When I was last here I had my knee propped up on a pillow with ice wrapped around it, while I popped pain pills. Well maybe it wasn’t that pathetic but I was and still am recovering from an arthroscopic procedure on my right knee. But flash ahead two weeks, the stitches are out, I drove myself to physical therapy today. Yeah! No more getting rides from my husband. Not that he isn’t the best chauffeur around but it’s just easier to get up and go on my own. Of course that opened the path to temptation and guilt.
Once therapy was over it was pretty close to lunchtime and I still had a few errands to run but I didn’t want to drive the ten miles back home, eat lunch and go out again so I continued on my merry way. The first stop at the bank took me right past the local Burger King. The giant industrial blowers over the grill were pushing out the yummy smells of fat and char-broiled meat at passing cars and even with my windows closed the enticing fumes engulfed my car. Now even though we cook and eat in a pretty healthy way, we (and I say “we” because this does include Curt) are very familiar with fast food. We have had more than our fair share of Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets and Whoppers and Frostys and fries. Even bought them for our son. But after seeing “Super Size Me”, I believe I unconsciously started cutting back. Packed more lunches and only hit the nearby MacDonald’s if I was pressed for time between meetings and desk duty. I can only guess Curt did the same since I occasionally saw fast food bags crumpled in the back seat of his car.
Once we retired it was just stupid to go out for lunch when a fridge full of good food was just steps away. Oh there were still the days when we had been doing a particularly time-consuming, dirty job like cleaning out the garage and both of us just looked at each other and said “let’s go out for lunch.” And that usually meant The Hilltop Cafe, a local grille that makes a mean cheeseburger. Just as greasy as the fast food franchises but because this was a local small business it was easier to justify.
Well today I wasn’t working on a time-consuming project, and I was alone, so no Curt to talk me into going to the healthier sub shop or the Chinese restaurant for chicken and broccoli. And those smells from Burger King were calling me in like the Sirens calling Odysseus. I pulled into the drive-up lane with five cars in front of me. No wait for fast food is too long, thus the name and probably the fine attention to preparation.
My vice, the original chicken sandwich. An oval-shaped breaded chicken patty on an oval-shaped bun with mayo and a limp piece of lettuce. Onion rings (chopped onions in batter) on the side but hold the soda. A gal has to hold the line somewhere. Instead I drove across to Starbucks and got a latte. It would be punishment enough if it all tasted like crap but it didn’t. I savored every ugly, guilty bite.
What makes matters worse, just this morning I watched Jamie Oliver prepare a healthy lunch of noodles and chicken satay while his host Nate Berkus called a local restaurant to deliver the same meal. Jamie’s wasn’t only cheaper, fresher, healthier and more plentiful, he prepared the whole meal before the delivery guy arrived at the apartment. I know Jamie, I know, you don’t have to tell me again that fast food is bad, bad, bad. I’m so sorry but I have a owie on my knee and I deserved a treat and I was so far from home. I’ll live with my guilt and never do it again, promise, at least not for a year, for sure.