You've Never Been There?!

are my entertainment choices out of habit, laziness, or generational differences?

Rob Reid

I  got an all-too-familiar reaction recently when I mentioned that I had yet to patronize The Nucleus Café. “You’ve never been to the Nucleus Café?!?” Yeah, yeah. Over the years, I’ve gotten similar remarks accompanied with stupefied looks along the lines of “you’ve never been to the Gemini Drive-In?!?...The Viennese Ball?!?...Tower Ridge?!?...Hobbs Arena?!?...Action City?!?…The Pickle?!?” No, and I haven’t been to the Mabel Tainter Theater nor the Heyde Center, never went to Country Jam nor Rock Fest nor the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, never fished nor boated on the Chippewa or Eau Claire rivers, and I never climbed to the top of the mound overlooking Elk Mound. I’ve taken advantage of hundreds of other things this region has to offer in my 23 years as an Eau Clarian, but not everything – yet.

Back to The Nucleus. The key word in my opening statement is “yet.” I have “yet” to visit The Nucleus. I’ve heard their breakfast is wonderful. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. When I go out to breakfast, I head to Perkins. (I can already hear one saying “Perkins? They’re so corporate.”) I personally think they have the best pancakes in town as well as the best morning wait staff.

I also occasionally head for some breakfast joints where bib overalls are a fairly common sight. I suppose I’m connecting with my roots a generation removed; a nod to my grandparents. I’ve slipped into a safe groove. Some might say a rut, but I want to know my hard-earned cash is going to produce pleasurable results. With the poor economy, I’m not taking as many risks as I used to. I want to go in knowing what the seating arrangements are, and that I will indeed have a seat (we have our Sunday morning Perkins timing down to the quarter hour that we know we will have to wait for a booth to open up). You know the faces and sometimes they know you. (Cue the Cheers theme song.)

Am I stuck in a rut? When we habitually go to the same places over and over when there are so many choices from which to choose, is this a bad thing?

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Rob Reid  author

Rob Reid is a senior lecturer of education studies at UW-Eau Claire. In addition to writing Children’s Jukebox (ALA Editions 1995/2007), Reid has also written two more books about children’s music: Something Musical Happened at the Library (ALA Editions, 2007) and Shake and Shout: 16 Noisy, Lively S

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