I can become nostalgic at the drop of a hat, but I didn’t see it coming yesterday when I stopped at McDoodles for one of their iced coffees.
I’d dropped my car at Canadian Tire to have a trailer hitch put on (another story for another post, maybe) and because it was only going to take an hour or so, I decided to take my power walk along a quiet, crescent-shaped street that begins and ends on the main drag through town. The early morning air was cool as I pumped along the shady road, but by the time I got back to the main street the sun hit me face-on and I was hot. Then, just ahead, I saw the Golden Arches heralding a promise of iced coffee relief.
Taking my place in line behind the retired crowd I waited, and while I waited, nostalgia quietly wrapped me in a wonderful memory. It smelled a lot like cherry pie.
And then, a nanosecond after the cherry pie thought, I was reminded of being a teenager. You couldn’t pay me enough money to go back to that age, except for one thing. In those days I didn’t think twice about eating the occasional deep-fried cherry pie, served hot and juicy in its little cardboard box. Worries about fat or calories never crossed my mind. Ever. I make me sick!
But back to yesterday. A moment after that cherry pie memory came calling, I remembered saving the little cardboard pie boxes to take home. As you can see, they were a bit different than the modern ones, especially that nice rounded rectangle cut in the top of the box.
I’m not going to give you enough numbers to do accurate math regarding my age, but I will say that my teenager-hood was spent with an alarming lack of internet, cell phones, and digital images. Back then, when we cool teens weren’t busy chatting on wall-mounted, corded phones, we wrote letters. We used pens, paper, envelopes, and stamps, and we put our stamped paper messages into actual mailboxes. Then, instead of pressing “send”, we raised a red metal flag on the box to indicate that a letter was inside. This is actually where AOL got the idea. On each business day a real mailman, in a real vehicle, picked up the paper mail, and off it went to the post office.
You could write your letter on anything, but what was really fun was using the pie box as an envelope. You’d slip your folded letter into the flattened box, tape the ends closed, and write the address in the small vent/window space in the top. After adding a stamp it was time to walk to the mailbox, drop the cherry-decorated envelope in, and wait for it to be delivered to your friend. Unbelievable, right?
After writing all this down I realize I sound like a bit of a weenie, but that doesn’t matter. Right now I have a real desire to send a letter to a friend, folded inside a McDonald’s cherry pie box.