Right before I left work I realized it was National Pancake Day and decided to celebrate it properly with a free short stack of pancakes from IHOP for dinner. It was a great plan that ended up being executed rather poorly.
First I couldn’t find anyone to come with me – I mean I know it was short notice but we’re talking FREE PANCAKES here, come on! After a fair amount of wheedling, I finally convinced The Flying Crane to come with – but she wasn’t going to be home until a little before 8. We were both starving, and neither one of us is pleasant to be around while hungry. I tried to wait but finally caved around 7:15 and had a bit of instant rice (Shhh, don’t tell The Flying Crane!).
The whole situation was further complicated by the fact that I had an indoor soccer game at 9:10 and had promised to give several players a ride at 8:50. So we get to IHOP about 8, put our name in, and wait. And wait and wait and wait. It wasn’t helpful that both of us are about the last people to ever confront anyone at a restaurant. But after the fourth party of 2 who had come in after us got called, even I had reached my limit and asked the man at the counter how much longer it would be. Let me just add that it was obvious this guy lived for Free Pancake Day. He had trained for this day. He was going to show this day who wore the pants in the relationship. And he had the loudspeaker to prove it.
When I finally approached him and pointed out he had skipped us, he magically found us a table. Then the waitress said she could take our order in a minute, which turned into five. Not that big of a deal, except now it’s 8:30 and we haven’t ordered yet. The Flying Crane looks like she’s either going to die an agonizing death right in front of me or choke the life right out of me, or both. So I’m alternating between wondering if I should pour some syrup down her throat to tide her over, trying to calculate any possible way to make it to my game on time, and worrying that my roommate may in fact be the Hulk of Hunger.
When the waitress finally returned, I ordered not only our food, but two to-go boxes and the check. At 8:40 I finally gave into the idea that there was no possible way to pick up my teammates without abandoning my roommate to hitchhike home. I made a frantic call to Cecily and she swooped in to pick them up and save the day.
When the pancakes finally came, I did much less savoring and much more shoveling than is really recommended. Halfway through I realized that I could easily finish all three pancakes in the time it took The Flying Crane to finish one but also acknowledged that I would sincerely regret that decision about a minute into my soccer game. So I refrained, begged the waitress to bring the check, threw money at her and ran out the door. I did manage to make it to my game pretty much on time, although the first minute of running around my stomach definitely gave me a stern lecture on my poor decision making.
All in all I was still pretty satisfied with the evening until I realized that in my rush to pay I gave the waitress a ridiculously large tip and ended up spending about the same as what I would have on a short stack anyway.
But now that I’ve had the chance to eat the leftovers as a perfect midnight snack, I’m definitely going to put this pancake day in the win column. In a world where this stack is labelled “short”, how can I not find the joy?