Miscommunication 101: Is This Where We Were Supposed To Meet?

by Beth McAuley

Published at 2011-01-20

Has this happened to you? You set up a coffee date with a friend for a Sunday afternoon, feeling quite certain the name of that particular coffee shop is Starbucks.
You know the one? you say. Next to The Carrot Common?
Sure, responds your friend. See you then.
This is how it started. My friend and I finally found an hour that we could share together. I suggested Starbucks at The Carrot Common. Sunday. 3:30.
Sure, she said. See you then.
I arrived right on time, found a table, cleared it off, and sat down. This is good, I thought, humming to myself as I looked around the shop. Lots of people out on a cold and sunny afternoon. Sharing coffees, reading newspapers, and eating delicious-looking treats.
I was feeling content, enjoying the sun shining through the windows as I waited for my friend to show. My eyes roamed over to the front window and scanned the big letters painted across the pane. Backwards they read S’YHTOMIT. It took a minute or two for the letters to re-arrange themselves in my head. TIMOTHY’S.
TIMOTHY’S? Oh, no. This wasn’t SKCUBRATS, which is what I should’ve been reading backwards. This was TIMOTHY’S!
No wonder my friend wasn’t there. It wasn’t the right place!
I panicked, grabbed my coat, and headed out the door. She must be around somewhere, surely she’d come to this location. But I didn’t see her. By now it was 3:40. Only 10 minutes late. I waited a few more minutes then dashed across the street to PUC DNOCES (or SECOND CUP) to see if maybe, just maybe, she was there.
She wasn’t.
There must be a Starbucks in the area, I thought. There was: many blocks away. I walked quickly. She wasn’t there. I went back to TIMOTHY’S. She still wasn’t there.
Okay. I surrendered. Either she wasn’t coming – forgot, maybe? – or she, too, was looking around for the right coffee shop. How could I make such a stupid mistake? I kicked myself all the way home.
Later that evening, my friend left a message for me. She had just remembered that we had a coffee date! Okay: she had really forgotten to show up. So my idiotic mistake hadn’t sent her scrambling. In a way, I felt a lot better about this miscommunication. 
One final thought. You are probably wondering why I didn’t try calling her on my cell. Good question. I was wondering something similar: maybe it’s time to buy one …