My first thought upon seeing Friends Restaurant—how does a business create a symbol for friendship? It can’t be as easy as Wendy’s Restaurant using a red-headed pig-tailed little girl or Red Lobster with a red lobster. Inside Friends Restaurant, there are pictures of little children in acts of friendship that could be considered borderline taking it to the next level in what adults call special friendship. Usually with my friends I don’t feel comfortable giving flowers, holding hands, and kissing on the lips. Despite the friendship displayed on the walls of the restaurant, I didn’t feel friendship or love from the employees. In Friends Restaurant, feeling devoid of friendship was like being in a church, seeing images of Christ on the cross, but not feeling guilt from the preacher. Without the feeling of guilt, what is the point of salvation? If a person doesn’t feel love, what’s the point of friendship?
While waiting for my omelet, I distracted myself by reading the newspaper headlines, fuel for my imagination. I enter Friends Restaurant with certain expectations befitting an establishment with such a name. Imagine: The host greets me with a big hug and a boisterous, “Welcome to Friends Restaurant! Can we be friends?” I order the Palestinian/Israeli omelet, a hybrid of a traditional Palestinian/Israeli breakfast. (Side note: from my research, both groups enjoy eggs, tomatoes, cheese, and olives.) The gist of todays headlines: When Israel starved for power, the US fed them cluster bombs. When Lebanon hungered for survival, the US fed them humanitarian aid. Imagine a better headline inspired friendship: The president of the United States receives a Nobel Peace Prize for a new approach to hunger. The US decides to extend olive branches to each side, and both sides put the olives on one another’s fingers. It is hard to fire a gun when there’s an olive on your trigger finger. Grown men and women begin to suck olives off their neighbor’s fingers. The next day, the Palestinians, Lebanese and Israelites feel awkward but giddiness takes over, and they erect a Friends Restaurant in Jerusalem as a symbol of peace.
107 North River Road
Enterprise, OR 97828