The other day I was skimming eater and I came across a link about McDonald's shamrock shake. It stopped me in my tracks like getting a random whiff of the sweet plastic smell of my strawberry shortcake doll or the cold dust scent of the shed where I'd race to get my big wheel. It stopped me like all nostalgic things do when they haven't been on my radar in a very long time. The thought of that creamy mint shake its its paper/synthetic cup that would separate and shed its plastic when crunched brought me back to my days of one-legged skips and long pigtails coming out the side of my head. I can see the primary reds and yellows of the golden arches and striped straws that clashed badly with the pastel green of the ice cream. I loved trips to the Conshohocken McDonald's with my dad. I can feel the styrofoam pancake case, and remember the taste of putting my milk straw and orange juice straw in my mouth at once--thinking my instant creamiscle was oh so clever.
No part of me wants to eat at McDonald's today. Like most of America, my dietary choices have changed drastically from the eighties. the shamrock shakes, sugar syrup and fried mcnuggets have been replaced with coconut water, agave, and seitan. But I'll keep the memories please. I can hear my pink and white saddle shoes clanking across the floor, feel the weight of that practically industrial size T shaped zipper that kept me warm in my faux down jacket, feel the pebbled leather of my dad's two seater Mercedes convertible, and remember the simple joy of getting both barbecue and sweet and sour sauce for dunking my nuggets. That and a toy wrapped in a plastic bag at the bottom of my thin cardboard happy meal ? Life doesn't get much better.