Saturday, April 19, 2008

Becoming Reacquainted

You know how songs can bring back vivid memories of times past? Apparently (for me) pancakes can do the same thing. Last night Allen and I took All-a-Boy out to dinner in honor of his birthday tomorrow. We let him choose the restaurant, and since his old standby Chuck-a-Rama was packed to the gills, he decided to try something new: IHOP. I have not eaten at IHOP since before I was married and have fond memories of the place, so I had a mixture of excitement and anticipation as we drove there (a bit dramatic, I know...). I hoped it would be all that I remembered - and I was not disappointed.

The menu has about tripled in size from what I remembered, making it difficult to order. I finally decided to get what I always got, without fail, back in the day: Chocolate Chip Pancakes. As the server brought them to the table, just the sight of them reminded me of so many times I ordered them in the past...

-The day my friends in drama class took me there on a Monday morning when I read the cast list for "Fiddler on the Roof" and realized that, once again, Pam Maclean had been cast in the part I wanted. Chocolate Chip Pancakes, bring me comfort.

-The late-night trips to IHOP after church dances when, once again, that guy didn't ask me to dance. Or that other guy said no when I asked him to dance. Chocolate Chip Pancakes, melt my awkwardness away.

-The time my parents decided, on a whim, to take us all out to breakfast on a Saturday morning, followed by a trip to the mall. Chocolate Chip Pancakes, remind me of good times as a family.

These are just a few experiences. Chocolate Chip Pancakes were like an old friend and I loved becoming reacquainted yesterday as I shared chocolaty bites with All-a-Boy, almost 9 years old now, and exchanging knowing glances with Allen as our boy spoke beyond his years of everything under the sun. Another great memory. I need to come to IHOP more often.


Rebecca said...

I can appreciate chocolate chip pancakes, but sadly, I don't have fond memories of IHOP. Maybe it's a bond that must be forged in one's youth...or not at all. IHOP only reminds me of a sad time: just after we had moved here, and I was lonely and depressed, and Doug took me and the kids out for dinner. I was craving Olive Garden, but I didn't know where one was. We ended up eating at IHOP, and it did not please, to say the least. And then, after eating and paying, we walked out of the restaurant into the evening darkness, and my eyes glanced directly across the road and saw a glorious and very heartbreaking lighted sign that said "Olive Garden". I don't know how we had missed it. I think I probably cried, right then and there.

Trish said...

Gerb...Pam NEVER had nothin' on you! That will forever be one of the unsolved mysteries of this life...and you don't just have to go off of my opinion alone on that one.
For some reason lately I have been very nostalgic...I can always count on you to take me back...thanks.:)

SuperSarahAnn said...

You have inspired me to try chocolate chip pancakes. Never had 'em. I have NEVER ordered any flavor except the regular buttermilk pancakes.

I'm gonna google IHOP right now...

annette said...

Smart, pretty, fun, and great sense of's strange to imagine you were not the most popular girl in school. (You would have been at my school.)

Ah, thank goodness for good friends and yummy food to make those times endurable. Isn't it interesting how food can bring back memories?

My fave is hot choc. w/lots of whipped cream.

Mom not Mum said...

Great blog! So I gather you take just one kid out for their birthday - that is cool! I have 3 kids and find it hard to get individual time sometimes - I think the special birthday dinner is great.

When I was in highschool the hangout was Denny's - nothing like hot chocolate fudge cake with CHOCOLATE icecream when you're feeling down.

Gerb said...

Maybe next time you should order the choc. chip pancakes. With extra whipped cream on the side.

Apparently Mr. Scarlata saw something in Pam that I didn't have - isn't it sad that I can still remember every part she got that I wanted?

You won't be disappointed. Bring your little man with you and you'll be sure to have great memories, too!

I was not always the intelligent, humorous beauty queen you know today (insert HUGE sarcastic smile here). It wasn't until well into high school that I felt confident in myself, and my friends were definitely not of the popular crowd...unless you include my brother. He was the big man on campus and I was happy to just be "Chip's sister".

Mom not mum-
Yep, we take each kid out on their birthday. It's a fun tradition that we all look forward to. Denny's and Bob's Big Boy were popular after-dance hangouts for us , too - and a hot fudge cake or peanut butter pie were usually just what I needed!

Anonymous said...

Rena, again. First, I really love the way you tell your stories, Gerb. That being said, Pam never deserved those parts, you did. I still talk to her high school boyfriend, Hutch, and he seems to have no fond memories of her, if that's any consolation.