So tonight I had dinner at Ryan's. I love Ryan's. Not the food. In fact, I throw up a little in my mouth when I approach the buffet at which so many hands have loaded their plates. I love the atmosphere. I like being in a room full of people who have as many stains on their clothes as I do at six o'clock. They have unruly children and gluttonous eating habits.
A couple years ago, during a prolific writing kick, I sat in a Ryan's making notes of the bizarre human behavior going on all around me. There are some ripe characters in there. That day, I'm sure I was recognized by others as one of those bizarre characters myself. Those notes are still tucked away waiting for further inspiration to help them reach their potential.
There is an intangible "it" factor that we mega buffet patrons share. I hope I never lose it. Even if eventually I cease to be able to stomach the food, I never want to feel above taking my oversized family to commune with others living lives free of pretense, free to embrace who they are and eat in a public place in exactly the same manner I imagine they dine on their own living room furniture. I get people like that. I am people like that.