The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: chin up

The Pancake Chronicles

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

chin up

      I planned a little breakfast excursion today. Did hair and makeup. Brought a book.
      I noticed there was an empty table for two as I sat alone at my table for four. The coffee kept coming and never cooled. The food was okay. The book was great. I almost cried when Bigwig faked out Woundwort and saved Dandelion and Blackavar and the does. I kept skipping ahead sentences in my excitement. Can Bigwig take down the General? Will Blackavar escape his captors? Is Dandelion going to be left behind? The most hilarious thing was hearing myself describe it later to my mom: "Well, there's these rabbits who wants to infiltrate this evil Nazi rabbit warren and all the rabbits who live there are being held captive so one really big rabbit sneaks in because the plan is to kidnap some does and take them in a boat back to their place because right now there are just boy rabbits and ...."
      Anyway, breakfast was fine. But next time I'd see if I could get a little table in a corner where I could hide behind a potted tree and not think about syrup on my chin. As it was I was in the centre of a balcony that overlooked the cafe at a table that could accommodate a prolific evil Nazi rabbit warren.
      "Are you joining a family?"
      "No, it's just me." Grin.
      Tries to respond like this is normal. "Right this way."
      Short trudge to large table centered on balcony. Choose which seat of four I would like to sit at. Accept menu from waitress. Settle into my chair. Agree to coffee. Coffee is poured. Breakfast is ordered. Crack open book. Bigwig is rousing suspicion with the evil Nazi Rabbit Council. Breakfast arrives. Tuck into pancake.
      "Step riiiight up, folks! COME WATCH A GIRL EAT BY HERSELF! Look! There she is! Observe how she chews. The odd movement of her lips. I didn't know lips could be that weird. Wo, syrup doesn't grow on trees, you know. Will she employ her knife?"
      And this is how the inner commentating goes as I eat in a next-to-full restaurant at a big table on a balcony by myself. I try to lose myself in egg and not think about whether my chin looks odd. But it's hard. I want to be all cool about it and casual.
      "Hey, yeah. I do this all the time. I don't even think about it. What chin? You should try it! The pancakes here are delish."
      And I will be cool and casual.
      Next time.
           At a little table
                behind a plant
                     in a corner
                          with my book.



Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Oh, Colleen, I could hear you bellering out the catcalls to those around you, like a ringmaster at the circus--but only in your head. This is funny.

I love breakfasts out. Or at least, I used to. I think I still would, if ever I got to go with just my honey again. Or maybe when the kids are a little older and less time-consuming. And I get to eat my eggs while they are still hot. Sigh. Not complaining, though--the losses are more than made up for by the gains. (I'm sure you knew this, but I just wanted to make sure I didn't sound like I was whining. It wasn't "whining", it was "whistful"--both W words. But different from each other.)

31 August 2006 at 00:09  
Blogger Sonya said...

LOL! You know, I just cannot eat alone at a restaurant. Not well anyways. It feels so...wrong. I sympathize with you totally!

31 August 2006 at 00:15  
Blogger Colleen said...

Yes, Talena! Do the noises in my head bother you, too?
Maybe the next time we come through Peace we girls (Suri exempt) could take off for breakfast and let the boys hang out with each other for an hour or two. Wouldn't that be nice? Hot eggs, here we come!

Sonya - I appreciate the sympathy. I love the idea of eating out alone but, blistering barnacles, not smack dab in the middle of the joint. Why, oh why didn't she seat me at a table for deux?

31 August 2006 at 21:22  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

"Blistering Barnacles!" Where is that from, again--that visual novel-type comic book we used to read as kids, right? What's his name. Bald, except for a little tuft of bangs. With a little white dog. Went on all kinds of adventures. Had a funny name. I think the books were translated from some other language. Do you know who I mean? And am I right?

Anyhoo, breakfast out with thee, boy-free, with hot eggs and everything, sounds absolutely divine. Consider it a date.

31 August 2006 at 22:01  
Blogger Monky said...

So much resonates... First, thank you for enjoying a book I have loved from the first time Mamma read it to us, while sitting near our tent in a long-ago summer. It's grown up with me, from a time when I simply enjoyed the excitement of the story (will Hazel survive and make it back to the warren?), to a time when the Nazi parallels and social commentary finally made sense. Maybe it's time to pull it off the shelf again.

And I also feel silly and looked at when I eat alone in a restaurant. So I avoid it.

31 August 2006 at 22:34  
Blogger Colleen said...

Talena! You are NOT imagining things. It is from The Adventures of Tintin with Snowy the dog and Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus and Thomson and Thompson. The Captain always said things like blistering barnacles! and thundering typhoons! and miserable earth worms! Oooo, I love them all. Check out this for a practically exhaustive list of hilarious Haddock expressions. So good for venting frustration without actually swearing - especially if said frustration is vented in the general direction of three blonde-headed adventuresome boys.
And I look forward to our date. ;)

Monky, I must admit it has taken awhile for me to get into the book. I marvel at the skill in writing but there have been times I've lost interest at yet another description of clover. However I am so glad I've stuck with it. Go Fiver, go! I didn't realise that Nazi parallels had been made. I was just joking around. At least not in the deeper sense. Oh no. I feel a HUGE indecipherable ramble coming on. I will stop before I get carried away. But will say that a book does carry a special enjoyment when a happy memory is attached. Your mom would be a great story reader. I can just hear her wonderful voice.

1 September 2006 at 00:43  
Blogger Ace said...

Aaah. It is hard to dine by yourself, isn't it, no matter where in the world you are. Feeling more self conscious than you would in a swim suit, the thought that generally bombards my brain is "You are so 'uncool', not a single friend to even have a meal with, once a year while everyone else has atleast one if not 5 people in a jolly mood. Four years you have spent in this city, yet out of the zillion friends, not one with whom to dine."

Reading a book is a brilliant idea! Just a tad difficult when you're trying to eat spaghetti! Did they serve maple syrup & whipped butter?

1 September 2006 at 05:14  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Of COURSE! Tintin!! Thanks! (I was up thinking about that last night! Seriously, not really, but it did niggle at me a little.) I'll go check out the list pronto. I have a feeling I might need some of those soon.

1 September 2006 at 11:05  
Blogger Colleen said...

The thing is, Aakanksha, I like dining by myself but inconspicuously so, as though I'm part of the furniture. None of this balcony business. It's better maybe to go to a park or a spot where one could sit with a sandwich amidst the flurry as the world swirls by. I hear you re: the self-talk, though. Why is it that we assume people could only be thinking weird things about us? Maybe they're thinking "who is that girl who has courage to sit alone? i admire her." And yes, avoid the spaghetti unless you've progressed to a higher level in Eating Alone (which I have not). A book and a fork are hard enough to wield without throwing wet noodles in to boot. Alas, no butter and maple syrup this time! I tried stroop for the first time which is a thick molasses type syrup from Holland. It was okay but I missed my maple and butter!

T-bean - I'm glad to put your weary mind at ease and supply you with verbal ammo! The list is hilarious. :D I hope you enjoyed it!

1 September 2006 at 17:17  
Blogger Ace said...

I totally get the going to the park and lunching. I'm not too fond of eating in a restaurant on my own because no one reads books or magazines over here, no one! I loved reading a book while having lunch though. Hehe, reminds me of a particular year when both my brother(6 years) and I (16) were having lunch at the dining table, quietly, completely immersed in the books we were holding in our left hands ^_^

You're right. I've never thought that there could be someone going "I admire her", I always pretend to myself I am a traveller, just passing by and stopping for a meal.

2 September 2006 at 17:59  
Blogger Ace said...

Um, I don't have your Email address. Perhaps send me an Email on mine (address on my page)

3 September 2006 at 02:31  
Blogger Cheryl of the Wilds of C said...

I love this post, Colleen. If people were staring at you it is because they were wishing they had your freedom and imagination.

3 September 2006 at 15:02  
Blogger Colleen said...

Sweet A - What? No one reads books? What a travesty! But, there is you. You read books and you are not no one. You realise, of course, I know next to nothing about Australia so you could completely lead me astray and I would believe you. ;) I would have loved to seen a picture of you and your brother as table bookworms. It seems he looks up to you.
I will E you! Sounds good to me.

Ruthie - and my chin? hehe. You always encourage me to be me. I'm glad you liked this. :)

3 September 2006 at 21:23  
Blogger Rachel said...

I could not eat in a restaurant alone. I have issues. Co-dependent or something like that!

7 September 2006 at 22:50  
Blogger Colleen said...

I don't know, Rachel. I think maybe I have issues because I want to eat alone. Anti-social, intimacy issues, maybe? Eep. I guess our "stuff" comes along for the ride if we sup alone or eat en masse. But hands down it's soooo much nicer to share food with a friend. :D

8 September 2006 at 17:43  
Blogger Girl, Dislocated said...

I do lots of things alone--eat out, go to the movies, etc., and all of my friends are dead set on trying to have me change my ways! I do hate being seated in the middle of a restaurant, though.

18 September 2006 at 22:12  
Blogger Colleen said...

Hello girl. I like your ways. Do not change them unless they make you sad. I like doing things alone, too. It's great to be with friends but there is a whole separate layer of enjoyment that comes from doing things on your own in which you would typically share with someone. It's like you get to enjoy the same event twice as much because you've experienced more of it. I rambleth. Thanks for stopping by. Alone. :)

19 September 2006 at 11:45  

any questions?

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