a lost zillennial

Sittin' spots

Any of y'all have a sittin' spot?

A sittin' spot is a place you go to sit, but it goes a little beyond that. It's a place you go to exist in their own little bubble, a place that is comfortable and feels like yours but isn't yours.

a lost zillennial

The feeling a sittin' spot may evoke.

These little coves have been important in my life since I discovered the beauty of the coffee shop. Starting in middle school, my parents would drop me off at coffee shops, and I would sit there for hours — doing homework, hanging out with friends, browsing the internet, playing on my phone, whatever — until I felt ready to leave.

With the patently-American teenage driving experience came access to more sittin' spots and the autonomy to abscond at a moment's notice. The coffee shops and the parks were there for me whenever I needed them (until approximately 8 p.m.), and boy, did I need them.

But of course, my dear SUV was its own sittin' spot. As an 18 year old, angsty and angry and anxious, I would scream at the top of my lungs once I pulled in the driveway after school sometimes. It wasn't as cathartic as they make it out to be in the movies. Even so, the parked car was — and continues to be — a vacuum separated from the outside world where you can laugh or cry or yell and nobody has to know.

I have different sittin' spots for different occasions. If I'm meeting someone for the first time, we go to a certain coffee shop. With a friend, I might go to another. Reading for pleasure happens in a different location than reading for academics or work. When I need to think, I take a picnic blanket and lay in a public park. You don't, however, need a reason to sit at a sittin' spot. That part is important.

A key requirement of the sittin' spot is that it isn't always yours. There's something comforting about knowing this isn't a space you are responsible for and that others pass through every hour of every day. You may have responsibilities to perform in the sittin' spot, but that requirement isn't intrinsically related to the sittin' spot itself. It's where you can go to forget about the pile of laundry glaring at you from the corner or avoid the couch from which you work remotely and also watch television until midnight.

With sittin' spots often come invisibility. You don't have to be perceived; you can simply be. This is ironic because I think many of us fantasize about someone noticing us in one of our sittin' spots. Even Taylor Swift says, "Green was the color of the grass where I used to read in Centennial Park / I used to think I'd meet somebody there." And why wouldn't we? These are the places we feel most like ourselves and in our element. Why wouldn't someone dream of a connection being harbored within?

But the resolution of that Ms. Swift song is that she brings the person she cares most about to her former sittin' spot in Centennial Park to show them around. Sittin' spots are meant to be shared with the people you feel safe bringing in. It's not yours, but imagine if you're a character in a TV show (since we're already on the topic of fantasizing about being noticed). Your favorite sittin' spot is your set. In Friends, Central Perk was the sittin' spot the audience dreamed to have. You know every inch of that place, even if you don't.

At this stage in my life, my home is mostly for me. I don't love inviting people over, even if they're my closest friends. I had pals over all the time when I first moved in, but now that its lost the novelty, this is where I rest. It's mine.

The majority of the sittin' spots I mentioned are coffee shops, but I think we need more sittin' spots. There are days where I feel like I have nowhere to go because I don't have a reason to go anywhere. Walking around stores and not buying anything is only entertaining for so long. If you're not drinking age, there aren't many places outside of a home you can just exist with your friends without trespassing. I am drinking age, and I wish there were more places to just exist. Make it capitalistic, I don't care! Take my money and let me sit with my friends. These might be a little more common in larger cities, but I am but a Southern twenty-something gal.

Talk to me about your sittin' spots. If you've never really thought about it before, maybe you have some you don't think about as sittin' spots, but now you might. If you don't have sittin' spots, I highly recommend engaging in the concept.



Shoot me a comment or start a conversation with me by emailing davstri4077@gmail.com.