Remember Marilyn Hagerty? She's the lady who gave a glowing review to the Grand Forks, North Dakota Olive Garden in 2012, and just recently gave another review in which she described Ruby Tuesday as "one of the stars" of the Grand Forks restaurant scene. Yeah, she's kind of my professional hero. I'm actually not kidding.
It's OK to laugh at the absurdity of the fact that the primary newspaper in one of the biggest cities in North Dakota (granted, "one of the biggest cities in North Dakota" is kind of like being named Miss Toledo, but whatever) is paying someone to write restaurant reviews of an Olive Garden or Ruby Tuesday— after all, it isn't something you see every day. As someone with a deep and abiding love for the inherent humor all forms of paradox, I definitely laugh, especially when I read the reviews in Hagerty's actual voice, which sounds almost exactly like an older version of Bobby's Mom from Bobby's World (no, seriously). But just for a second, stop to think about the fact that not only did this 87-year-old lady have the temerity to write a review of a major chain restaurant, but when said review went viral, she kept doing it. Don't tell me that isn't badass.
There's another point that gets lost when we talk about Marilyn Hagerty: maybe we shouldn't think its that weird to see a restaurant review of a place like Olive Garden. Not every culinary experience has to be Slovenian-Laotian Fusion Cuisine or Homemade Coal-Fired Artisanal Upside-Down Cronuts; sometimes you just want to go to Outback Steakhouse and murder a Bloomin' Onion. There's nothing wrong with that, though with the preponderance of food shows aimed at rich folk palates, you could be forgiven in modern-day America for not realizing it. In a bizarre way, Marilyn Hagerty reminds us that our culinary pretensions are ultimately self-sabotaging. This woman might just be the cure for the common food hipster.
So while you might look at her and see this:
When I look at her, all I can see is this:
...and yes, this entire article was a convoluted excuse to create that second meme. Sue me.