Like gossamer wings floating gently on the breeze, their indelible image dots the distant horizon. A calling card, crying out to the perpetually young, drawing children of all shapes and sizes in mythical proportions. It’s something we as adults cannot comprehend, but never should we underestimate the power of the Golden Arches.
My 5-year-old teenager lay bleary eyed amid the covers on her bed. It was time to arise and prepare for another taxing day of Kindergarten. This week the youngsters are studying the color gray, the letter “P” and the number 7.
“Dada, close the door,” she grumbles as she pulls her Dora comforter over her head. “It is too bright.”
Quietly I pick my way to her bedside, dodging a wasteland that once was lorded over by the diminutive Polly Pockets. I lean down beside her bed.
“If you get up,” I gently whisper, “we will get McDonald’s for breakfast.”
My words did not go unheeded for I invoked the name of the almighty. My daughter generally falls under the category of “high-maintenance” as she prepares for her day, demanding assistance in choosing her clothes and shoes while being forced to brush her hair and teeth.
But today was different. Today was McDonald’s. For obvious reasons, my daughter chose to be in Mrs. McDonald’s kindergarten class at her school. A wise choice which my wife, who also teaches at the school, agreed with. But the power of the arches far exceeds the question of finding qualified educators.
I had only left my child’s room when she zipped past me holding a pair of jeans and a shirt. As I, still clad in my bath robe, walked into my room in order to prepare for my work day, I glanced over to see that my child was already wearing her shirt and was in the midst of pulling on her favorite pair of jeans.
Before I had the chance to pull my clothes from the closet, she had her socks and shoes in hand and was asking for assistance in brushing her hair. I had no choice. After all, my child was answering to a higher calling.
This story tends to lose its luster as my child finished getting ready then waited patiently for her father to complete his morning routine. But the brilliant shine of the arches was written all over her face. We were going to McDonald’s.
I’m not sure what it is about the joint that intrigues kids so. The food is barely tolerable, the bathrooms are dirty and the playground is eerily reminiscent to feed lot in mid-summer temperatures. But somehow … some way … the marketing genius that is McDonald’s has tapped into the psyche of the American offspring.