Wood grain and cloth napkin have connotations of home.
Wood is sort of universal but it’s better than those stainless steel tables at Chipotle that make you think you’re eating lunch in a factory or an industrial kitchen.
Cloth napkins at least make you feel like you’re at your grandparents’ place, if not at your own home. That yellow though smacks of something slightly too trendy, once upon a time, and then now it’s just an ugly mustard hue.
I take my fashion advice from this old book I found in the Dewey Decimal collection at the Knight Library. The Dewey collection there is interesting because it’s composed of the remaining books that were never converted to the more-direct Library of Congress organization system. So this is a whole bunch of books shoved into a corner of the fourth floor to be forgotten. If they weren’t upconverted it was because no librarian thought they would ever be checked out again. And, looking at the titles of these creaky-yet-oddly-specific tomes, it’s hard to disagree with the librarians’ assessment.
Anyway here’s a picture from a 1934 book on etiquette:
This seems like the idea behind much of The Olive Garden’s decor: don’t get too trendy, don’t get too flashy. Keep it as much like home as you can. Don’t scare anyone off.
The wooden tables fit that boring ideal, but shouldn’t the napkins be a more mundane shade of cream or tan? Why the bright yellow blight?
Well, because it really is like home; home is the place where, when you go there, you see the same things forever. Because that’s what we bought once, and now we’re stuck with it. Whatever style was in style when we wedded–those gifts from forgotten friends and family cannot be forgotten. The yellow that was beautiful once is ugly now, but just as useful as ever.
And home is where we can’t have everything, we can’t afford anything, but you’re still welcome anyway.
1: linguini, artichoke, shrimp
2: linguini, grilled chicken
Bread: 2.5 (1 naked)
Weight: I have a cold so who cares
Feelings: hiccuped for two hours after meal and these just left after nearly waterboarding myself so I’m feeling pretty good.