Founder's Wall
Variety vs. Familiarity

Introduced: December 04 2012


Some of us really love variety. That's why we need cities with a lot of options for eating and entertainment. We buy new clothes, even when we have plenty to wear.  ..We travel to places we've never been before. We're willing to taste new food, like pig cheeks and goose lips... (Just kidding about goose lips but I was once at dinner with friends when they actually ordered pig cheeks. I couldn't look!) and we don't even want to get into what wanting and needing variety can do to marriage.

If you start out on a road trip at the right time of year, you can even find yourself in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving, eating shrimp cocktail and a pizza in a restaurant right next to the casino floor. Oh well.


When you transplant yourself in a different location -- even temporarily -- there's a certain satisfaction to figuring things out. Where's the best place to walk...the best Italian food..the route that avoids traffic jams...the place where they don't run out of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal in the morning?

And then, there's familiarity -- and I'm surprised to realize that familiarity can be nurturing, comforting, and even liberating. Your bathrobe is on the hook where you expect it to be. Certain dark streets don't look so ominous.You can sing along with the Madonna song.Your e-mail fills in the address when you start to type it. Your neighborhood service station will search for your gold ring between the car seats where you dropped it -- and they won't charge you for their time. And yes, the head on the  pillow next to yours in the middle of the night is a good way.