National Drive-Thru Day

Saturday July 24 is National Drive-Thru Day, a day meant to encourage people to use the drive-thru for their convenience. But do we really need an excuse to sit on our butts and buy more junk food that we don’t need, wasting more gasoline while we idle? I think not. In fact, it seems like every day is drive-thru day—and it’s not limited to food, either. Gas stations, dry cleaners, and plenty of other services have drive-thru windows as well. How about instead of a drive-thru day, we instead spend the day both not using the drive-thru as well as making plans on how to not use the drive-thru in the future.

Though some people have called it food snobbery, I’m a big fan of the Slow Food Movement. Not only does the movement discourage fast food eating—it also encourages a slower lifestyle. The hectic minute-to-minute chaos, the constant drama and overwork, and the lack of living in the present altogether are problems that we Westerners are famous for. And many of us don’t even see them as a problem! We are so focused on our crazy lifestyles that when given a few moments to stop and rest, many of us either start doing other projects that have been on the “back burner,” take our work home, or even complain of being “bored.” What ever happened to a little bit of mindfulness?

Fast food and other drive-thru businesses help us maintain this constant chaos, making it easier to do since we depend on it to carve out even more time for the money spending, working, driving, and more working that we think we absolutely must do. Instead of catering our lives to this wacko paradigm, why don’t we all just try to shift back into the world a bit?

It doesn’t have to be all at once. This week, instead of going through the drive-thru, just once, try…

  • Going inside and asking the clerk a pleasant question—how are you, where did you get those nice earrings, what’s your name? Be a human and see if you get a human response!
  • Avoiding the establishment at all and hitting the farmer’s market or your grocery store to make something at home. Look up your favorite restaurant’s recipes if you don’t know where to start, but if you can go a step further and create a fresh meal from some fruits and vegetables more power to you.
  • Getting together with some neighbors or family and having each person bring a dish. Make it a theme to coordinate dishes, or just assign a type of food—appetizer, soup, salad, drinks, dessert, main course, side dishes—to each person and see what you all come up with.