Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
I remember going out to eat with my folks as a kid.
Remember, I am the youngest and was basically an only child after my brother and sisters left home.
I hated the Sunday ritual of getting dressed up and going out to a restaurant to eat lunch.
I am sure after the years of feeding a family and cooking three meals a day my mom was just done with it.
One day a week someone could prepare and serve her food for her. I understand this. I tried to give up the cooking thing a few years ago. It worked pretty well for me. That is until you are told by your family physician the cholesterol is a little high, and you notice the extra pounds that eating out brings you.
Anyway, on Sunday we would humor Mom and go out to eat. Earlier times would find us in Ottawa. I don’t remember the name of the place, but the food was good. From there we went to a buffet style place down in Leawood.
Buffets made everyone happy. Get what you like and no hassle.
We went to Putsch’s Cafeteria down on the Plaza and later to the one at Metcalf South shopping center.
As the 70’s wound on, we found our usual hang out for lunch was Joe’s Barn in Stanley. All you could eat – good food and cinnamon rolls you couldn’t put down. Mom liked being served, or at least not having to cook and Dad, well – he enjoyed teasing the waitresses.
As often as we frequented these places, they remembered us and what we would order for drinks, etc.
Dad enjoyed the fact they remembered him. He also liked giving the obviously new servers sort of a hard time. If we went out to breakfast he would order a two eggs’ special. When asked how he wanted the eggs he would order one over easy and one scrambled. — Ahh Dad.
When the Naval Air Station closed, Dad went to work in Leawood at the Ranchmart hardware store. It was a fairly long drive and awful hours, but he wasn’t ready to retire yet.
There were a couple of fast food places near the hardware store, and he was a regular at most of them. I remember going to Smacks with him for lunch one day. Smacks was a local hamburger place along the lines of Mickey D’s.
As he approached the counter the girls already had his order prepared. I was introduced and my food was included with his. They all knew him by name and what he wanted to eat. This made him so happy and proud.
At the tender age of 20 I didn’t get it. At all.
This brings us to the present time.
I am older than Dad and Mom were, but I really don’t care to cook for me. I get in ruts and eat the same thing because I don’t have to make a choice.
I can fix whatever I need and want at home, but the local drive-in on Main is so convenient, easy and — well doggone it – they know me.
I have a memorable vehicle that I have had for quite a while. Plus, much like my Dad, I order the same thing almost every time I go there.
Lots of times I only stop for a drink, but they have that down to memory also.
So when I decided to cut back on my drive in purchases and save a lot of money, — well, the carhops became concerned.
“We wondered if you were alright,”
“no one on either shift remembered seeing your car”
“you haven’t been by for days.”
So I wondered, should I list them as my first contact people?
I know they remember either seeing me or not from the day before. If I quit going by altogether will they stop by where I work and inquire about me?
Memories, however, are short, and people eventually forget.
I will leave my kids as the contacts on my medical forms.
After all I am moving in with one of them when I get old. But that is a long time from now!