“What do you want to eat, hib?” I was sitting at the couch, interpreting a two card tarot spread while Raisin toyed with the deck’s box discarded by my feet.
Ricky was flipping through some restaurant coupons we got in the mail, searching for that one special meal to pop out at his eye’s tender palate.
“Any good coupons?”
“2 can dine at Arby’s” he calls out from the cat tree, where the booklet lay resting, worked over finger by finger.
He continued to flip. “You know I always used to eat at Ron’s Pizza with my grandpa when I was a kid… but it’s all the way out in Miamisburg. And we just had pizza”
“I want breakfast” I suggested, automatically nixing the idea of Waffle House because I was basically going out in pajama pants. I didn’t want my old coworkers to see me bumming.
We both agreed on getting breakfast from Bob Evans at 3:00 pm. It shouldn’t take that long, right?
When I got there, I was automatically raced to the door by this lady in a pink sweatshirt and a baseball cap. I could care less who got there first, as I came trailing in behind her, after she failed to leave the door open for me. I was third in line.
“Yeah, I’m up,” the lady aggressively announced, as if rushing up to her podium before the staff. People from nearby tables turned their attention to the bubblegum-topped politician about to give her speech. “I’m DoorDash”
“All DoorDash orders need to wait in the lobby until their orders are ready” an older lady appeared around the corner while shooing the crowd with her arms in a stressful manner. I stood and grabbed a menu from the counter while the two customers in front of me dragged their feet out defeatedly to the lobby, including my new pig skin-colored sweat-shirted baseball-capped best friend who’s in such a damn hurry.
“Wow, it’s busy for 3:00 on a Monday!”
The older woman approached the counter where I stood and was literally sweating stress.
“Yes, and I’m one of the only three up here,” she started , and followed up with a short rant about how she didn’t know where all these people came from who are coming through the doors and why they wanted breakfast now.
I remembered feeling the same way when I worked at Waffle House, and receiving consolation from that one understanding customer- so I tried to be that customer for her. I looked her straight in the eye and said “Look at me. It’s just breakfast. The worst that’ll happen is that customers will have to wait longer. You’re part of a well-oiled machine. Trust the flux. Take a deep breath. It’s just breakfast!”
I think my words of wisdom went in one of her ears and out the other: she followed up with “I know. Can I take your order?”
My ultimate question: what do you do when you try to offer somebody wisdom they cannot or do not want to comprehend?
I ordered the three egg breakfast with hollandaise sauce in top, bacon, and what was supposed to be well done hashbrowns- which are never Waffle House well done but whatever- and I asked for honey, butter, and strawberry jam.
Before I left, I called the staff “goddesses who work hard” and got dirty looks from the waitresses. Maybe I should have stuck to calling them something more ‘skimming the surface’, like “all-stars”.
After all, I opened up my bag to the breakfast entrees, a hurried fist full of ketchup, and three packs of country crock spread.