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Holly Stallcup @HollyStallcup
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Saturdays are the hardest when you’re single. Sometimes it takes until 5:30 to shower & get out.

I drag myself to “my coffee shop.” I like having places that are mine. I don’t have a house or a husband but at least I have the tan couch at my coffee shop.

Right now the baristas know me as the girl who spilled fancy toast with sticky honey all over everything, but maybe someday they’ll know my name and order. A girl can #hope.

What I really #hope is that one of these baristas will think that I’m pretty and read interesting books and that the way I kick off my sandals and curl up on my tan couch is cute enough to get to know.
The hipster coffee shop is the good Christian girls alternative to meeting someone at the bar. I wish they had a certain color mug your drink could come in if you were looking for a hookup, #hopeful it would turn into a husband. I lost any sense of dating dignity a long time ago.
Two of my tan couches have been hijacked by couples. I decide against asking to share. I wonder if they don’t have couches at home.

I think back on PDA I’ve participated in in my life. I feel determined to not be that couple ever again. But I do #hope I’ll be a couple again.
I pass the third couch leaving a serious student to his studying. I come to the last couch. A nice enough looking guy has set up a pillow divider in the center of the couch. He either doesn’t want to share or is signaling that I’m welcome to the other half.

I awkwardly point. He nods his head without taking out his headphones. And then I notice it. The Holy Grail of coffee shop hookups.

Open in his lap is a leather bound bible with the pages that tear too easily. Without speaking I know he loves Jesus and wants to marry me. #hope
I immediately regret my reading selections for the day. I wish I had brought my bible so he would know that I want to marry him too.

I realize I don’t ever bring my bible to the coffee shop and realize this must be why I’m going to die alone.
I set down my secular books hoping he knows that Brené Brown loves Jesus and that he respects a girl who reads many genres. Maybe my not bible books will peak his interest and he’ll talk to me. If he knows and loves Brené I know I’ll be going home with him tonight.
I order my drink on the way to the bathroom. The barista who helped me pick up the mess that was my fancy toast last week smiles. He recognizes me but doesn’t remember my name.

I look in the mirror, #hopefully run my fingers through my hair and know it looks the exact same.
In a hurry to get back to my date I take someone else’s latte, making another stellar memory with “my” baristas.

I kick off my shoes and realize he is writing a paper. I feel even better. I may not be pious enough for someone who just reads their bible for kicks at coffee shops.
I open a book because I’m not creepy and angle myself just enough to look out the big windows and if I’m lucky to get the inside scoop on my future husband.

I imagine having to send a text to friends cancelling plans later because I got asked on a spontaneous date.
I need more information. Even with my glasses on I can’t read his screen. I think about seminaries I respect nearby and #hope he attends one of them. I shutter at the idea that he might go to one of the crazy Christian institutions close by. I want a husband but theology matters.
If I could see what Bible translation he was reading from I could get a feel for his camp. The pillow barrier is hindering my spying efforts.

His hat is on backwards but I #hope it has a school logo on it if I can just get a good glimpse.

I double check his left hand. #hope
I put my glasses on top of my head while I read. Keep putting them back on to side-eye spy. I think he’s pretty cute but I only steal quick glances. He seems busy. Almost like he didn’t come here looking for a wife. He should be more #hopeful. Just look to the left! #provision
He pulls his hat off in what seems to be exhaustion. In a moment of destiny the wording on the hat is visible above the pillow barrier.


Well that could go either way.

Is he being funny? I like that.

Is he a prosperity gospel guy? Not going to work.
He isn’t using Apple products. I think I like that. He’s different, maybe even subversive. Maybe he’s one of those mysterious cool guys who doesn’t have social media.

I notice he has a disposable water bottle. That’s a minus point. The earth matters.
Wait is he leaving? No! Bathroom.

This is my chance. Surely I can catch a glimpse of some helpful clues. And then as if he knew exactly what I wanted he stacked all of his things neatly and placed his backpack on top of all the evidence.

Obviously he is playing hard to get.
I try to deduce something important from his Reebok backpack but fall short.

I keep “reading” but try to look only casually invested hoping he will interrupt me when he comes back. This plan is unsuccessful.

I think about saying something but he really does look tired.
No one is looking for a wife during finals, a hookup maybe, but I begin to see that there shall be no husband tonight.

This #hope is always a long shot. It’s as romantic a notion as the in love couples who forced me on to this couch to begin with.
He begins to pack his things. I think about questions I could ask,

“Where do you go to school?”

“What are you writing about?”

He doesn’t seem like he wants to talk but I don’t want to be accused of not putting myself out there. Again the colored mug system could really help.
He leaves without a second glance. I half-heartedly recite some platitude I don’t even believe anymore about God having a plan and that I’ll run in to him again if it’s meant to be. #hope
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