Written by Shannon Yang
Physical education teacher Amy Anderson will always remember an incident when she and her boyfriend, both 16 years old, decided to go to Easter brunch together at Charlie Brown’s in Redwood City, where their families would meet for the first time.
Anderson’s family had gotten food at the brunch buffet. Anxious at the prospect of getting to know her boyfriend’s parents, Anderson’s whole body was trembling as she prepared to cut into her Belgian waffle. “I think because my hands were shaking and I was trying to control my hand I cut a little bit too aggressively into the waffle,” she said. “Instead of cutting the waffle, I flung it off of my plate and flung it with syrup and butter all over the floor of the restaurant.”
To the horrified Anderson, it felt like the whole restaurant stopped. Everyone’s head turned toward her direction and there was a loud, dramatic gasp. “Whether that happened or not, I don’t know,” she said. “But I felt my face turn bright red instantly.”
Thankfully, Anderson’s boyfriend’s parents responded in a gracious manner. “Actually, my boyfriend’s dad kind of helped me,” she said. “He went down and picked [the waffle] up and made some kind of joke about it to make me feel better, but I think I stayed quite red for the rest of brunch.”
The waffle incident quickly turned into an inside joke with her boyfriend’s family. “Every Easter after that, we joked about the waffle,” Anderson said. “Any time we had waffles, he’d make some joke about ‘Oh, be careful’ or ‘Keep that waffle on that plate,’ silly things like that. I don’t think I ate a waffle for the rest of our relationship without him making some sort of funny comment about the waffle ending up on the floor.”
Despite the debacle, Anderson and her boyfriend dated for seven years and still remain good friends. “When we broke up, we realized that we were sort of ready to move on in our lives, and it wasn’t a bad breakup,” she said.
Today, there’s a large disparity between how she felt then and how she feels now. “I was so overwhelmingly embarrassed and I was young. I was 16, and to me it felt like I ruined the whole entire brunch,” she said. “But it actually taught me to not be so nervous in these situations and eventually allowed me to realize that it’s okay when things like this happen, and you kind of just have to make light of it.”