My love for you is widely known to my friends and family, but I think it’s well past time for me to take my feelings public.
Back when I was still teaching in the classroom, I left at ridiculously-early-o’clock in the morning. You were the only restaurant who was there for me on my way to work (unless you count Burger King, which I don’t, because bleh). You were like the gas in my tank for a long, long day surrounded by teenagers. Once jaded by breakfast, you made a true convert out of me with your buttery chicken biscuits and scrumptious chicken minis. This was basically our dating phase–I just couldn’t get enough of you.
Since then, your delightful nuggets have adorned some of my favorite celebrations. Family gatherings, Super Bowl parties, even both of my baby showers. I probably would have served them as the hors d’oeuvres at my wedding, but you know, some people just don’t understand.
“And I Thought I Loved You Then”
I eventually became a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom and I think it’s only appropriate to quote Brad Paisley’ song, “…and I thought I loved you then!” Turns out, our love affair was just getting started. There I was, all day long, with these two (and then three) tiny humans. The soundtrack to my days was a nonstop chorus of “Get me,” “Can you?” “Will you?” and “Play pretend with me!” On the days I just couldn’t take it anymore, I’d pack everyone up and we would head to the Chick-fil-A play-place. I would sit and drink my fountain Diet Coke (glooooorious!) and let them burn off some desperately needed steam. Then we’d have a nugget snack and play some more. We might stay twenty minutes, we might stay two hours — whatever was required to regain the sanity necessary to survive until my husband returned. Whatever the trouble, I knew I could count on you, beloved.
With you, dear Chick-fil-A, I am in my glory. At home, if I ask my middle son to wash his hands, or the oldest to lift the toilet seat, I get a giant sigh and an occasional eye-roll (aren’t my children angelic?). If I ask the bright-eyed teenager at the Chick-fil-A cash register to go wash his hands? You better believe he’ll say “My pleasure” and then wish me a blessed day on his way to the restroom.
An Open Relationship
My darling, what we have is special, but I know I’m not your one and only. I periodically come across another unshowered, frazzled-looking mom with the same desperate need of your solace. We exchange a sympathetic look as we
drag help our offspring through the dining area toward those coveted seats directly next to the play-place (the ones where you can fully supervise your kids from beside the glass windows and doors, without being subjected to the full volume of their shrieks). It’d be nice to have you all to myself, but you’re a hot little number and I know I have to share you.
You have become a beacon of light in my insane world, like a “stream in the wasteland,” to quote the book of Isaiah. Even when I don’t have enough time to come inside and stay, you’ve still got it going on. The McDonald’s near us can have a line of three cars and it will still take twenty minutes to get one large Diet Coke. But Chick-fil-A? Chick-fil-A, you don’t play. There will be a drive-thru line of thirty cars directed like a symphony in five minutes or less. And you don’t treat me like a depraved criminal when I ask for extra Polynesian sauce. Of course, we periodically have to part ways (stomach-flu season, Sundays, dieting), and those times apart are hard; this relationship wasn’t meant to be long-distance. Still, when I’m ready to return (and I always do), you quickly take me back into your loving arms.
Keeping the Spark Alive
Like any relationship, it’s important to keep the spark alive and in this, you never disappoint. I’ve always bought your calendar, calendars really, since you can never have too many Chick-fil-A coupons. I always buy one from any kid that asks. Then you came out with an app that gives me free treats just for going where I want to be. Be still my heart! Finally, the icing on the cake: mobile ordering. Now, when I don’t feel like cooking dinner (which is always), I can order my Chick-fil-A from the car, where all of my darlings are safely strapped into their carseats. Then I just click “I’m here” once everyone is happily unloaded at our table in the restaurant. No more waiting in line as my children lick the floor and embarrass me with their fighting, while I try to stammer out our order to your exceedingly patient cashier. Instead, my food is hot and ready as they call, “Uhhh…. Cha… Cha-rissa?” (my name is a tough one, I forgive you; I know you have a lot of ladies to keep straight). When I forget my wallet (repeatedly), like the hot mess that I am, I can just use your mobile-pay feature rather than slinking back home in hunger and shame.
Chick-fil-A, your views on traditional marriage are well known, but I just want to say that if you ever change your mind on this, I’d like you to consider this my official proposal. My husband loves you too. Most years, our anniversary even falls on Cow Appreciation Day, so I feel like we could squeeze you into our relationship rather seamlessly. Plus, you already live within walking distance, so merging households should be a snap. Or we could pack up our polygamous arrangement and move to Utah. I’m flexible. I can compromise for true love.
In the meantime, we’ll continue our not-so-secret love affair. My husband has a business trip coming up and I just know I won’t be able to keep myself away. While he’s gone, we will make the most of the time we have together.
Always and Forever,
Do you love Chick-fil-A? Of course you do! In the comments, tell me why you’d like Chick-fil-A to be your boyfriend/girlfriend!