I forgot how to drive-thru. It's been a couple of years since I've actually gone through one to provide myself with sustenance, but I tagged along on a trip or two this last month and realized that I totally forgot how to do it.
That's as embarrassing and weird as it sounds, but this situation has occurred twice and each time I felt like I couldn't remember how to do this basic thing that I used to do all the time. Like I forgot how to tie my shoes or read a clock or make a ponytail (well, I still struggle sometimes). Both times were with my sisters, those lucky bastards who didn't get this *expletive* gene mutation, and both times I felt surprisingly sad for them. And me, too I guess, but that's no surprise.
The drive-thru is so weird because why are there so many things you have to look at? There's an advertisement and then a speaker and then a menu and sometimes another menu and another speaker and a sign or two asking you to pull up to the second window not the first. And even if there's not two speakers does everyone just forget that they're talking into a speaker to ask for food? Do you talk into a speaker to breathe in air? No. Do you talk into a speaker when you go to bed? No. Do you need a speaker for any other life necessities? No. Usually, no.
Moving on. When you finally figure out which window you're supposed to put money into and which you're supposed to take food out of - and sometimes it's the same one! - you get this sliver of a glimpse into the "kitchen" that your food is coming out of.
Does it look anything like your kitchen? You think about that.
As I sit here berating the fast-food industry we all know that I'm mainly doing this out of jealousy. Man, it would be nice to be driving your car, realize you're hungry and get food within minutes without getting out of your vehicle. Or to be hustling through a busy day, bouncing from activity to activity and think "oh, I know, I'll just drive-thru for dinner on my way to *insert awesome activity*".
This thinking is completely lost on me now, as I imagine it likely is for the rest of the celiacs in the world.
I'm just about done downing my first bitter beer over the situation, but I'm sort of relieved that I can't have that kind of gross convenience in my life. I have to be more responsible now. It's annoying, but it makes me plan things. I also have to be more economical now. Also annoying, but I know exactly how much I spend on food each week and am never tempted to "just pick something up". And obviously, the most significant convenience-sucker is that I have to eat nutrient-rich foods now, which you generally cannot request through a speaker.
Sure, if there was a safe fast-food/drive-thru you bet your bottom dollar I'd be all over it, but there's not. Instead there are just a lot of obstacles surrounding a building that's filled with fried elements of my past life. So, I'm a complete "drive-thru" amateur now, my bewilderment understandably comical to my gluten-loving kin.
As we waited for my sister's nuggets some of the fumes wafted out of that little sliver and she asked me if it smelled good. I replied, "No, it smells like my slow death."
The loss of this convenience is two-fold - I miss the spontaneity that a drive-thru allows, but I don't miss eating the questionable, gut-corrupting food. I'll get to take-out and delivery places another time, but for now, sayonara drive-thru! You never made sense anyway.
"Shouldn't it be called a 'drive-around'? No one drives through the building." - My dad