Today, I knowingly and willingly ushered my children into the belly of the beast. Which is a really dramatic way of saying I took them to McDonald’s. I actually love McDonald’s. It was the only restaurant we were allowed in as kids. We also lived over 2 hours from the nearest one. When I grew up and moved to the city, the fact that there were 2 McDonald’s within 5 minutes of my house was a major contributor to the large, large woman I once was. The combination of salt and fat is both deadly and delicious. I married someone who agrees with me. Genetically, our children are predisposed to loving the place. I try to keep the kids’ exposure to the place to a minimum, and sneak some shredded carrots into their next 3 meals to atone for these trips.
Today, as I stood there ordering Happy Meals, I could not help but overhear the woman beside me ordering. Seriously. She was loud. (Ben asked why she didn’t have to use her inside voice.) And it wasn’t the volume but the nature of her order that made me stare. “I’ll have the BLT sandwich. I want the tomato thinly sliced, the bacon extra crispy. You will get me fresh fries. I will know if they are old. Don’t even try to pass them off on me. I have sent back fries before. And I will have a diet coke, ¾ full, then add ice.” No please, no thank you, no eye contact.
I had to literally draw blood from the inside of my cheek so that I wouldn’t say “Lady, you’re at McFucking Donald’s!! If you think the tomato was whole, or the bacon raw when they got here, you are dumber than you sound. You want individuality? Then move it along. Because the homogeneity of this place is what makes it horrible, and what keeps it in business. I’m not saying the way they do things here is right, but it’s the way they do things. And if you don’t know that walking in the door…”
The young man behind the counter nodded after each of the lady’s demands. He smiled. I don’t think he spoke a lot of English. But condescension knows no language. It is so very, very wrong for food service workers to spit into orders. Usually.