For the first two years after we moved back from Arizona, we lived about 4 blocks from a Friendly's and because it's pretty affordable (and just too fucking easy) we went there ALL THE TIME. Seriously. I should be embarrassed by the fact but in the interest of being totally honest with all of you who take the time to let me into your heads, I will just fess up: There was a time where we literally went there AT LEAST once a week. I say "at least" because for a lot of the summer months, we would go one day a week (usually a Friday or Saturday evening) and have dinner, and then another week night (or two or three) we would walk there after we ate dinner, just to get ice cream. Some weeks, we would also have lunch there. And although they do have fantastic (and cheap) breakfasts, we only went for breakfast twice (both times meeting some friends with children).
If this sounds totally excessive, I want you to know that you will find no argument from me. It IS excessive. And I have the gigantic pants to prove it. And although I would love to tell you that when we moved to our new house in October and started needing to budget our money a little better that dinners at the Friendly's have stopped, I cannot do that. Our new house is less than a mile from our old house, and so I can safely say that the walks for ice cream are probably in the past. And since it isn't QUITE as convenient, we are eating at home more. See, now that we are in our own house, we only go to Friendly's when we have a coupon, which is pretty much every week because I have signed up for their email list (I'm a BFF - Best Friend of Friendly's) and they send them out pretty often.
And there's another component to the fact that Lila BEGS for Friendly's all the time. You see, last fall Lila became somewhat "enamored" with one of the servers there, a 20-something named Corey. Corey is tall and handsome and has a giant diamond earring in his ear. And Lila calls Corey her best friend. Lila makes cards and colors pictures for Corey and we bring them on our next visit. It is a very difficult dinner to get through when we get all hyped up to go to Friendly's and then it turns out that Corey took the night off. Generally, Lila will cry and refuse to eat her food until the server properly engages her in conversation, and then she will spend the rest of the meal looking for "her new friend".
We went there tonight and it struck me just how much we actually go there because Corey said to us, "I haven't seen you guys in a while," and I thought about it and realized that "a while" was about 2 and a half weeks. Then I started thinking about how much money we must actually spend there and I think I can safely say that I may single-handedly be the reason they were able to buy snazzy new carpets...
And just as I was getting tired of their food, they introduced a new seasonal menu with like 8 new items and they're fucking fabulous. They're so good that I actually took the time to email Friendly's corporate office to tell them how fucking incredible the food was, especially considering that Friendly's isn't somewhere you go to have a mind-blowing meal (these are the people who created the giant cheeseburger served between two big grilled cheese sandwiches).
I seriously need a life...
I wonder if I wasn't exhausted all the time if I would feel a little less like having someone else do the cooking and cleaning up. I wonder if my kid ate at home HALF as well as she eats at Friendly's (because of the incentive of a ridiculously fancy sundae at the end of the meal if she actually eats) if I would be more inclined to cook healthy food at home. Because no matter how much I plan and make lists and stock up so that we can eat at home and save money, there inevitably comes a day where I am just too tired after work to cook, and Lila is begging and I just don't have it in me to say "no".
I should just look into buying a Franchise. I mean, who wouldn't want to take some credit for this fucking brilliant idea:
|See the vegetables in there?|