The wife started it last month, when she brought home a box of the regular Eggo Homestyles. “Something easy for breakfast,” she said. Because sometimes cereal is exhausting and eggs are an odyssey.
To our horror, the box was gone in three days. “How the hell did we eat them that fast?” we asked. It was like an out-of-body experience. Because we don’t even really like these things. Do we? For God’s sake, they’re rubbery toaster waffles. I can’t even tell you what half the ingredients on the box mean. I haven’t eaten like this since middle school.
We shouldn’t be doing this. We’ve got to be adults about it. It’s just a kick, that’s all. You know, how we go on kicks with things. Then we’ll get of sick of it and move on again. It’s fleeting. A comet. A falling star. But man, something just feels so right about it this time.
We’ve gone through four boxes in the last month. We moved onto blueberry. Strawberry. Even chocolate chip. I didn’t even look the wife in the eye when I went to grab another one in the grocery store freezer section the other night. I just shrugged and she said nothing and the approval was tacit.
Every morning we engage in the ongoing waffle war. She gets up an hour before me. From bed, I strain to hear if she’s making those waffles. I listen for the subtle metallic tink of the toaster being pressed. If she’s having them, I’m having them. I’m not eating a measly bowl of cereal if she’s feasting on waffles. The next morning, it begins again. She quietly counts the waffles left in the box. Later, she confronts me.
“Are you eating all the waffles?” she asks.
“No! I had them once. Once and they’re already halfway gone!” I say.
“Once? I haven’t even had any yet,” she says.
“That’s not true. I heard you using the toaster this morning.”
“Oh, now you’re listening to me make breakfast?” she asks.
One of us is bluffing and one of us is eating all the waffles like a big fat pig that no one loves.
It wasn’t always like this. Life is basically a journey through waffles. There’s the waffles your grandmother served with the perfect proportions of butter to syrup. The ones you used to get late night and a little drunk at Denny’s. There were the kitschy road trips with ironic stops at the Waffle House. The smugness and authority of the ones you made at home with the waffle iron living in the city. You did the hippie flaxseed and waffles-from-scratch thing. The exotic chic of the Belgian waffle. The whole-wheat phase. The foray into frozen French toast. You won’t go back there again.
Is the Eggo habit a gateway drug into Pop Tarts? What’s next? Those frozen confetti-sprinkle pancakes? A slippery slope into Toaster Strudels? God knows rock bottom is when you’re desperately squeezing the last drop of frosting from the useless plastic packet.
Relax, it’s just a fling. So don’t get too comfortable around here, Mrs. Butterworth. And anyway, you’re a lie. You’ve never come to life and talked to me, and sometimes I think my resentment over it affects everything I’ve ever done.