Sometimes you’ve just gotta have a waffle. I’ve been craving them for weeks, actually, but kept putting off the inevitable. “They give me carb crash,” I told Fuzzy. “They’re too sweet, they’re not healthy, there’s no protein in them.”
Tonight, the cravings won out, however, and at eight-thirty at night, we left the house and went to the local IHOP. Now, IHOP is convenient and cheap, but let’s be honest – the amount of actual recognizable food they serve is pretty minimal. I mean, the fruit is all canned or frozen, the orange juice is from concentrate, I’m pretty sure the cheese comes in individually wrapped slices, and no one – NO ONE – can get perfect grill lines on sausage patties without an airbrush.
Also, I associate the place with one of Dennis Miller’s old (old, old) bits. “Does anyone ever expect to see anyone International in once of these places?” he riffed, going on to make snarky comments about imaginary syrup stewards, “I chose a very dry maple. It was busy, but never precocious.”
On the other hand, I don’t like keeping ant-inducing substances like maple syrup in my house, and while I make a fabulous beer-basted beef roast, I only learned to made decent hamburgers this year. So, when I refused to cook on the grounds of it being that time of the month as well as the fact that I’m tired and crabby and having a crisis of self-esteem, and then said, “I want waffles,” Fuzzy’s response was, “Get in the car.”
As dinner invitations go, I’ve had better. Nevertheless, ten minutes later we were holding hands across a formica table that featured a syrup caddy bolted to its edge (which, really, is pretty funny – can you imagine some old lady slipping syrup containers into her purse? Honestly – they never take anything larger than half-and-half containers!)
Now, I’m prone to arriving at a restaurant craving one thing, and then being perverse and ordering something completely different, which is great for ending hunger, but not so productive when it comes to killing a craving. Tonight, however, I reminded myself, “You always get distracted by things like cheese blintzes, and then you bitch because they make them with whipped cream and frozen fruit. Stick to the thing you want. It’s hard to ruin a waffle.” And so, I did.
I had my waffle, and I had some sausage with it. I don’t really like breakfast sausage all that much, but there’s something really comforting in the combination of salty spicy sausage coated in the remnants of the maple syrup that was poured over the waffle.
About forty-five minutes later, we were back home, with happy dogs, and sated cravings, and I hadn’t even commented that if I don’t go back to IHOP for another year, that wouldn’t be a tragedy or anything.
Well, I hadn’t commented out loud.