having something personal sprung on you in public.
The way the DW would suggest you approach this is to keep an eye out for Mr. Hot Cup of Joe in the neighborhood of the coffee shop. If you see him in a bar, a clothing store, on the sidewalk, wherever, it’s totally fair game to say hi and strike up a conversation. Just say, “Hi! You may remember me from such coffees as Double Mocha, Grande Red Eye, and Just Give Me a Strongass Cup of Whatever’s Handy. It’s nice to see you when you’re not behind a cash register and I don’t have a caffeine headache. How’s it goin’?”
Things will get clearer from there.
Here’s to a good coffee.