I’ve been thinking a lot about drive-thru restaurants lately. They are everywhere. Lots and lots of them. Right now that’s probably a good thing. But in the past, I’ve been known to remark that there are just too many of them. It makes eating poorly too easy.
I’m old enough to remember carhops on roller skates. I’m also old enough to remember the third ever McDonald’s restaurant built in Downey, CA, in 1953.
We lived in a little city called Pico Rivera that was formed by the amalgamation of two even smaller towns, one named Pico (named for Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California) and the other Rivera (named by the Santa Fe railroad because it lay between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers). They incorporated in 1958 when I was six years old. I can’t recall if formerly we lived in Pico or Rivera and I don’t suppose it matters at this point. Just for the sake of saying it, it was the 61st city to incorporate in Los Angeles County.
Pico Rivera was not far from Downey and we visited that McDonalds regularly. Most often it would be on a Sunday afternoon. Our church was in Downey at the time and we’d go there in our Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes after church services for a late lunch/early dinner sort of thing.
It was a real treat. A special sort of thing. Not this eat-on-the-run business that most fast food has become. We’d take our time. We’d see people we knew. It was very different from how it’s handled today.
Then enter the novel corona virus. Social distancing began to happen long before the mandates of our legislators. Populations grow. The need for space, both emotional and physical, becomes essential. The impression of space is created by essentially ignoring the teeming masses around us. We impersonalize others to make it easier to ignore them. None of this is really good for a society.
The coronavirus has made me more aware of distancing myself from others. It’s made others aware also. I think it’s had a positive effect.
The community in which my husband and I live is a generally congenial one. While out walking our dog, neighbors will wave hi and give a greeting. We wave to people driving by in their cars and they wave back. It’s always been like this.
But since the corona virus and social distancing, the neighborhood has begun to feel even friendlier. I’m guessing that this forced distancing and mandate to stay at home as much as possible has made people even more aware of how important community is.
I’m a silver lining kind of gal. I try to find the good in everything. Most days I succeed. But not always. It’s been hard lately.
But to me, it seems that this slowing down of the pace of life that the corona virus restrictions are imposing might help to reset our society. Maybe we’ll find a better path than the one we’ve been on for the last many years.
Maybe there will be a day when visiting a restaurant of any kind, even a fast food drive through, is a special affair again. Maybe we’ll take less for granted, and cherish what we have a little more.
Yup. I’m definitely a silver lining kind of gal.