It doesn’t work. You can try – but you’ll never get it exactly right – and then you’ll be sorely disappointed and slightly depressed…speaking from recent experience.
For those of you in Southern Ontario, you may have been familiar with Mel’s Diner…located in the plaza beside University of Waterloo. It was a delicious dive. Famous for their 24 hour kitchen, greasy food and satisfying end to a night of fun at Loose Change Louie's. A huge menu awaited you…mmm pickle spears (these things are hard to find!)…along with 50’s memorabilia and the music to match. Always busy. Always good. Sadly, this landmark burned to the ground a few years ago.
‘Lo and behold…from the ashes…Mel’s Diner made a re-appearance, in a brand new location. It is now located across from a funeral home in suburbia (reminding us aging Gen Y's that's where you'll end up if you eat greasy diner food all the time!). Not at all the same student crowd it expertly catered to. Hubby and I were excited to go…we walked in and saw similarities (although not as much tasteful clutter on the walls). As soon as we sat down deflation set in. They specialize in all day breakfast (which seems to a be a position gaining popularity - but I can cook my own eggs - easily!) and they have a very small regular menu now. No pickle spears…here is where a tear started to form in my eye (for realsies, sigh). My meal was ok. Not great. I sighed, ate it, looked around at what was brand new, trying to be old and recognized it wasn’t. It just wasn't the same. It tried - but failed.
We left disappointed. It was a different restaurant, sadly with the same name of something that was really great. Recreating nostalgia is impossible. Nostalgia is a feeling…a memory…a moment in time. Enjoy every one of your moments, because you never know when they’ll come to an end. Be ok with them in the past. Memories are good. They remind us of where we come from, how we got here, and why we should carry on. And to quote my boss's coffee mug - "keep calm and carry on!" I will find you elusive pickle spears...mark my words.
I can't believe it but...I am having nostalgic memories - and realizing I am REALLY getting old!
Reminiscing Pickle Spears,