Anecdotal Evidence

Beautifully Average: The Story of How Everyone At Panera Bothered Me

I probably shouldn’t have a blog. I’m scatter-brained, mildly inappropriate, and most days I lead an exceptionally average life. But then I went to Panera and witnessed a murder.

No, just kidding. But I did go to Panera and I almost committed a murder.

So, I’m sitting by this loud couple who keeps talking, shouting really, about the “fat man by the door” and “Do you think he will fit through it?” I’m actually pretty sure they’re drunk. (Are you excited yet?) But between talking about the “fat man by the door” and the “really fat man next to him,” the woman said something poignant. She slurred, “You and me, Drew. We live a beautifully average life.” I almost “aw”-ed out loud. But that’s the beauty of this country. You can find inspiration anywhere. *Even in the fat-shaming assholes who are drunk at Panera before noon.

My daily routine: Coffee, crack my knuckles, write, eat, write, eat, **bum-bum rapido, write, wine, wine, wine, read. You get my point. My life is average in a lot of ways. Even my mental illnesses are fairly average. Generalized anxiety and depression? Sounds…general. Why couldn’t I have something like, I don’t know, peculiar anxiety and exciting depression? Maybe hallucinatory scurvy?

Well apparently Panera is a watering hole for asshats. This older gentleman saw me sitting here writing and thought, she looks like she might need someone in her personal space. Anyway, I hate confrontation so he is still sitting at my table (weird), but at least he is being quiet now. His eyes are closed so he might be sleeping. Or dead. He’s actually pretty old. A few minutes ago he struck up a wildly personal conversation with me, and I’m awkward so I went along with it. At some point, after finding out that I’m a writer, he said, “I used to want to be a writer, but writers have to live a significant life, and I’m pretty boring.” Then he looked at me all expectantly like, so what’s so special about your life? And I was like…this baguette is delicious, and then mentally kicked him in the nuts. Screw you, old dude. The rude couple that hates fat people thinks I have a beautifully average life.

I’m totally going to Applebee’s next time.

Three hours later: I’m back at Panera. I really did leave for a while to run some average errands, buy an average cup of coffee, and pay an average visit to the average bookstore, but then I realized that I left my laptop charger at Panera so, whomp, here I am! But I had an epiphany on my way in, so I decided to sit down and ***tap it out.

I find myself fascinating. I find the social experiment that is Panera fascinating. I find every average life that I’ve ever encountered absolutely fascinating. This is why I’m a writer. Not necessarily because my life has been significant, but because I see the significance in other lives. I’m a writer because, much like the rude couple, I see beauty in the average stuff. And because mixed in with the average stuff, my day-to-day life is a grab-bag of oddities and idiosyncrasies that make me chuckle. For example, I woke up this morning and threw zucchinis off the deck with my mom because we wanted to watch them explode, and I’m convinced there is a poem in that somewhere. And even though there are days when my anxiety and depression feel like twin pillars on my chest, when I can barely leave my bed, I still force myself to travel because the world is just as weird as I am. Admittedly weirder, actually.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m (beautifully) average, but I do have big plans: Travel the world, write a book, and become Instagram-famous with my future Great Dane, Virginia Woof. But even if I wake up one day and experience the most exciting day in the history of everdom, filled with significance and special-ness or whatever, I will still look back on throwing zucchinis off the deck with my mom and think that was the best day.

In essence, this blog will be filled with anecdotes about writing, travel, people I meet and observe, and the average, weird, entertaining moments of everyday life. There will also probably be a lot about adorable animals and why we should cuddle them.

THE END

*I totally saw the rude couple drink from a flask when they went out to their car. There is something respectable about that. If they weren’t so rude, we’d probably be friends.

**Bum-bum rapido is a work-out DVD with a saucy Brazilian who tells me to shake my bum-bum (“boom-boom”).

***In my head, “tap it out” meant to type on my keyboard, but Urban Dictionary says that it is “To fight, usually not in a very serious tone.” First of all, I’m not sure how anyone can fight someone “in a tone”. Second of all, I wasn’t trying to fight the old dude at Panera, I swear.

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