I'm pretty sure that McDonald's has been my longest standing love affair. My affinity for the golden arches spans over 40 years ... I guess that makes it official, it is.
I don't ever remember my mother voluntarily going with our family to McDonald's though. As I recall, if we went in to eat, she would prefer to wait in the car. Probably so she did not have to witness her offspring consuming vast amounts of preservatives and a meal containing absolutely zero nutritional value.
When we moved from Upstate New York to Southern California (I was eight), my mother became extremely health conscious. She bought whole wheat bread with so much grain in it, it was crunchy. We only had peanut butter that separated and had to be kept in the refrigerator. We had "raw certified" milk delivered to our back door from the Altadena Dairy, which I think was really just cloudy water. My mom took a handful of Neo-Life vitamins (all natural) every day, that would choke a horse, and she left two greenies and a vitamin C by our cereal bowls each morning. Her drink of choice was apple juice, which was also chunky, and we often had meat-less meals.
I tried to tell her how good a McDonald's cheeseburger was and that she was missing out, but she never even tried one. And I know she would not eat a hot dog if her life, literally, depended on it. (As a side note; my mother is currently 73 years old, still only takes her daily vitamins - no other medications - and can run circles around all five of her children, doing manual labor.)
I remember when I was in high school hearing that McDonald's milk shakes were made out of edible plastic. My response to that was; At least they're edible!
After I got married, I worked in a section of Los Angeles called Echo Park. There was a McDonald's kitty corner from our office building. I would walk through their doors, the manager would catch my eye, and holler to the guys on the grill, "Quarter cheese plain!" so it would be ready for me when I got to the front of the line. True story. I loved that. I am a creature of habit and that is all I ever got. A plain quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a diet coke. My meat and potatoes meal.
Although my menu choice has varied just a tiny bit, I am confident that when that little box asks me, "What can we make for you today?" (have you noticed that is their new script?), and I answer, "One plain double cheese burger, a medium fry and a large diet coke," I will not be disappointed.
It wasn't until after my divorce and I started working again, that I also used the drive-thru for breakfast (not every day, but sometimes). Have you ever tried a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle? It's a treat! I have made each of my sisters and close friends at least give one a try.
I'm not too proud to admit that I have found myself sitting in the drive-thru line, on more than one occasion, when I didn't mean to be there, strictly out of habit ... sigh.
(And no, I have not seen "Super Size Me" yet.)