Dining In Style

There was a period in our young family life when we could rarely afford to eat out; and when we did dine out, it was at a fast food place. One Valentine’s Day while we were traveling back home from a visit with the children’s grandparents, we decided to stop at a popular fast food restaurant for dinner. The children were too hungry to wait until we reached home to eat, so we pulled into the first one of these locations we could spot. The dining area was surprisingly busy considering it was dinnertime on Valentine’s Day; and when we were met at the door to be seated, we began to realize this was not going to be the usual dining experience at McDonald’s.

The tables were covered with red, white and pink tablecloths; candles were lit at each table and flowers filled small vases…the whole atmosphere was festive and upbeat. A “waitress” took our order. It is hard to explain the simple enjoyment of that dining experience—we were eating in style on a fast food budget. Decades later, I fondly recall how unexpectedly special the meal was for our small family—undoubtedly due to someone’s heartfelt desire to create a memorable experience at no extra cost to families such as ours.