…doesn’t have to sit at the community table. But should she?
About a week ago, I was awakened at 7:51am, by the sound of a text message from my friend Kellie: “Hey! Are u up?” (I am now.) “Craving french toast. Want breakfast? Wear sweats.” Now, I like me a lil bit of extra sleep on the weekends, so I was very tempted to roll over and ignore the invite. But, even though Kellie and I work at the same place every day, our schedules only cross paths for about an hour a week, during which time we’re on cafeteria duty with about 80 kids while they, and we, eat lunch. There’s milk to be opened, chicken to be cut, spills to be cleaned, milk to be opened. There’s not much time for chit chat. So, I was tired, but I wanted to catch up with my friend. Plus, we’re wearing sweats. Easy, comfy. Plus, bacon. Ok, I’ll go.
30 minutes later we’re almost on our way to a local diner, when I think about my list. Let’s go somewhere new! Well, new to me. And then we’re heading to PJ’s Pancake House. Which is not new at all. Apparently they’ve been around since 1962. It’s probably ridiculous that I’ve been living not far from Princeton for years and haven’t ever eaten here, but I haven’t. There is almost always a line of people stretching down the sidewalk waiting to get into this place. In fact, that’s how I describe the restaurant to Kellie, “You know that pancake place in Princeton that always has a line?” So we are happily shocked when we pull up and don’t see a line. Then we’re a little bummed when the host tells us that they’re full and we will be the first people to start the line. They don’t let anyone wait inside and they don’t take your name. You just have to wait in line, single file, on the sidewalk. They’ll come get you when there’s space. OK. That’s fine. We’re in the middle of a story anyway. It’s sunny. We start the line. We continue the story. We don’t have to wait long until there’s space for us…at the “community table”…
Sooo, the community table is a big, giant, probably seats about 20 people table in the middle of the restaurant and you just sit with whomever else happens to be sitting there in the community. And it was crowded this day. Would you like that? We kinda just wanted uninterrupted, not have to be polite to our neighbors or sensor our talk chat time We weren’t sure the community was going to want to hear our chatter but we were kinda going with it since we were hungry. And then a sweet, sweet server must have seen the uncertainty on our faces and said, “How many ladies? Two? Take this booth!” And then we told him we loved him and I had pecan pancakes and bacon and Kellie got her french toast and we looked at pictures and we talked and told stories and laughed and laughed and not one child asked us to open their milk container. It was nice. Thanks for waking me up, Kell!
But then I got to thinking…maybe I should go back some time, wait, I’ll definitely be going back. There are so many pancake choices, that it was hard for me to order. I want to try their crepes. But maybe next time I’ll join the community table… connect with the neighbors, meet some new friends, maybe share my bacon. They give A LOT of bacon at this joint!