Life Lessons in Your Neighborhood Starbucks

Conversations. I always have conversations with strangers. Mainly in airports because, for some reason, my flights always gets delayed by more than 3 hours whenever I fly alone (there is that one time I spent 19 hours at the airport – another story for another day).

I’m not sure why people talk to me. Here I was thinking that I’m successfully giving off the “fuck off” vibe. I was so wrong because just here in my blog I’ve recounted a lot of conversations I’ve had with strangers here and here.

Now I’m adding another one.

A couple of weeks back, I was at my newest favorite Starbucks branch waiting for the rush hour to die down when an old lady began talking to me. She is 86 years old, which surprised me because she looked like she was just in her sixties. She said she’s waiting for her niece. Let me just give you  the salient points of our conversation, the way I remember it.

On money. Save. That’s basically it. Save and grow your money because you work from 20 to 60. Now, depending on how healthy your lifestyle is or how lucky you are in the genetic lottery, you could probably live up 80 or 90 (and that’s already kinda pushing it, to be honest). So that’s 20 to 30 more years of living expenses with no income. Do the math.

On charity. Give but makes sure you are not neglecting yourself. Take care of yourself first before taking care of the world. Also, don’t be too indiscriminate. There are people in the world who, intentionally or not, would take advantage of you. Learn to weed them out of your life.

On marriage. She’s single, never married. She doesn’t recommend it. She believes that people who refuse marriage are selfish – simply because they refuse to inconvenience themselves by adjusting to make room for someone else in their life. Honestly, this kinda hit me hard.


We talked for a little over an hour and it was such an education. She is this wise, smart, observant, and feisty old lady who oddly seems to both be proper and disruptive. I think I’d want to be like her when I grow up.

Though I may still have an aversion to people and conversations, I really wouldn’t mind conversations like I had with her.

Keep going,

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