So… I went to IHOP this morning (something I NEVER do because just the smell of syrup makes me ill) because I’ve been craving their steak omelette for the past few days. I’ve only ever had it once. But I really #WantedIt.

When I walked in the hostess asked me if it was my first time dining with them? Huh? This is still IHOP, right? I mean I appreciate the customer service and professionalism but… But…

I digress. I asked to be seated in a booth — there were four booths on the wall with the window. I was escorted to the second booth from the door. There was a gentleman behind me, and another one 2 booths ahead of me. So per international self-diner rules I sat and faced the same direction as them. So we don’t have to stare each other in the face as we’re eating. Well… the next lady that was seated (alone) decided that she wanted to face me. Yay! She then took out her cell phone, put it on speaker, laid it on the table and proceeded to have a very loud conversation while she ate. Double Yay!!!

Annoying as that was — especially because she was not a fan of chewing and swallowing before talking — that is not the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this blog is to discuss what happened when I was done eating and the server brought my check. OK… so she brings me my check literally 5 minutes after bringing my meal. Fine. Just leave it. But she stood over me like I was gonna put down my knife and fork and dig out my money right then. Renee, there are 4 other people in this IHOP… Why are you stressing me? “You can just leave it,” I said and gave her the big eyes with eyebrows raised. She did that. And I continued to eat my omelette and read my fantastic book (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao).

When I actually was done and she stopped back by to drop off my credit card receipt, she hovered again. Waiting for me to sign and write in the tip. I thought that was weird. I mean, can you back up off me, Renee? First, I’m gonna have to figure out this with my fingers and/or do a little scratch math on the back of the receipt. That’s very stressful, and a bit embarrassing for a grown ass woman such as myself. Second, you not finna stand over me and inTIPidate me.

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“Really, Renee you just gonna stand there and breathe down my neck while I’m trying to do this math? Is that hot? Is that what’s going on in the streets?”

Cause contrary to what you might believe, that’s just going to result in further ‘big eyes’ and a near-invisible tip. Cause see, the thing is, I’m a very good tipper. I respect people in the service industry. I know what it’s like to hustle for next to nothing… But Renee, you’re trying me. How bout this: I would like a bag please for my leftovers. Why don’t you handle that while I handle this?

Please and thank you.

The Book of Oprah

So… my mom has her cell phone hooked up via bluetooth thru the speakers in her car. But after learning about the No Phone Zone pledge and fearing the wrath of Oprah (as so many of us do) she called me to ask if it was still “OK” for her to use it.

“Oprah said we can’t hold the phone but she didn’t say we couldn’t talk into a speaker. That’s like talking to someone in the passenger seat. Oprah didn’t say we couldn’t talk people in the passenger seat, did she?”

Oh the hilarity… I laughed so hard.

But so many people I know have made the pledge not to text while driving, etc. because of Lady O. Just yesterday my best friend told me that whenever she’s driving in the car with her husband and she reaches for the phone he just says “Oprah” and she drops it like a hot potato. It’s kind of a shame that it took Oprah Winfrey telling us to for so many people to start obeying this law. I am (was) guilty of it myself. I spend a lot of time driving, but I have vowed to pull to the side of the road if there’s something I need to respond to immediately.

I don’t know what we’re gonna do when Oprah goes off the air… Who will encourage us to obey the law then? I shudder at the thought.