Gabi loves Denny's. And I mean LOVES Denny's.
It's like our secret family shame. No matter how hard we try to diversify her pallet by taking her to different fine dining restaurants, her loyalties to Denny's remain true.
I think my mom was the one who took Gabi there for the first time. She had mashed potatoes with gravy and got a rocket shaped cup with a blue drink inside. It was love from then on out.
And now every time we mention that we're going out, she begs to go to Denny's. We oblige her occasionally, but the last time we went there I had the worst salad of my life. Wilted cucumbers, tasteless cherry tomatoes, white lettuce with dried carrots. Gilberto's omelet was so fluffy it looked like meringue. Who wants to squish that around in your mouth? But Gabi was in Heaven with her mashed potatoes and blue rocket cup drink.
So it was no surprise that when we went out to Tony Roma's for dinner last night, Gabi cried when we pulled into the parking lot and she realized we weren't at her beloved Denny's. We've dealt with this so many times before we didn't bat an eyelash. But we should've. Because for the first time, Gabi brought her little fit inside.
The whole time we were in the restaurant, Gabi whined and cried and begged to leave to go to Denny's. By the time our food arrived, she was getting loud enough for our fellow diners to hear.
Gabi: I HATE this food! I want MY food at DENNY'S! It's my most favorite place and I want to go there NOW!
Me: Honey, we are NOT going to Denny's. This is good food! You need to eat your dinner. Now hush.
Gabi: I WANT TO GO TO DENNY'S! It's the only place I like to go. Why do we have to eat here? I don't like it here. We always go to Denny's!
Me: No we don't!
Gabi: Yes we do!
Me: No we don't! Stop saying that! Now eat your dinner! And for the love of God, Shhhhh!
It was like being in Ralph Lauren and loudly discussing how you hate cotton and the polyester at the $5 clothing store was so much better, while your best friend stands there embarrassed beyond belief at your horrible taste and the salesperson stares at you in shock.
And it was a good thing we didn't have any duck tape on hand, because I figured as long as our cover as sophisticated diners had been blown I might as well embrace our hillbilly roots and tape the girl's mouth shut. THAT would give the eavesdroppers something to talk about! Not like the mention of Denny's wasn't enough.
And then we paid with a discount coupon.