Diner’s Dilemma

Tell us about a time you’d been trying to solve a knotty problem — maybe it was an interpersonal problem, a life problem, a big ol’ problem — and you had a moment of clarity when the solution appeared to you, as though you were struck by lightening.

From the Daily Prompt.

I’ve experienced a slew of dilemmas and mountainous life problems, so frequent and so disconcerting that one seems to invite itself unwarranted before I’ve even begun to solve the last. I’ve rarely ever been gifted with an instantaneous solution as obvious as a cloudless sky is blue that has been able to at once reduce a problem such that is it a problem no longer. My solutions to life’s problems are experience-based, perhaps even experiment-based. Like modern medicine, I’d like to think my solutions are scientific; that I could publish them in Nature or the American Journal of Existential Woes without anyone batting a skeptic eye.

Alright, joking aside (but perhaps not too far aside), there has been one problem that I’ve encountered, and perhaps all of New Jersey has encountered at one point or another. As you plebeians may or may not know, New Jersey is home to a staggeringly high number of diners. This is no revelatory statement to native residents. We’ve got a lotta hash browns and crispy bacon and roast beef sandwiches and salad bars and glass ketchup bottles and tiny jam stands and paper table mats and half-and-half containers … and a peculiar shortage of napkins. Despite their shiny tacky retro glory, I still experience the somewhat earth-shattering and life-altering dilemma of picking out something decent from the menu. I’d classify this as an intrapersonal problem, so here’s my conflicting intrapersonal monologue as I scan the small novel-like menu booklet:

“Is breakfast acceptable at this hour? No, I don’t see anyone feasting on diabetes-inducing pancakes or french toast. Alright, what about a sandwich? Ah, I’m really trying to avoid the torch-wielding gluten demons. Diet menu options? Why would anyone on this life-sustaining earth would want to come to a diner for the sole purpose of cottage cheese and melon? What about a salad? What about the senior citizen specials? I could go for pre-chewed food right now. Screw it, I’ll just get the omelette.”

My moment of clarity in the hazy diner food effluvium occurred when I realized that eggs are perhaps the safest and most guaranteed meal one could order at a diner of questionable food standards. Any scientist could tell you that the answer to certain problems may not always be obvious, but can be relatively simple. I am in no way trying to extrapolate my paltry diner experience to quantum mechanics, but what I am trying to say is that when life gets a bit too complicated, I just order the eggs.



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  6. lindasblogs · December 30, 2013

    Hahaha sounds like Long Island! I always order the eggs over easy because (1) as you said, can’t go wrong with eggs and (2) I can’t make them like that at home. I help myself to napkins as needed.

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