I learned from Mrs. Dietrich in my 9th grade Home Ec class that one should spread the butter or mayonnaise or mustard or peanut butter—whatever is on your sandwich—clear over to the edge of the bread. Of course. That makes sense. Who wants to eat bites of just two pieces of bread, unadorned? I might not want to eat the crusts of my bread but I want the good stuff going all the way up to the edge. Why hadn’t I thought of that on my own? Spreading the filling to the edge of the bread was one of the best things public education taught me.
I feel sorry for people who haven’t learned the proper technique. Why haven’t they figured it out yet? Wouldn’t the results have told them? Some of those people work in the restaurant business. Don’t you just hate that teaspoon-sized plop of spread right in the middle of your sandwich, bordered by dry bread? I make the server bring me extra spread. I don’t buy that sandwich a second time. I’m not a fan of shoddy output, especially if it takes my time and energy to make it right.
What I learned is truly a life lesson, a metaphor for making your life the best it can be. If you do things half-assed, you are going to end up without the richness and fullness of doing something the right way. Why bother to do whatever it is in the first place if you aren’t going to go all the way with your endeavor? If you are doing something for someone else, you are going to receive a lot more approbation for your best effort than for a sloppy, halfway attempt. You save yourself a lot of work, too, and maybe money, if you do the job right the first time. You feel better about yourself because the inner you knows the difference between halfway and the right way. You can taste it.
Everyone notices the difference when you spread the filling to the edge of the bread.