My husband and I ate at a restaurant in Evansville, Indiana last night – one we’ve never been to, and unless we develop amnesia, we’ll never go again.
On the plus side….
- It was very clean. The restroom was downright charming.
- It shares a name with one of my all-time favorite restaurants, an Amish restaurant in Washington, Indiana. When we ate there (frequently) quite a few years ago, this place was beyond fantastic. How this one even comes close to sharing its name is beyond me. The workers weren’t Amish, and I’m darned certain the cooks weren’t either. If they were, man oh man, are they backsliding.
The restaurant is buffet style, and my husband and I , literally, kept going back trying to find something that was good. We finally decided that the chicken was good. These people even messed up cocktail sauce (lumpy and didn’t look remotely like cocktail sauce), green beans, mashed potatoes, bbq ribs, and hash brown casserole. The dressing? Don’t want to even think about it, but I will say this – dressing wasn’t meant to be sucked through a straw. It had the consistency of applesauce, but didn’t taste anywhere near as good.
The mashed potatoes and green beans are what really perplexed me, though. When my husband nervously asked me how the potatoes were, I told him, “They’re neither bad nor good.” They reminded me of the Biblical passage where God instructs us to be either hot or cold. He says that He’d rather we be cold than lukewarm. After shoving the potatoes around the plate for 5 minutes, unsure of what to do with them (should I go ahead and eat them or relegate them to the heap of “I wouldn’t eat that if the only things on earth were it and a penguin’s uterus…” pile – along with the dressing, hash brown goo, and bbq ribs) – I understood the full meaning of this verse possibly for the first time.
Identification. If something is good – we know it’s good, we don’t have to pause to wonder why it isn’t as good as it should be… you know, figure out what’s missing, what isn’t quite right, etc. If something’s bad – we mark it with our AVOID marker and do just that. But if it’s neither good nor bad, it’s even worse – because we don’t quite know what to do with it. It actually wastes our time more than the bad stuff, because we can discard that pretty fast.
How do you and I measure up in the most important areas of our lives? Personally and professionally – are we good, bad, or somewhere in between? Hot, cold, or lukewarm? If you fear that you’re lukewarm in any given area, remind yourself that lukewarm is something people only look for in bath water.
The potatoes were lukewarm – caught somewhere between good and bad. If I could have spoken to the cooks, I would have encouraged them to use more potatoes next time (if in fact any potatoes were utilized), to season the potatoes, and to refrain from beating them to death. There are steps they could take to make them better, just as there are steps we can take to make ourselves better. Problem is, most people are perfectly okay with lukewarm. They figure that being “good enough” is, well, good enough.
For the next seven days, don’t focus your attention on what everyone else is or isn’t doing. Don’t ponder how they look, dress, behave, speak, or what they do or don’t do. Concentrate entirely on yourself. In each area, ask yourself if you’re GOOD, BAD, or SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN.
- If you’re good – keep on keeping on. But please be sure there are others that would back up your assessment, don’t just take your word for it.
- If you’re neither good nor bad – you have good news and bad news. You could be worse, but you could be better. You aren’t going to get better without some effort, however. If you get too comfortable with your bath water approach, you’ll eventually start sliding the wrong way. A lukewarm bath always cools off, it never warms up.
- Are you afraid that you’re downright “bad” in a given area? You recognize it and I’m proud of you for that. You just accomplished something that most people NEVER accomplish – you acknowledge that you have room for improvement, and more likely than not you’ll blaze right past the comfy cozy lukewarmers on your way to greatness.
Something else about the restaurant that struck us as strange was the rudeness of the waitress. This was the first time we’ve ever had a server come take the tip right from the table while we’re still sitting there and remove our glasses of tea – glasses we were still drinking from! I told my husband, “We just got the bum’s rush.” It really doesn’t get much worse than being thrown out of a bad place.
If only she’d bounced us before we ate, as opposed to after the crime.