I loved this story from a reader in response to why I enjoy the routine of visiting a hotel that’s consistently bad:
“Years ago my in-laws would drive me crazy by complaining about the food at a (now defunct) restaurant chain that they would unfailingly stop at numerous times when traveling from Pennsylvania to Florida each year. It was a major topic of discussion; how not-good the food was, service was terrible, etc. But the food wasn’t bad enough to stop them from going back to the chain (and same locations) year after year. I asked them why they went there at all when all they did was complain and when there were probably so many local restaurants they could try along the way.
They finally came up with the answer “We know what to expect.”
As you have said, it’s easy to get into a rut. Some ruts are good, some not so much. I try to remember this story anytime I find myself sliding into a rut. It doesn’t always work, but at least I’ve made a conscious decision and then I can’t complain however it turns out.”
I also always visit the Waffle House whenever I’m in the southern U.S. But of course, the Waffle House isn’t mediocre. It’s amazing!