We remember things. We remember particular things better than others because each year we repeat them.
When? How? Do the things we remember start to fall away, because they’re not the same.
In Guatemala, I ate hot dogs on 4th of July but no longer attend the community parades at home.
In Guatemala, passed out candy and apples on Rosh Hashanah, attended Passover Sedars and invited people over for latkes on Chanukah.
St. Patrick's Day remained the best illustration of blending past and present. My finger never missed my shamrock plastic ring no matter where I was living. My dish to pass annually became the potato cilantro salad. Something green, something from the Americas, something lent to Ireland.
But, not the same, isn’t the same as spoiled or seen through. St. Patrick's Day occupies that space too.
Pea soup is too thick to see through, but what about another slippery green. Mint green. Shamrock shake green.
As a child, McDonald’s was both a treat and a treason. The surprise stop made by my father, the disparaging look given by my mother. Did I understand either’s perspective? Not much. I was more bothered by the extra time we spent in line so that my brother’s hamburger could be made fresh, without onions.
As a typical adolescent female, I was adding calories and watching my weight soon into middle school. My always skinny and tall best friend would pull us through a myriad of drive-thrus for something to do, medium fries and large Diet Cokes.
The last time McDonald’s was truly a wonder was in Antigua, Guatemala. Its lush courtyard with sparkling water fountain, cool shade and refreshing Blizzards were not to be missed. But, in many ways that wall around McDonald’s was the beginning of the end in what it represented and what I could not ignore that it exemplified.
Not Kosher. I do so many things barely, avoiding cheeseburgers is an easy win.
Potatoes in the shakes. . . that’s a rumor. The heavier blow is one of plastic tops and straws in our constant ‘to go’ existence.
Then, there was “The Founder”. . . right down to the business model, the lingering film in my mouth suddenly remained from something besides the grease.
Happy March! Almost all my e-mails are dressed with this phrase. All around, we drive past gray, caked slush and attempt to feel the sun through windshield glass like a tropical beach’s reflection. At the stop light I can let my eyes drift to the McDonald’s on the corner. “It’s time! Shamrock Shakes! They’re back!”
Somehow, I never really am.
For more wonderful videos related to teacher training or literacy program development in rural Guatemala, please visit www.child-aid.org. I have no v...