On my way out the door to go tan (gasp! I know. Leave me alone. I love it.) I grab a handful of change so I can stop by McDonald’s for my other guilty pleasure – an icy, delicious, bubbly large coke. At the last minute Robyn decides to come with. Now, as I pull up to the drive thru I realize I have a dilemma. Robyn understandably wants a drink too. I count my change; I have an assortment of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies that add up to just over $2. Now, being an extremely frequent connoisseur of large McD’s cokes, I know that at this particular location they cost $1.76. (How weird is it that at the one on 38th they cost $2.11) Realizing that I don’t have much time as there are only 3 cars in front of us, and being the sweet, soft-spoken mom that I am, I shout back to Robyn, “quick, look for coins!!!” I frantically scramble through the small change holder in my van, pushing aside paperclips, gum wrappers, tweezers (tweezers?) as this dialogue runs through my head, “I could order a medium and have enough to get her a small….Oh but I really, really want the large, I always get the large! Wait…I know! I could get the large and a small cup of ice and pour some of mine into hers. But no, then I wouldn’t have as much coke – I don’t want to share my precious coke. Plus, that would be totally irresponsible, she doesn’t need the caffeine! Hmmmmmm – that’s it! Completely logical grounds for not sharing with my little girl! Ugh! What to do? What to do!?!”
As we pull up to the squawk box to place our order, I quickly count the added change we have found, including one very sticky penny smeared with an old raisin. Our grand total has come to $2.56 (including the sticky penny.) Quickly doing the math, I am hit by a plan of extraordinary brilliance. I ask the voice inside the magic box the price of a child’s drink. The voice informs me that they don’t sell the child size drink without the happy meal (What? Ridiculousness!) The cheapest one I can get is the small for $1. Not to be deterred I order my large coke and then explain that I only have 80 cents left and (as I say this next part a tiny bit of Foxness kicks in and I find myself leaning in and lowering my voice so the car behind me cannot hear my proposition) I was wondering if the voice could sell me a small for 80 cents and then only fill it 2/3 of the way full. Brilliant, right? Ummmm….apparently not to the voice. She is definitely beginning to sound a little irritated with me as she explains that cannot be done. Defeated momentarily I change my large to a medium and order a small sprite for Robyn.
As we wait in line to pay, I realize we may not be beaten yet; surely we haven’t looked in every single nook and cranny. So once again I shout, in my most loving motherly voice, “hurry Robyn, look over there!!!! And I begin to hurriedly scrounge in my purse too. I open my wallet and I am hit by the realization that I have my debit card. But by this time, the Shepherdness has completely taken over, “I AM going to pay with my change!!” By the time I pull up to the window and see the voice face to face, we have found about 20 more cents! Forgetting about tax, I excitedly change my drink back to a large, and she rings it up, giving me a total of $2.96. Whoopsy daisy, that pesky tax!! I am determined to make this work. I hand her the $2.76, as I remember a gift card with about 2 dollars on it. I explain that I am 20 cents short and ask her to put the 20 cents on the gift card. Just as I am about to hand her the card, I spot a dime and a quarter on the ground between us. I eagerly jump out of the car, Robyn yelling, “mom! What are you doing?” and squeeze myself down between the van and the brick wall. I grab the dime and hold it up high overhead so the highly aggravated hand behind the voice can reach it, then I begin digging for the quarter which has gotten itself wedged down in a little crack.
Unexpectedly, I hear the voice above me, in a very loud and annoyed tone saying, “just forget it, take the drinks!” but this Shepherd girl is determined to get this quarter first….if the voice doesn’t want it, I surely do!!! After a few seconds of digging, I realize I’m not going to be able to get it with my fingers. As my Shepherdness kicks into overdrive, I begin to think if I have any tools in the van that I could use to get it. Suddenly, having stood by and watched the inanity long enough (I’m sure with great shock at the impropriety); the little Fox voice in my head takes over, “uhhhh, hello sweetheart! It’s a quarter!” I shake off the nearly impenetrable Shepherd daze that accompanies any bouts of Shepherdness………I stand up, get back in the car, smile ever so sweetly at the now very angry voice and pull up to the next window. A young boy hands me my well earned large coke and small sprite, and we drive away, a smile of satisfaction on my lips as I take a huge sip of my delicious large coke, and glance back to see Robyn enjoying her sprite. Ahhhhhhhh....sweet victory at last!