I never got past item number one — own a Waffle House. (Coincidentally, I happened to be in a Waffle House at the time of this brainstorm session.)
Waffle House and I have a short but sweet history together.
I ate in one for the first time in 2004 on a graduation trip to Gulf Shores with two girls named Casey and Haley.
We did a lot of silly things on that trip, like washing Haley’s car window at a gas station as the song “Car Wash” blared on the radio.
Although our friendship didn’t work out, I’ll never regret the memories we made. That includes the three days straight that we ate at Waffle House.
Waffle House was there for me at a time when I didn’t like who I was and I was struggling to find who I was supposed to be.
Some of those answers came in college, and UAB just so happened to have a Waffle House on the edge of campus where I spent most of my time.
I somehow ended up with at least one long break between classes every semester. Most of the time I disappeared into a remote corner of the library, but about once a week I walked down to Waffle House.
College students didn’t hang out there much, which may have added to its appeal to me.
I guess I stood out enough that one of the waitresses memorized my face and my usual order — plain waffle, plain hashbrowns and water. (I liked to keep it under $5.)
I was grinning from ear to ear the day I left UAB for the last time, but I forced myself not to look at the Waffle House sign as I passed by on the interstate.
After that, I didn’t have time to visit Waffle House much what with working, getting married, having a baby, etc.
Several weeks ago, Zac asked if I wanted to go to Waffle House for a Sunday breakfast. I was headed out the door before he finished the sentence.
I felt welcome there as soon as we walked in. A couple who arrived the same time as we did let us have the last booth since Wyatt would be eating with us.
Actually, my son spent most of his time getting to know everyone in the restaurant.
People love Wyatt. I don’t know if it’s his red hair and blue eyes or the fact that he stares them down until he gets their undivided attention.
That day, he kept a couple entertained as they waited beside us for some seats to become available.
They even offered to take him home, a request that I’ve gotten more than once from complete strangers.
Wyatt was socializing and Zac was dealing with an upset stomach, so I was the only one at the table enjoying my breakfast.
The food was as wonderful as I remembered. I would buy that syrup and bathe in it if maple were an acceptable smell of body odor.
Our visit was cut short by Zac’s sickness. He took Wyatt to the car while I loaded up the leftovers in boxes.
I left the waitress a pretty good tip for no other reason than she seemed like a nice lady.
Since I had my hands full with the leftovers, the man who had been waiting next to us offered to put away Wyatt’s highchair for me.
So that’s why I want to own a Waffle House. The world needs more good food and friendly people.