I haven't been in a Denny's in a couple years. When I was single I used to go every other Tuesday with my friend Ronnie after our Street Church gathering. This week I was pleasantly surprised to find out our local Redwood City Denny's has been majorly upgraded as I relived the past on Tuesday Night. That's a good thing because I remember years ago the table tops were just as nasty as the bathrooms. I wonder if the healthy safety board intervened or something, because it was quite dangerous to your health to indulge in a little Moons Over My Hammy (my favorite), back then. But now, with their extreme make-over Denny's edition they went a little Starbucks/Cafe-ish. I liked the lights and even the bathrooms were more than decent.
But my favorite part of Denny's this week was hanging with Ronnie. I've known him for almost 11 years, as long as I've been in in Redwood City. Ronnie is 38 years old. He can be found screaming his head off at a Giant's game as well as in the front row of a Brittany Spears' concert. He's a Special Olympiad who swims, golfs, and plays basketball. Ronnie sometimes has the most amazing memory usually bringing up embarrassing my most moments and things I wished he'd forget I said. And other times he takes my "advice" out of context and I wince as he recounts what he thinks he heard me say, that he usually already passes on to five people. I get a phone call from Ronnie almost every day, sometimes twice a day and sometimes he leave messages on my home, cell, and my office line-just to report about his day or ask for some one's phone number. But sometimes he calls and prays for me and my family on my voicemail. Amazing. Ronnie is a gift! He has some mental disabilities but this doesn't stop him from being completely unique, fearfully and wonderfully made, created by God. He often refers to me as his, "Twin Brother," when he introduces me to someone. As I sat across from him, giving into one of my tempestuously tempting vices: seasoned Fries with ranch dressing, I thanked God for putting Ronnie in my life. I really do enjoy him. God's used him to teach me me a lot of patience ( a lot), compassion, and also child-like faith and simplicity. Although there are times when my heart breaks for some of his challenges that he's gone through, and other times I am on the floor laughing. Here's a quote from our Denny's conversation:
Ronnie: Don't take this the wrong way, Tony, but you're lucky to be married to Wendy.
Me: Why would I take that the wrong way?
Ronnie: I just didn't want you to think I was mackin' on your wife.
Me: No worries, I take that as a compliment. My wife's hot, I know!
Ronnie: Ya, that's what I meant, I just didn't want to say it out loud.
Ronnie also said, "Let's make sure to tell the waitress that God loves her after the meal." He did. And then he asked me how to say it in Spanish, and he tried that, too. I totally enjoy this guy.