Dunn Brother’s Coffee is a charming little coffee shop on Beltline road in Addison. In a city, well a country really, where Starbucks reigns supreme, Dunn Brothers is capturing the heart of it’s neighborhood.
A cheerful coffee bean roasting machine greets you when you walk in the door. Dunn Brothers roasts all their coffee in house and it smells soooo good. Shiny wood floors are soft against the gushy, velvet sofas and giant arm chairs. Book clubs, game clubs and musicians alike love to hang out in their hospitable environment.
This was the setting of one of those events you know you will never live down but hope that someday, sometime you can laugh at the memory instead of dying a little inside.
I was sitting on the purple, velvet sofa enjoy a cup of coffee with a group of friends from church. This was BC – Before Children when coffee was sipped not gulped and sofas were sat upon, not just collapsed upon. Back in the day it was common to find me enjoying friends and coffee in a sophisticated environment like Dunn Brothers.
During the riveting conversation, the urge suddenly hit me and I excused myself to go to the restroom. As usual, the silent call of the female species had gone out and women were lined up at the women’s room to answer. Men don’t hear such calls and therefore are not subject to bathroom lines.
I’ve always prided myself in being unconventional. That night I walked right past those women into the mens bathroom like I owned it. I laughed as I thought of all those poor women waiting in the hall and smiled at my own brilliance for beating the system.
Still smiling I swung the door open to leave and was startled to bump into a tall man waiting at the door. He was just as surprised to see me so I lightened the moment by cracking a joke. I looked up at him and quipped “I’m really a man.” He gave me a very peculiar look and walked past me without a word.
Unfortunately, one of my greatest virtues and gravest flaws is my insoluble desire for absolute honesty. I am a horrible liar and cannot live with myself when I’m dishonest. So I did what any rational human being with a conscience would do. I stood outside the men’s bathroom door and waited.
After a few minutes “Tall” walked out of the restroom.
I stopped him and said “Excuse me. I’m really NOT a man.”
“What?” He stopped and looked down at me.
“I’m really not a man” I repeated.
“I have no idea what are you talking about?” said Tall.
“Remember a moment ago when I came out of the bathroom and you were standing there? I said I was a man, but I’m really not a man, I’m really a woman.”
By this time bathroom guy was backing away with wide eyes.
I took a step towards him, eager for the understanding of what I was trying to tell him to sink in. The next thing I knew he was turning on his heel and making a b-line for his friends who had just settled in to enjoy a cup of coffee in what they no doubt hoped to be a crazy free zone. I saw him pointing at me and gesturing and suddenly they all got up and left. Left out the door. Like picked up their bags to get away from crazy woman left the coffee shop.
I stood their blinking in disbelief. I wanted to run after them. To explain that I was not crazy I was simply ridiculously honest. After all isn’t that a quality to be admired? Even if they didn’t admire my honesty, at least they could believe that I was not a man posing as a woman trying to convince people that I was really a man. They saw me coming and drove away in their black jeep before I could even make sense of what had just happened.
In retrospect. I have never made sense of what happened. Who stands outside a restroom to convince a perfect stranger that the joke she told a few moments ago was a lie? And No I’ve never lived it down. My husband loves to drag this story out at parties like it’s some rare piece of art to be enjoyed by all. I’ve also never stopped blushing at the memory. I have however learned a valuable lesson. Some people do not appreciate honesty. In fact, if you are too honest, some people will not believe you at all when you tell them you are really not a man.