I Dream of a World With No McDonalds

I have a confession. The theme of my thirteenth birthday party was McDonalds. Yes, you read correctly. McDonalds.

(I honestly don’t think I’ve shared that with any of my friends since moving to America. I’m feeling somewhat naked at the moment.)

There was something about the hype of the unknown world (or as some like to call it, civilization), that made this decision seem novel at the time. None of my friends had ever thrown a party like this one. My popularity took a boost, which is clearly a huge statement, being that I was a preteen stuck in a class of 23 students in the middle of Papua New Guinea. It’s amazing what paper-covered straws and a few napkins can accomplish in the third world.

Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?

Since moving to America, I have become educated. With education comes a conscience. With a conscience comes responsibility. With responsibility comes a dream of raising a son in a world free of McDonalds.

It’s crazy how easy it is to brainwash kids these days. Last night I told Brock that I would take him out for a celebration dinner. When I asked him where he wanted to eat this special meal, he emphatically yelled, “WHOLE FOODS!”

We showed up at Whole Foods and perused the aisles like hungry little scavengers. Brock couldn’t find what he was craving, so he finally went up to the guy at the sushi counter and asked if he knew where the baby octopi were. Blank stare. Brock repeated himself, and the man finally responded, telling Brock that they were no longer carrying baby octopi at this Whole Foods. Walking away feeling defeated, B ended up choosing sushi as his consolation meal.

At times people tell me, “You’re so lucky that your son isn’t a picky eater.” I want to kick them in the shins. Our kids are brainwashed people! We are the ones who give them permission to be picky. We are the ones who have the power to convince them of what their bodies (even their mouths) like to eat. We are the ones who define “snacks” or “treats” for them.

Take any other culture but our own. I’m pretty sure those curry eating kids across the Atlantic would be grossed out at the thought of cakepops. (Side note: when did squishing up cake, dipping it in a shiny pink plastic sugar coating, and putting it on a stick become a delicacy?)

Those lucky moms all over the world who don’t have to raise picky kids on hotdogs with Twinkie chasers because “that’s all I can get them to eat!” I mean, really. Can you imagine what those poor kids’ birthday parties must be like? They’re probably McDonalds’ themed.

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One comment

  1. Preach it, girl. So much of what we often consider DNA-induced preferences are, in fact, learned responses. But I don’t feel guilty about the 13th b-day celebration. As I recall, the food we served there was organically grown and home-made, right down to Glenda’s hamburger buns. Using big D’s name for its social currency was a no-brainer.

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