Lunch With Mom at IHOP: A Great Day in America

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude

Sometimes we Americans forget just how fortunate it is to live in the U.S.A.  This is especially true when compared to just about anyplace else in the world.  Well, maybe it’s cool to live in Canada because they have less crime, some kind of “universal” healthcare and only 40 million people; but, the majority of Canadians live near the U.S. border anyway.

Read newspaper headlines — or, okay view them on your handheld — and it’s clear to me that life here is pretty good, even with still too high unemployment, governments (including the one in Washington) teetering on bankruptcy, a deflated housing market and gas prices steadily climbing upwards of $4 per gallon.  Rest assured, people living in other places — even those with cheap gas — are having a pretty rough time.

Regimes led by madmen (not you, Don Draper) in many parts of the world just make it tough or even impossible to enjoy some of the simple things in life on a Sunday afternoon.

I can speak from recent experience.  A few hours ago, my Mom and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch and conversation at her favorite casual lunch spot: That all-American icon with the global name, the International House of Pancakes.

IHOP's tagline: "Come Hungry, Leave Happy."

Her IHOP we frequent is located not far from the senior retirement community where she lives.  Its part of  a pretty good-sized mall that shares space with mostly national restaurants and other retailers you’ve heard about and probably patronized.  The restaurant is managed by two men of Indian or Pakistani heritage who seemingly are perpetually moving to get people seated and orders coming from the kitchen.  A young Hispanic woman is the hostess.  This time, a cheerful, smiling man named Manuel waited on our table; but during past visits we were served by a man with a European accent and a lady who more than likely moved here from the South.

The restaurant was comfortably crowded today — a hodgepodge of families, boisterous but orderly teenagers, elderly couples through with church and us: A middle-aged guy from Chicago visiting his 87-year-old mother who now lives in the suburbs.

I witnessed people from every age group and just about every ethnic background enjoying good, simple stuff on a day we can do stuff like this without worrying about roadside bombs, government thugs bashing in the door or “peaceful” riots.  For the record: My cheese and potato soup and half pot roast sandwich was satisfying and delicious, and a steal at $6.99.

Yes, there’s a lot a things that need to be fixed about America.  That the subject (or subjects) for another post.  Actually, many, many posts.  But true, effective public relations focuses on addressing the threat or the opportunity.  Perhaps things would get better if those of us who deliver communications and shape messages focused more on some of the good in this country.  A simplistic concept, I know. Maybe that’s what’s needed.

I’ll start with praising lunch this Sunday with my Mom at IHOP.