When I moved to Everett from California, I was initially perplexed by the small, brightly colored gnome houses that pepper the streets like fire hydrants. Turns out, these are simply drive-through coffee shops for the latte addicted (up here, everyone). They are only large enough to cage a single barista and her espresso machine, along with a few snacks and those disgusting syrups.
And yet, I still can’t get a drive-through margarita. This city has its priorities all backwards.
But I digress. So, I’m on my way to a play-date and I’m desperate for a caffeine fix. The closest kiosk to my house (that was on the right side of the street) is just a few blocks away. My exhausted, fix-seeking brain feeds me only that much information. My brain is like a lousy Google. My brain is Bing.
What I conveniently forget, is that the coffee kiosk by my house is what’s politely known as a “bikini barista” spot. To everyone who does not live in the Pacific Northwest – THIS EXISTS. There are coffee kiosks where the lady operating the espresso machine is wearing lace knickers and a bra. And sometimes a cowboy hat or devil horns, depending on the franchise. Yes, it turns out there are franchises. I’m not linking to them because – well, ew – but trust me; this is a thing. A woman in fancy underwear serves you coffee. And not in your own kitchen.
So as soon as I realized what I was pulling into, I pulled out again (Yes, I know how that sounds). I almost didn’t. I’m a curious person, by nature, and I have a lot of questions I’d love to have answers for…or to at least ask out loud for my own amusement.
- Were they not hiring at Hooters?
- Follow up question: Is this a step down or a step up from Hooters?
- Is OSHA aware of what you’re doing?
- Seriously, is any tip really that good?
- Aren’t you cold?
- Are you producing your own milk for the Lattes?
- Are you working your way through law school?
- Do you know some good treatments for steam burns?
- Is there another kind of “eye opener” not on the menu?
- Does the owner provide the uniform or is it a bring from home kinda deal?
- Who did your tattooing/piercing?
I don’t know if it’s weirder that these things exist, or that they’re not everywhere. And maybe they are, by now. When I was in LA, I saw a billboard advertising topless traffic school, so I’m pretty sure there’s a market. It still strikes me as vaguely unsanitary and not-so-vaguely dangerous. I can’t make a meal in my kitchen fully clothed without burning myself. But that’s me, and who am I to judge. Maybe more jobs in the future will be performed by women in their underwear. Or men! My cute UPS guy is definitely overdressed. How about a sexy piano teacher? bikini lawn-mower maintenance? Naked welding?
That said, if either of my girls grows up to be a bikini barista, I’ll pretty much feel like I failed them. And my country. And feminism.
Way to set the bar, Seattle.