Dave and I don’t often eat fast food anymore because A) they won’t let me pay for it in serenades and B) we’re trying to be smaller. And fast food makes it hard to be small. I’ve tested the theory and it holds up. I thought I’d found a loophole with my Salad Chaser Diet in which you strategically eat salad with your fast food to fool your digestive system into believing the entire meal consists of salad so it just pushes it right through without absorbing all those calories. But it turns out the digestive system is rather incredulous. Or maybe I don’t really “get” the way digestion works. Either way, the verdict is the same: fast food is my antidote to smallness. Still, I love it. It’s like a bad boyfriend that puts you down and damages your self-esteem so much you begin to believe it’s the best you can get, maybe even deserve, and so you stick around and feel thankful for what you’ve got, because it’s better than nothing, right? And, okay, so you fight a lot, so much your stomach hurts and you have diarrhea every morning, but the make up sex is soooo worth it. After you’ve showered, of course. And so, when Dave and I had cause to eat fast food recently, I got a little excited.
“So, where do you wanna eat?” I asked Dave casually, trying to hide the fact that my insides were shaking.
“Anywhere. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“Me either. I’ll eat anywhere you want.”
“I don’t have a preference, so you pick.”
It was just like old times. Eventually we determined that this decision was too big for either of us.
“What would Tom Cruise do?”
“Are you kidding? Tom Cruise doesn’t eat fast food.”
(An aside: When Lucy needs something, she cries out, “Help me!” in a way that reminds me of Ricky Bobby shouting, “Help me, Tom Cruise!” in Talladega Nights. So when she shouts, “Help me!” I can’t resist calling out, “Help me, Tom Cruise!” It’s starting to catch on. Dave and Julia are picking it up, and now and then, Lucy cuts right to the chase and gives me a “Help me, Taaa Cooooos!” So, “Help me, Tom Cruise!” It’s kind of our thing. That and “Grimmetts on three! GRIMMETTS!”)
“Well, what would Jesus do?”
Dave wrote all of our options on tiny pieces of paper, put them in a cup and said, “Okay, pick.”
I reached in and pulled out a piece of paper, but before I could open it, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of dread, so I set it aside. “No. No. That’s not the one. That one gives me a bad feeling.” And then Jesus led me to pick Hardee’s. And it was good.
“Just out of curiosity, let’s see what the first one you grabbed was,” Dave said, opening the paper.
It was McDonald’s.
A few days later, Dave rushed off to work for the weekend. He was in such a hurry, he neglected to pick up the lunch bag I’d packed with three days worth of healthy meals and snacks lovingly measured and labeled with caloric values. I worried that he was going to spend his weekend hungry and grumpy, though he assured me he’d get by. And by “get by” he meant “go to McDonald’s” which made me less worried and more angry, if I’m being honest.
Now, this is where things get freaky.
Dave went to McDonald’s to eat twice that weekend. As I was balancing our bank account today I discovered that each time, the total of his bill was $6.66.
If that isn’t a warning straight from Jesus, I don’t know what is.
P.S. I feel compelled to confess to you that I drove through Tim Horton’s for an iced cinnamon roll and a medium diet coke after I dropped Julia off at school and while Lucy was napping in her car seat. Then I stopped at the car wash to throw the evidence away before I came home so no one else would know, which is wrong and I AM SORRY. But Jesus, at least it wasn’t McDonald’s.
P.P. S. Help me, Tom Cruise!