Rethinking what's normal
For all of my life, I have never thought of restaurants as anything but places you go to get served and have someone else cook your meal and wash the dishes. Simple. Normal. Only, now I think of them very differently because I have come to realize their focus is on gathering crowds. My focus is on food and service. With the pandemic lingering on for possibly another year or two, it's unlikely I will consider eating in a closed space with a bunch of strangers. What changed for me was the realization that the word "restaurant" was so ingrained in my psyche to mean one thing—food and service—that as soon as it dawned on me their model is fostering public gatherings, everything changed. It's the food and service I am after. It's the masses of people they want. This brings me to the idea behind the post. In days of yore—the 70s and 80s—the norm was for people to have stereo systems. Few among us had televisions, but almost no one was without a vinyl-based stereo rig. I mean, it was almost unthinkable, and yet not that many years later, those of us still enjoying our stereos are somehow in the minority. Weird, right? The good news for me is that remembering back to those long-ago days when my speakers were powered with a cheesy Kenwood integrated and sourced from a rickety old AR table with a MM cartridge, I can only imagine how bad that must have sounded compared to what floats my boat today. "Normal" is such a transitory state. It doesn't mean that it's right, it just means that it's what passes for working at any given snapshot in time. Our normal today will be odd tomorrow. Now, let me get off the computer and go enjoy some tunes!
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