New Year's, What to do when your kids call each other fat, and much more.
I have such complicated feelings about Chick Fil A. There's one near my stepsons' house and it is by far my kids' favorite fast food place, it has a really nice variety and it's actually good quality (my kids eat the whole entire fruit cup, I get a kale salad thing, we all split a few orders of fries with our chicken). There's a play place!! Remember play places in Mcdonalds? what even happened to those? we can go get lunch and then I can just read my book for 30 minutes while my kids run it off.
But, like. The politics. Ugh.
The reality is, I hate the politics of most fast food places and most large corporations. There's a big headline now about McDonalds and Chipotle and other beloved places in my family, spending millions on lobbying to keep wages suppressed. Wage theft, wage suppression, etc. These companies directly abuse their individual employees and are a cancer on our whole political system in general and I feel pretty much just as strongly (ie VERY STRONGLY) about that as I do about the civil rights of non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered people. My older stepson is working age in high school and he told me that Chick Fil A is one of the more coveted jobs among his friend group, because they tend to pay better than most equivalent places. It is all just shitty and sucky to try to weigh how many different ways people are being exploited, and try to factor that into our freaking dinner plans when the kids are hangry and the day is long. Like can I just buy my kid some fries, please.
I get to where I come with most of this stuff, which is basically the "there is no ethical consumption under capitalism" place. I'm not going to be like "sorry kids, you can't have strawberries and mandarins with your nuggets and fries, because this one restaurant oppresses people in more ways than that also-oppressive restaurant does." It feels a bit like choosing between Walmart and Amazon. Like, neither of these choices is so much more or less ethical than the other that it makes sense to sacrifice some quality of life over it. We are big fans of acting like ethics are just individual choices, aka individual personal sacrifices, whereas the system itself is just inherently unethical because DUH CAPITALISM! But it just feels bad all around and I really hate it.
Thanks for always publishing the transcript along with the audio! I mix and match which I use, so I appreciate both. Today was a reading day!
I’m still listening to this episode, and totally agree with the “no conscious consumerism under capitalism” and feel that agitation for social/structural change is where it’s at.
And also under “conscious-ish consumerism” and cozy clothes, I have been living in these sweatpants all winter (as in, I have 4 pairs). The sizing goes up to 6X and they use recycled plastic and remnants and whatever else, and they can be pricey but the stuff lasts and you can catch good sales. I have a 28” inseam, so these hit a wee bit above the ankle, but not in cropped territory.
Literally the only thing I remember about that night was that there was Sprite in that drink and I was wearing your shirt. (Or I loved that one tank shirt of yours so much it's the only shirt I'm wearing in any of our night out memories from that time period.) I will make you Pastina Soup though!
I think we need to resist the idea that how and what we consume is in and of itself a politics, or that it's enough of a politics. It really does keep us from questioning bigger structures and systems.
Your story about tequila made me remember mine. We hit the buy-one-pitcher-get-one-free happy hour as it was almost over so we ordered two. That gave us four pitchers for four people. This resulted in me running down a street in Old Sacramento yelling “Father Serra.” (We were heading to a Mexican restaurant with a statue of him in front.) The next day was decidedly not fun.
The tequila in the nalgene bottle made me remember the night that made me vow never again to drink wine from a keg cup. Well, made me remember the morning after. Oof.
The Chik-fil-a discussion here is funny because over the holidays, one of my husband's cousins got married, and apparently at one point they planned to have the wedding catered by Chik-fil-a, and one of his aunts got wind of this and called the bride's mother going "I didn't know [the groom] was a Republican!" like this was the only possible explanation. And the bride's mother freaked out so much that the catering got changed.
For the record I've never understood the fuss about their food. I remember it as mediocre at best by fast food standards.
This is definitely the wrong place but I am on an instagram break and don't know where else to post it (COVID brain maybe) so I just wanted to say EXCELLENT opinion piece in the NY Times today, Virginia. So good. I think it must be really hard to draft a piece like that in a mainstream forum like the times which is, basically, anti-fat and, as I know from comments on many articles, has a readership that will be knee-jerk hostile to many of your ideas. I think you did an incredible job and that you will change some minds. (I hope hope hope anyway.)
Dropping this here if folks are interested in lower cost Eileen Fisher
loved all of this, but like many others, I'm going to share my chick fil a thoughts. you know, for science. isn't that what we're doing here? (lolol)
I'm a southerner, but didn't grow up with chick fil a (or popeyes for that matter....kfc was about it). I do like the food ok--esp how quick and consistent it is. I like popeyes much better. but this small town I live in, the one without even a target, has zero popeyes and two chick fil as
yes, no ethical consumption under capitalism! at the same time, I do try to limit things for myself that I know are doing harm, and I think that's where the original question came from. It seems like boycotts and such can help (esp when in solidarity with workers), but but....it is a cycle in my mind. I find myself thinking of the way they talked about this in the last season of the good place
For those of us in the Midwest, Chik Fil A and Hobby Lobby are definitely coming for our money. There are three Chik Fil As in my immediate area that have gone up the last few years, and two Hobby Lobbys. I'm not a fried chicken eater or a crafter, so it's been easy to not go to either place. My kids are in college and so there's no "I won't drive you there", my son goes occasionally with friends, but prefers Cane's. I think Cane's might also be problematic, but my friend in there Southern Gay Community says Cane's is ok, so I'm going with that, lol.
Virginia, this is 100% how I feel about aging! I wasn’t young and fun even as a kid, so taking the pressure off has felt amazing. I just want to watch Gardener’s World, drink herbal tea and wear comfortable shoes without feeling like there is something else I’m supposed to do.
The blueberries don't make the smoothie grainy? Does that only happen if you add yogurt?
Re the chic-fil-a question, I would recommend Break 'em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money by Zephyr Teachout to absolutely everyone. The audiobook is also great