“Where do you want to eat?” he asks.
“I don’t care, I just don’t want to have to decide. You pick, please.”
For ten years my husband and I have had this conversation. As the person who does most of the deciding in our relationship, I am eager for an opportunity to pass the buck and food seems like an easy buck to pass. My husband, however, is a world class champion in Avoiding Decision Making.
“OK, how about Wendy’s?” he suggests.
I don’t even respond anymore, I just give him the look. He knows the look and he knows the look is saying you know that the smell of Wendy’s makes me sick to my stomach.
“Then don’t say you don’t care…” he mumbles.
The moral of this story is:
Wendy’s and I do not have a pleasant history.
I got sick as a toddler after eating Wendy’s food. I don’t know if it was the food or the flu, but I have associated the scent of a Wendy’s restaurant with vomit for the past two and a half decades. I haven’t eaten a square burger or a frosty or a cup of Wendy’s chili. Dave Thomas looked nice enough in those commercials, but there was no convincing me to give the fast-food chain another shot.
Until they offered to pay me.
The Motherhood and Wendy’s wanted me to help “spread the word” about their new Pick 2 meal options and I could have sworn I read something in the email about “healthier fast-food options”. It turns out I don’t hate the idea of getting sick to my stomach quite as much as I thought and I quickly agreed to attend lunch at a local Wendy’s with a few friends in exchange for the price of a new iPhone 4.
I called my husband immediately after sending off my contract. ”Guess where I’m having lunch next week?”
“Uhhhh…. you know I’m at work, right?”
“What? You can’t even go into a Wendy’s.”
“Turns out my stomach is for sale!”
I explained the arrangement to him and he made a not-entirely-mental list of other things I claimed made me sick that I may be willing to do for the price of a new iPhone 4.
A few days later, I sat in the parking lot of an Orlando Wendy’s and gave my stomach a pep talk. I had gift cards and friends waiting inside for me and a nice check down the road if I could get over my childhood trauma. I took a deep breath and headed into the tiny squat brick building I’d spent the last 25 years avoiding.
I was one of the first people to arrive, so I stood around awkwardly and very slowly allowed myself to breathe. I braced myself for the familiar smell to hit my nostrils and my stomach to revolt against my rampant consumerism. And – nothing. I couldn’t even smell the all-too-familiar-in-my-head Wendy’s smell. The restaurant seemed just exactly like every other fast-food restaurant that I generally avoid except for when I’m too busy and hungry to do better.
I began to wonder if I’d lost a lot of mini-arguments with my husband for no good reason.
Within a few minutes, my friends Samantha and Heather arrived as well as the other area bloggers who’d been invited to “help spread the word”. I was handed my gift certificate and sent off to meet my maker – er – order my lunch.
Now, the point of this whole thing was to promote Wendy’s $4.99 Pick 2 menu, which I had thought was supposed to be a “healthy options” initiative. Not so much. One half of your meal is a salad, but it’s a fast food salad complete with things you do not put on a salad if you’re trying to eat healthy. The other half of your meal can include something light (like a baked potato or bottled water) or something else (like a frosty or a bacon cheeseburger). A menu that includes a milkshake is obviously not aimed at dieters.
So I ordered the salad smothered in chili.
And a frosty.
And a side of fries to dip in my frosty.
And a cup of water, because pop is really bad for you.
I did not vomit. In fact, I didn’t even once feel like vomiting. In super fact, french fries dipped in frosties are awesome.
And after a lifetime of avoiding Dave’s daughter, I have now been to Wendy’s twice in the last week.*
But most importantly:
I am totally winning the next “where do you want to eat? I don’t care, you choose” argument.
*The last time I ordered one of their actually fairly healthy salads and a baked potato, so you don’t have to induce a heart attack in order to take advantage of the Pick 2 deal.
(I was obviously compensated for both my lunch and this post. Basically, I have the most insanely awesome and weird life ever.)