There was a recent story about how some 150 people left the Mormon church en mass. It gave me a lot to think about. I decided to express my feelings in a short story.
Take from it what you will.
After Jim entered the restaurant, he noticed everyone was looking at him. Their expressions showed different emotions: curiosity, indifference, and distain. Everyone was in either a fancy dress or a tuxedo. He looked down at his T-shirt and blue jeans. They were clean and free of holes or rips, yet still he felt uncomfortable.
He had heard good things about this restaurant. The food was supposed to be excellent. He didn’t realize how they patrons would be dressed.
“Welcome,” the hostess said. She smiled at him. “How many?”
He’d come by himself, which only added to his feeling of awkwardness. The food smelled delicious and his mouth started to water. Still, his growing feeling of uneasiness overrode his desire to eat.
“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I came to the wrong place.”
He spun and left the restaurant and walked out to the busy street. Everywhere he looked, he saw different restaurants. People were walking up and down the sidewalks, looking at the different places to eat.
Jim saw several people wearing T-shirts and blue jeans going into a restaurant a bit further down the street. He followed after them.
He stepped into the restaurant. No one looked up at him when he came in. There wasn’t a hostess at the door to greet him. He saw that he would have to go up to the counter and place his order and then find a place to sit.
The menu was on the wall lit up with neon lights. Most of the meals listed were offered at the restaurants he’d visited before. Jim walked up to the counter, placed his order and soon was sitting down to eat.
“I’m so glad I left that fancy restaurant across the street,” someone said at a table next to him. “I didn’t like all the way they ran it.”
“Yeah,” another person said. “While most of the people were nice, I felt like some of them judged me because I didn’t wear a tuxedo.”
“And they didn’t have my favorite drink!” yet another person said. “I tried to get them to offer it, but they wouldn’t. They are so close minded.”
Jim looked around the restaurant. In general, people were eating and looked comfortable. His meal was okay, but he thought back to how the food smelled at the nicer restaurant. He wondered how that would have tasted. He considered that as he looked around the restaurant full of people largely ignoring each other and focusing on their own meals.