The following statement changed everything: No cameras allowed

My plan was to write a post about my blogging buddies. My bestest blogging buddies. Because, and I am sorry to break the news to you, my blogging buddies and I have the best clique ever. I swear. Pinky swear, even.

I am not trying to be mean, though sometimes honesty brings with it mean undertones. So, I apologize for any negative undertones one may feel by my declaration of having the best blogging buddies. Did I say that already? I don’t have cable, either. (Did you know that, Kim, the G is silent?)

Yes, my plan was to talk about my blogging buddies. Alas, all good plans are subject to change. Especially when the plan was crafted by a woman. (d’oh!)

See, this morning I needed to drop my youngest off at school – another day of kindergarten orientation. We live 15 miles from the school, and orientation is from 9am until 11am. Rather than drive an extra 30 miles, I decided to take advantage of free wifi offered at a coffeehouse located near the school.

Before we left the house, I packed my laptop, and I snagged my camera. I thought I would spend the two hours at the coffeehouse writing a post about the best blogging buddies – ever. I brought my camera, so I could take a few pictures from my remote location and include the pictures in my blog.

In the early days of my blog, I grabbed most of my photos from various websites. However, for the past year or so – I’ve made a deliberate attempt to use photos taken by me or someone I know.

Since my post was about buddies (best ever), I thought pictures of a coffee place would fit in nicely with the theme. Raise your hand if you have met a friend or two for coffee.

See? All of you have your hand raise.

Well, Young American doesn’t have her hand raised, because she is busy fighting off a boy wielding a stick with a spearhead made out of duct tape. (It’s okay, Young American, I know you’ve met a friend or two for coffee, and you’d raise your hand if you could. Oh, and I’ll send help.)

Now, for the record, I do not own a smart phone. (Which may explain the stupidity of my phone.) Still, my dinosaur of a cell phone does take pictures. Of course, the pictures are worse than a Polaroid Instamatic camera; plus, getting the lackluster images off my phone is as complicated as trying to tie your shoe while walking up the stairs, holding your cell phone to your ear and whistling “Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink”.

This is why, when I take pictures, I use my Fuji FinePix camera. No, my camera does not fit in my pocket. No, my camera is not discrete. No, those two facts do not bother me. I like my camera.


When I arrived at the coffeehouse, I ordered a medium grande black coffee (with no cream, no syrups, no whipped cream, no sugar, no steam, no half this half that, no light this light that, no yadda, yadda, yadda) and a slice of banana walnut bread. I sat down at a little round table, set up my laptop and waited for my coffee to cool down to a non-scalding temperature.

While waiting, I opened my camera bag and started snapping pictures of my little round table and laptop computer. I did not take a picture of the Moms gathered in the corner, talking about their latest shopping trip. Nor did I take pictures of the two businessmen on either side of the coffeehouse, busily typing away on their laptops, while simultaneously talking on their cell phone. In fact, I didn’t even take a picture of the two teenage girls at the counter ordering some sort of beverage with so many specifics, I was impressed they both received what they ordered exactly as they ordered it.

Nope. I did not take a picture of anyone. I merely took pictures of my little table and items around my little table. Yet, while I was trying to get one final shot of my cup, I hear “Excuse me, Miss?!” “Excuse me, Miss?!”

I disregarded the first two or three shouts, because I assumed he was talking to someone who had recently placed an order. But, by the fourth of fifth “Excuse me, Miss?!” I had to look up and find out which hard-of-hearing idiot was the the subject of the guy’s shouts. As I looked up, I noticed the man was looking at me.

(Would you like a slice of humble pie? A slice? No thanks; I’ll take the whole pie.)

Suddenly, the coffeehouse was quiet. Really quiet. The Moms in the corner halted their discussion of shopping. The businessmen stopped tapping on their laptop computers and paused their phone conversations. The customers at the counter waited in silence.

“Miss, I’m sorry, but we do not allow cameras in here.”

I smile politely. Okay, it was more of a Cheshire Cat kind of smile. But, I smiled. And, I quietly turned my camera off and replaced the lens cover.

I’m not one to Tweet orΒ  update my Facebook instantly, with every rant or gripe that pops into my head. I find myself becoming dizzy, as I see/read the countless gripes of others who feel the need to blurt out everything negative. Still, in this age of instant – this age of social media – one must be careful how they go about interacting with others. Experiences, opinions, etc. can go from unknown to viral in minutes.

Embarrassed and a bit irked by the reprimand, I wanted to lash out. I wanted to fire off on Twitter and Facebook. But honestly, what would that do except let frustration grow to the point of ruining a pleasant morning?

Although, full disclosure, I did pose a question to a friend of mine, who works at the coffeehouse in the Great White North. He let me know that the coffeehouseΒ  is fine with pictures taken of patrons, but they do not allow pictures taken of the menu boards, displays, etc. And you know what? I appreciate that policy. However, not allowing pictures taken of displays, etc. does not equate to ‘no cameras’.


Upon returning home, I took to the internet. More specifically, I went to the coffeehouse’s web page. Turns out, one of their pages encourages its patrons to post pictures using Instagram, asking them to Tweet their pictures using the hash tag with the coffeehouse’s name.

In any case… I understand. Cameras are allowed, even the non-smart phone variety type, but picture taking is limited.

I’m returning to the coffeehouse tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll get the post written about my bestest blogging buddies. And though I am tempted to take the camera with me, I will leave it at home. I’d hate to embarrass the guy by telling him he is ‘wrong’, should he pull another, “Excuse me, Miss?!”

25 thoughts on “The following statement changed everything: No cameras allowed

  1. Ouch! I love to be in my own world and the thought of someone interrupting it by “calling me out” would yeah, ruin my morning. Good call, keeping your cool and saving it for later with all the positive spin, understanding and empathy you can muster. Thanks for the heads up should I spontaneously want to take a picture at my husband’s favorite haunt. Tomorrow’s another day!

    1. Georgette, I am famous for blushing when embarrassed (or happy, or nervous, or whatever…). I was thrilled I did not blush when the guy called me out. Ugh. Instead, I was just annoyed. It’s OK. They provide free wifi – that’s good enough for me! (smile)

  2. I’d hate to be the one enforcing “no camera” policies in an establishment. Good grief…cameras are everywhere as are telephoto lenses, etc. etc.

    At our market, a young woman makes big buttons that have her clever artwork and text. I was lining up a shot when she asked me not to take pictures of them. I bit my tongue, but I wanted to ask if people are allowed to wear the buttons that they buy. If I’m not buying, am I allowed to look, I wondered? I could put on a telephoto and click to my heart’s delight without her even knowing.

    I decided it was not worth having to be “right”. She’s a young person trying to earn some money so I respected her wishes with an apology.

    Technology is changing our lives!

    1. Part of me understands the ‘no photo’ requests. I get the fact that competition is fierce, and you don’t want people to copy and take from you what you worked hard to create. I get that. But, by the same token, what speaks more about the love of certain products than the shameless and effortless marketing that is done by the customers? Pictures snapped at coffee shops and shared online – that is free marketing!

      Again, I get it – I just don’t get the rigidity of it. And yes, I agree – technology is changing our lives. Moreover, the change in technology can be used for good or evil.

      By the way, Soul Dipper you are a better woman than me. I did not offer an apology – merely a smirky (snarky) grin.

  3. Wellington has more coffee houses per capita than anywhere else in the world. We are all coffeehouse-aholics. We love to go and sit and talk, see and perhaps be seen, but nowhere have I ever seen a sign that says no photos. In the same way, I haven’t noticed many people taking photos either. Are we all too busy talking here?

    1. Is this true, Judith? Wellington has more coffee houses per capita than anywhere else in the world? I find that tid-bit of information fascinating. I wish Mom and Pop coffee houses were more prevalent. I greatly enjoy the atmosphere of coffee houses – especially with friends. Photos add to the experience – add to the memories.

  4. I’m raising my hand. Can you see me? Now I’m raising my mug of coffee to toast you on your excellent post. The nerve of those people interrupting your genius.
    Thanks so much for including me in your blogging clique. I’m super psyched about it!

    1. I’m glad you were able to ward off the sticks and tape. You are a brave woman. (smile) Glad you enjoyed my post. Mr. Reprimander is sitting directly across from me this morning. I think I am on probation. No worries, he will not pull me away from my post about my bested blogging buddies.

  5. WHAT? Where is this place? I’m headed there tomorrow camera in hand with a printed out webpage. Or maybe a picture of the computer with the webpage on it.

    And for the record, my SMARTPHONE has the coolest application (aka app) that can take pictures that actually look like polaroids. Yep. We’ve come full circle, sister.

    1. I know!! Can you believe such a thing would happen at a public coffee house? The nerve. No cameras? Please. What. Ever.

      I think I’ve seen folks post pictures on Facebook using the app you mentioned. Owning a dumb phone, I do not have access to such an app. But yes – we have come full circle. We always do that. Why? You know bell bottoms will come back – AGAIN.

  6. D-oh! How’d I miss this post! I swear sometimes I get confused by the little rotatey thing. And the current date. I’m nearly always confused by the date. This is not a good sign. I think I need more coffee.
    P.S. I would have been tempted to take a photo of the no camera guy.
    I would have asked him if he’d like a copy, of course.

    1. Come on SIG – keep up. Don’t let the scrolling thing confuse you. You can do it. I know you can. Though I do see how the scrolling thing could be confusing. I thought it was cool – which is why I used it. Perhaps I should reconsider. I don’t want my best blogging buddies to be confused.

      I WISH I took a picture of the no camera guy. That would have been BRILLIANT!

      1. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply I thought you should change it… it’s very cool. I’m confused by nearly anything and everything (I just need to be more careful, that’s all).

  7. All I could think of while reading this was, ” Are you KIDDING ME???” You did better than me for I’d surely be muttering under my gritted teeth – and – I’m stubborn enough to never go back.

    Laughed out loud at “Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink” though !!

    Great post, MJ

    1. Seriously, MJ! My Cheshire Cat smile was my way of saying, “You dingle dork. Cameras are not band from this place. Do you see how many smart phones in your establishment?” Oh well. I followed his orders and played nice. For once. πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the post and had a good laugh with the ‘Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink” reference. I sang that song in my head the rest of the day.

  8. You are a better person than me! I may be Amiable Amiable, but I’m getting old and say what’s on my mind now. Well, not always at the moment (because I blush all the time, and hate to make my face redder), but I get around to it in one way or another. When we were on vacation recently, I made a point of visiting a clothing store that I had been to the year before and liked a lot. I wanted to tell the world about it in a post, so brought my camera. I asked the owner if I could take a couple of pictures and she replied, quite rudely (snotty voice), “Well, what will you be doing with pictures?” I decided not to do her any advertising favors and politely sputtered that I wouldn’t take any pictures. But I had the Jolie with me and she encouraged me to rank on the store with a Facebook comment on my wall. Mwaaahaaahaaahaaa!

    1. Oh AA – I read that you had the Jolie, and I immediately visualized her creating a havoc in the store. Then I realized you meant you were channeling the Jolie. In any case, I laughed out loud at the fact that you took to Facebook and released your inner Jolie. Well done, AA! Well done!

      We should all channel our inner Jolie. (Especially when we have a handsome captain nearby. Ha!!!)

  9. I’m pretty sure most people in that situation would have called the company or sent an irate email, complaining about humiliation and emotional scars, in the hope of getting a coupon or two for free coffee and banana walnut bread. I might have done that myself, except I don’t really like coffee. On the other hand, Lenore, there’s nothing like embarrassment to inspire a great post, which is what you’ve written here.

    1. Do you drink caffeinated beverages, Charles? I gave up coffee for two years – actually, I gave up caffeine for two years.
      I am glad you enjoyed my post. I was proud of myself for NOT turning several shades of red due to embarrassment. My face turning red enhances my embarrassment – which makes my face redder. It’s a curse, I think. (smile)

  10. I love that you order black coffee and don’t have a smart phone. I just love it πŸ™‚

    (No, that’s not all that I enjoyed about this post, but those two things are just outstanding.)

    1. Thanks! No sense in drinking coffee if you’re going to put in so much other stuff to the point you don’t taste the coffee. And, I love my dumb phone. Well, I don’t really love it, I just like the fact that I don’t rely on it for much. There is a sense of freedom with my ‘dumb’ phone. πŸ™‚

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