Thursday, April 30, 2009

if it's fast, and it's food, they know me there

so today . . . the cashier at 7-11 recognized me. i'm not sure this is a good thing.

i eat out. a lot. i have a kitchen, but i mainly use it for storage, because i have lots of kitchen things. i love love love plates and glassware and silverware. and containers and cookie cutters and mugs. i rarely use any of them. well, that's not totally true--we do use the sandwich plates and knives quite a bit, but i'm not sure i have EVER made cookies with a cookie cutter--and yet i have a bunch. and every time they are selling wolfgang puck cookware or "greenpans" on shopping tv, i start thinking maybe i should get some. even though i mostly use my cookware to boil eggs--and actually that would be rollie boiling the eggs, because he eats them for breakfast.

here's the thing about a kitchen. it is only in the house to give you a place to work. there is nothing entertaining about it, unless you have a tv in there. you have to put your food away, which, btw, means you had to go to the grocery store to get some. then, if you want to prepare a meal, you have to get your food out. you have to thaw it and chop it and slice it and mix it and season it and finally cook it. this takes hours!! then you eat it. this takes minutes. then you have to clean up all the pots and pans and utensils and plates and glasses and put them away. and find containers for the leftovers. and find room in the refrigerator for the leftovers. and this takes hours. do you see the problem?

i love to eat, but i do not love to cook or shop for groceries. and since our family has always been small, we have been able to eat out maybe more than some people. but now that diandra is all grown up, i pretty much only cook if my parents are coming (and even then, we will eat pizza and subway a few times) or on thanksgiving (unless we decide to be renegades and eat at jack-in-the-box.)

soooo, we are on a first name basis with the employees at many of our fast food establishments. they know what we like, and sometimes start ringing it up and preparing it before we even order. a few weeks ago, we changed our usual order at rubio's from chicken taquitos and a chicken quesadilla (which we have been ordering several times a week for the last two years) to two chicken burritos. the employees are having some difficulty adjusting. the cashier has to look at the register to see how much we owe. the guys in the kitchen question the order, because they have seen us come in and know what we like. and now they are all a little skittish, probably wondering, "will they change it again? will they go back to their old favorite? will they try something new? will only ONE of them try something new? how long will this new favorite last? should we start fixing it now? or wait to see?"

this does have it's disadvantages--before, when they knew what we were going to order, the cooks would start making it when they saw us walk in the door. so by the time we paid, our food was ready. now we have to wait, just like everyone else, because they never know anymore . . .

do you remember years and years ago, when wendy's was a new franchise and only served hamburgers? they had someone watching the cars come into the parking lot who would yell back to the kitchen how many people were in each car. and then the cooks would guess how many burgers would be ordered and throw them on the grill. so by the time you got out of the car and into the store to buy your lunch, the burgers were done and ready to be fixed however you ordered them. ah, those were the days . . . but i digress.

anyway, several weeks ago, i saw one of the servers from subway (another one of our favorite places) at target. she looked familiar, but i couldn't quite place her. of course she looked different without her uniform and HAT, and her daughter was with her, but she recognized me! (of course, i never wear a hat, and my daughter is usually with me at subway. and target.) she came up and started talking to me like we were old friends. and i guess we kind of were, as i talked to her face to face more often in most weeks than i talk to my friends. so we chatted for a few minutes and then moved on. it was kind of cool. if rollie or i go in alone, she always asks about the other one. she can tell from our order if we are meeting diandra or not. she can tell from our order if we are dieting (salads and no cookies) or not (sandwiches and cookies!!!) she probably knows more about us than our neighbors!

today at 7-11 when i walked up to the cash register with my gigantic soda, the cashier said, "no brownies today?" how did she know i was thinking brownie thoughts? i was, of course, planning to get brownies--i just hadn't decided how many yet. so i grabbed four and said, "yes, i'll take these. they are the best! i've been telling all my friends how good they are." she looked at me with hope in her eyes. oh great! now she will probably order them in cases. and then for some inexplicable reason, i will suddenly start to crave ice cream. the kind they have at el pollo loco . . .


Wendy said...

Seriously Julie! I don't know how you don't weigh 250 pounds! And MAYBE eat out more than most people??? Most people eat out once a week not 3 times a day! Do you ever crave a delicious home made meal? Poor Rollie.

Anonymous said...

Can I have your cookie cutters? i love making cookies. Anyways you should stop buying cooking stuff especially if you never use it. Have you tried 30min meals? You dont have to be in the kitchen all day to have a homecook meal. You should try it next time