Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Veronica! 2

My lovely case manager, Erin, and I got into her car and drove off towards downtown. She owns a little range rover type vehicle, and the rear compartment was filled with various form of crap, including one large dresser that she had bought at some sale, and which had been in the back of her car ever since, a couple of months now.
We were going to IHop (International House of Pancakes) mainly, I think, because I had expressed an interest in taking her there a few months ago. At the time Erin was being attacked by pimples, and was deeply involved in a rigorous campaign to "eat healthy," and we foregoed our trip to IHop in favor of a local deli near our hotel which offered no food whatsoever that could be considered healthier than what could be found at the International House of Pancakes, but I believe that the choice of restaurants assuaged Erin's fears of not eating in a healthy manner enough in a psychological sense that it was okay for her to eat there. Besides, she was hungry. I paid that time.
I told her that it would be my treat at IHop, as she had paid the last two times we had bypassed our Tuesday excursion to the Hippy Kitchen, in favor of McDonalds. She would have none of that though.
Through the miracle of her IPhone GPS system we soon found our way to the IHop located at 8th Street and Flower. Neither of us had been in this particular branch of the pancake chain, although both of us were veterans of the IHop.
It was not too busy and we were escorted to a nearby booth and given menus.
"Ahh! They list the calories next to the food," Erin exclaimed.
"Not on this one," I showed her the smaller menu of specials.
We basically decided on the same breakfast, two eggs (over easy), two strips of bacon, and two sausage links. All we differed on was the side dishes. Erin opted for crepes smothered with strawberries, and I chose the pumpkin pancakes. They were good.
Our conversation was casual and easy. I really enjoyed our time together, but was concerned about Erin's persistent cough.
"I think you should go home after this and rest up. It probably would not be a good idea for you to go to yoga today and strain yourself," I told her.
"I think you may be right," she said. "Though I don't like to miss work so much."
I finished every particle of my breakfast. Erin, being Erin finished with some bacon and sausage left over. She eats like a beautiful little bird, although I was surprised that she ate what she did considering the state of her health.
She looked down a short hallway where the ladies restroom was located.
"I wonder how you get in the bathroom. Do you need a code or something?"
The door to the restroom was locked with a numerical key pad.
"I don't know, but I'll find out."
The next time our waitress came by I asked her about the restroom.
"The code is four seven eight," she said.
"Thank you," I told her.
"Here, take this," Erin said, handing the waitress her credit card.
"Hey, wait a min..."
"I want to pay for this," Erin told her, "It's his birthday."
"Oh, happy birthday," the lovely waitress said, as she walked off with Erin's card.
"Young lady..."
"I didn't really need to use the restroom," she told me. "I was just going to get up and go to the cash register and pay, but you can see the cash register from here too."
How devious of her. I like that. Reminds me of myself.
"Okay, but on your next birthday we're coming back to this very spot, and I'm paying!"
The waitress came back with the credit card receipt for Erin to sign, and she placed a small dish of vanilla ice cream covered with whip cream in front of me. "Happy birthday," she said.
"Wow, thank you."
"Wow, Rick. I think I will use the restroom while you eat that."
I finished my birthday ice cream, Erin returned, and we made our way back to her office where Erin presented me with the traditional birthday pie (pictured above). Unfortunately I was taking a little nap at the time.
Erin did go home after that. She told me the next day that she slept throughout the rest of the day.
I will always remember my birthday breakfast with Erin, for the rest of my life, and it is so special to me that she came to work that day so we could have it.
Thank you so much Erin. You really made my day great.
I returned to my box, feeling great, and got a little work done, looking forward to seeing my esteemed yoga teacher, Beth, at our one o'clock class.
To be continued.

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