Do I want to frequent (some would say "haunt") a reliable place, a place that feeds me what I want and like on a regular basis, that can make my order in an offbeat way that they know I'd like+, a place with fellows and friends coming and going in close-to-predictable orbits. Ah. More familiar faces. More sitting around and shooting the breeze. More time being comfortably somewhere, able to read a book if I want and listen either idly or in a focused way to the conversations around me. Or converse as well, even. I have thoughts to add.
I sort of have that. There's McMenamins Kennedy School every other Tuesday for Geek Trivia; and I can go to the Jolly Rogers in Southeast about 25 blocks north of my apartment for the weekly Quizzy Trivia event there. I also go over to Big-Ass Sandwiches, sometimes just to stand next to the cart and shoot the breeze with Lisa, Brian, and their crew -- not necessarily buy anything, or maybe just buy a cookie by Dawn Taylor, but getting to be with more neat people. I'm in the orbit of those places. Do I want more of that?
Maybe not. For one thing, I can't really afford to add more restaurants or cafés to go to regularly. Bills are especially important right now. (Yesterday I wrote and mailed my second check in two weeks that's just for paying down the balance on my credit card.) I'd want to be a good customer, and I can't always be that. (There: another incentive to earn more.)
Bear with me on this thought: I'm sure restaurants and cafés wouldn't mind that I probably wouldn't be the type to say "Give me the usual." I have this need to keep circling the menu: I tried this that time, and before I had that and those, why not try this? If the place is reliable in other ways, it's likely to have a reliable menu; the chances are good I'll like something different. But it also means I want to keep circling other places: What's that place like? Okay, what's that place like? So there's that thought echoing somewhere in my head if I keep going to a place: I'm a patron of this place. What if I tried other places? Maybe I'd like those places, too.
Is having a regular haunt being satisfied, or is it settling? And why do I get hung up on these thoughts?
Trying to appreciate what I have and what I might appreciate that's out there as well, I remain
+ My friend s00j shared this this morning on Twitter about one of her favorite bookstores/cafés: "Soul Food makes it weird (they know what I like) http://t.co/bo2XzC1 " That inspired this entry.