My husband, when I suggested Denny's, acted like I had suggested we take the children to a cult for some Kool-Aid.
"Denny's?" he managed to choke out through his sneer and horror
"Sure," I said, "It's a very kid-friendly place. The kids love the food there."
He looked at me as if I had confessed I fed the kids arsenic and old lace, regularly, for dinner.
"I. Cannot. Eat. THERE," he said, shuddering.
Honestly, what's the big deal?
It's got big booths, a kid's menu designed with actual kids in mind---mine are agog at the choices: mac-n-cheez, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, bowls of grapes, etc.---and the staff actually not only seem happy to see me walk in with a couple of small children, but seem to tolerate us, and our ahem enthusiastic eating quite well.
It's true, finding a South Beach or Weight Watchers approved entree is simply impossible, but I say moderation in all things. Eat a little and you don't blow your points for a month.
My husband is unable to articulate why Denny's is such a horrible place. He's sure he's been in one and it was horrid.
My assurances that this one is clean, and nice, and a good option (read: cheap and kid-friendly) fall on deaf ears.
I think the truth is he's afraid he'll be seen there and actually eating there and being okay with it would complete his fall into Working Class Suburban Dadhood.
Me? I gave up any pretense of cool and worldly a while back. Around the same time I gave up the notion that kids were well-behaved as a rule and misbehaved as an exception. I don't think my husband has accepted that one yet either.
I don't fully understand why men, well, mine anyway, cling so mightily to the last vestiges of Cool Dudeness. It's much easier once you let it go, honestly.
Instead, he compromises on IHOP, which to my mind is six versus half a dozen. However, clearly there is a mindset out there that supports my husband's: while the Denny's lot was practicaly empty, we waited 20 minutes to eat breakfast at IHOP.
That? I found amazingly annoying.
So I guess even I have my own prejudices and lines in the sand. I won't wait for mediocre food.
Well, seriously, would you? Keep a couple of very hungry, whiny, antsy small kids happy for twenty minutes while awaiting a small booth at IHOP. Come on. Might as well go get donuts.
Donuts, I like
And guess what? Right now? I like Denny's too.
So sue me. ;)
By Julie Pippert
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