Happiness Is… writing a review for that lunch you had that way okay

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Remember that time you went to that place and the food tasted like they had scooped it out of the bin, the place was as dirty as a bin and the service was like they were talking to you as if you yourself had crawled out from a bin too? That trashy, disgusting awful place that you searingly reviewed on TripAdvisor, posted about on your Insta story and slammed on Facebook?

How about that place you went to where the coffee was a bit below standard but the girl serving you complimented your earrings and made your day? Or the hotel with the slightly dated decor but the best views of the city? Or what about the bar that ran out of a mixer to make your favourite cocktail but the bar staff asked what kind of things you liked and created you your own drink based on the flavours you said you enjoyed… who did you tell about them? Where can I read that review?

We are so quick to jump on the negatives and shout about them to anyone who will listen. Our ride was late, we didn’t get the view we were promised, the starter was cold, it did not look like the photos… but what about the middle ground places? The hidden gem places where something about them made you go actually it wasn’t all that bad?

As someone currently travelling a totally new country at the moment, I look to places like TripAdvisor to help me plan where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Whilst I take reviews with a pinch of salt – to the person who rated a hotel one star because they didn’t have the widest range of TV channels…. what did you go on holiday for?! – I still find it astounding to think how many people will only take the time to write a review if something was horrifically awful or, on the rare occasion if they were completely blown out of the way, something was mindblowingly brilliant. The in between, it was fun, three or four star reviews don’t even get a look in.

In life, not everything can be perfect and that’s something we need to accept across the board. If you can understand that my idea of the dream wedding dress is different to yours then how can we fail to see that restaurants or hotels cannot appeal perfectly to everyone too? My idea of the perfect Cosmopolitan might be sweeter than yours. My idea of tasteful decor will be different than my mum’s. My idea of a good meal, as a vegeatarian, is definitely different to most, but most places I go to I still enjoy. I enjoy the middle ground because not everything can be perfect but my goodness it is better than it being horrific.

Those independent cafes you see dotted around your high street or that new city you are visiting are someone’s livelihood. They will have poured their heart and soul into making a business for you to enjoy and that amount of courage deserves more respect and attention than only bothering to tell people if they are at either end of a scale. That bracelet you bought from Etsy might be slightly lighter in colour that a photograph showed (find me a photo that is 100% true to life please) but that is someone’s business paying for their daughter’s ballet lessons, keeping their car on the road and the roof over their families head. That slightly awkward person that served you earlier might be on their second day in their first job and just a nice word will make their day and boost their confidence enough to make your next visit even better.

We walk into these situations, mentally scorecarding every moment without ever thinking of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. No knows what it took for that person to come to work that day or the gamble it was for that person to launch that business. Of course if somewhere is unclean or people are rude you judge, but can you really furiously rant about someone accidentally dropping a plate and it smashing in the middle of your meal? Did it really ruin your night?

We are lucky that we don’t have LifeAdvisor. I wonder how much kinder we would be then knowing that everything we did was going to be rated and published online. No one critiques our every move. No one scores me out of ten for how I pack my suitcase or leave my hotel room or travel from destination to destination. Perfection exists for a moment and that’s okay because after perfection we still have the good and that should be more than good enough.

So the next time you leave a restaurant and think ‘yeah it was alright but I didn’t rate the wine selection’, tell someone. Review it, give those 3 stars with pride because you went there and it wasn’t terrible. You found The Good In Every Day because you didn’t find the awful and that is definitely something to post about.

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