I’ll be cheating on my wife tomorrow morning. I’ll get to that in a moment, though.
Our decision to move to Florida was a quick one. I had been transferred to Oregon by my job less than a year before. But for many reasons we found ourselves unhappy in dark, cloudy, and constantly raining Portland. The job that I had hoped would be this great, last posting after a 31-year career with my employer, turned out to be an unhappy disaster. When the buyout offers were made to seasoned staff such as myself, we decided it was time to beat feet to warmer environs. Portland, btw, is an absolutely wonderful, progressive, and forward-thinking town. Had it not been for our own unique basket of disappointments, we would and should have given it a better chance.¹
Although we briefly considered moving back to California, it wasn’t long before I made a strong case for Florida. Gorgeous has a grown daughter who lives in the Midwest. By moving here, it’s now only about a two hour flight to see her compared to the previous nearly all-day affair with having to change planes in western cities. I own an investment condo here along with my ex-wife, and it had always been in the back of my mind that I’d like to come back someday and live near it. Finally, there were financial incentives to retiring in Florida– lower cost of living, no state income tax, etc.
Over a wonderful bottle of Cabernet one rainy Portland weekend evening, I made my case to Gorgeous for moving here. By her third glass, my persuasive powers were strong enough that she agreed to one more big move in her life.² Although I was truthful in everything I said, I will admit now that I had an ulterior reason. It involves a matter of the heart and unrequited feelings.
I am in love with Waffle House. My affection for this restaurant is so strong, that it is the absolutely number one reason for my wanting to move to this part of the country. For you virgins out there, Waffle House is a southern restaurant chain that is open 24 hours, makes calorie-laden and artery-clogging meals, and I think by state statute is required to be located at every single interstate exit. All one needs to do is simply get in a car and drive for 15 minutes in any direction, and by law you will encounter one. It is, for me, a gastrointestinal nirvana.
Waffle House scrambled eggs are heavenly, the grits are divine, the bacon is saintly, and the hash browns are Godly. Oh, and the waffles are really, really amazing. Were Jews required to give confession, I would probably be visiting my rabbi nearly every day because of the impure thoughts that race through my head each time I see a Waffle House sign on the highway. It takes all the strength I can possibly muster not to take that exit and indulge in caloric carnality.
Gorgeous does not like Waffle House. I introduced it to her on our cross-country trip just outside of Baton Rouge. She thought it quaint, was amused by it, and even said that the waffles were — her words — “very good.”
Very good???!! No, Denny’s makes meals that go from good to very good. Waffle House meals start at excellent and then go higher. I’m sad to report that as we made our way from the Louisiana bayou, into Alabama, and finally the panhandle of Florida, I stopped at one Waffle House too many. By the time we reached our new home, Gorgeous announced that she would no longer partake in such culinary pleasures. She has decidedly rejected my adoration. I assume that jealousy has reared its ugly head, and I am now in the position of, GASP!… having to sneak around and cheat. My head is hanging low even as I type these words.
Tomorrow morning I have a very early doctor appointment 30 minutes to the north on the interstate. I will be passing a Waffle House, and temptation is already taunting me. I know already that I will succumb.
“Hello, Rabbi? Are you hearing confession this evening?”
¹ If you’ve never seen the TV show “Portlandia,” do put it on your list. They completely nail all the eccentricities and customs of that quirky but beautiful city.
² For nearly 35 years Gorgeous lived on a Michigan farm raising goats, cows, and chickens. I had gotten her to move cross-country for me, and here I was making her move yet again. I am nothing but audacious.