In a moment of weakness and nostalgia, I went to McDonald’s earlier this month and had a Big Mac meal. I’ve gone there, on occasion, to get a cheese burger as a snack, but it’s been years since I had their larger burgers. McDonald’s no longer holds any significance for me, but it was a noteworthy place, as I grew up.
I remember that time clearly, some 40 years ago. When I was ten or so, I used to get two cheese burgers for dinner. One day, unexpectedly, my father bought me a Big Mac. As a child, I equated that burger with grownup food, something not suitable for a kid. The Big Macs were special back then, in their own special bright red cardboard box, fitted with a white band to keep everything in place.
My father explained that a Big Mac really wan’t any bigger than two smaller burgers, convincing a skeptical child, which then overcame a minor gastronomic hurdle. Since then, during my teen years, the Big Mac ruled supreme until I shifted over to Quarter Pounders. Seems like a silly story, but one that marks a small transition from a child to an adult, on my road to maturity.
During college, I remember 99 cent Big Mac specials and 2 for one coupons where, I would eat both in a single sitting. Seems like ages ago, and it was.
Jumping back to 2017, that Big Mac meal, as expected, was not satisfying. The romance of nostalgia was more powerful than reality. McDonald’s, the restaurant chain, is no longer as popular as it was back years ago. It now cost $6.59 + tax for a meal, with even the burger itself at a whopping $4.29. The scourge of inflation is real.
No, now a days, I eat burgers so infrequently that I rather spend double that amount and have a gourmet one at Hopdoddy’s. The price performance equation no longer favors the cheap fast food places. For the same price as McD’s, I rather eat at Chipotle, where I can get a tastier, and healthier bowl with lot’s of vegetables and grilled chicken.
Nostalgia is a powerful force, but you really can’t go back again, to the way it was. You change and the world changes. At least there’s the memories and the stories.
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