A Perfectly Normal Day
After all the travel and internal drama of the past few days, today I did something Perfectly Normal. But yet another one of those things that I never do. I went to a pub, with my friend Dena. We thought of going to a cool pub, or a gastropub, or a fancy award-winning pub. But all those places are hard to park at, and far away, and would have involved a lot of planning. So instead we went to a Perfectly Normal local pub: The Mill in Mill Hill, about eight minutes’ drive from my house.
The reviews of the pub are hilarious. Two stars, they say. Generic, they say. No “creativity or individuality”, they say. But some days generic really is just what you want. Not everything has to be exceptional or exciting. I don’t necessarily want to be challenged or stimulated every time I go for a drink, I just want a nice quiet place with comfy sofas and maybe a good garden. The garden is good. It was a warm sunny afternoon with a nice breeze. Just… a normal level of enjoyment.
I’ve never really felt comfortable in pubs. Culturally, ‘going out for a drink’ isn’t a very Jewish thing – we go out for dinner instead. My parents never went out to pubs, when I went out with my Jewish friends at school and even university we rarely went to pubs. I remember some non-Jewish friends at uni trying to explain to me the difference between ‘a good pub’ and ‘a dodgy pub’. Apparently the trick is to look for well-maintained hanging baskets?
But I felt perfectly comfortable today. We got a drink and a packet of crisps. We chatted. There was no meal to get through or waiter’s eye to catch or dessert menu to be tempted by. They’ve even just put wifi in. Hmm. Pubs. I begin to understand the attraction of the perfectly normal.