When I was young, it was a special occasion for our family to go to McDonald’s. This was the 60s understand, so Mickey D’s was still a new phenomenon. Until then, if you wanted hamburgers you’d go to the drive-in. I still want to leave my window up a little when at Sonic, waiting for the car hop to hook the food tray over the edge.
Unlike today, where it’s a mundane thing to get dinner at the drive-thru, then it was a reason to dress up.
My mom and dad, and brother and I would pile into the family Pontiac and pull into the parking lot. While we waited outside, Dad would go inside for the cheeseburgers and fries (I felt like a grown-up when I was finally old enough for my own Big Mac). After each of the burgers were passed out, we sat out in the parking lot eating our dinner.
Never inside, never at any of the picnic tables outside… only in the car.
This wasn’t a unique experience. The Mister remembers doing the same thing – the whole family going all the way to McD’s only to eat in the car.
During our recent family vacation, we were reminiscing over breakfast one morning about our childhood family trips.
“I never understood why we always sat out in the car instead of just going inside. I should call and ask Dad,” I said. “Why do you think you all always ate in the car?”
“Embarrassment,” Mister quipped. “I know my dad was embarrassed by how we kids acted in public.”
We laughed, but I don’t really think that was the real reason. I’m equally sure that if I asked my parents, I would get two different answers.