Why McDonald’s Will Forever Be Tied to My Happy Place



I’ve had a lot of great McDonald’s experiences in my life. Those Golden Arches (which I always thought was just a big yellow “M”) have been a friendly face since I was a mere three apples high.

As a kid, I used to play board games all the time with my neighborhood buds Eddie, Gary and Ethan. Gary had two older brothers and just about every board game ever created back in the ’70s, so we spent a lot of time in his basement and on his patio rolling dice and spinning spinners.

One of my favorites, though, was the The McDonald’s Game. You’d get to play as Ronald, Hamburglar, Grimace (my favorite!) or Mayor McCheese. You’d go around the board taking cards and trying to put together customer orders. I don’t remember much else except we played this one a lot. Of course it always made me hungry.

Now that I’m a parent, my kids, of course, love McDonald’s. In fact, Chicken McNuggets are one of their favorite food groups. And yes, I’ll admit I always hope they don’t finish their 20-piece box, so I can snarf down a few myself.

I was actually surprised to recently learn that McDonald’s uses white meat chicken breast in their Chicken McNuggets. They also use 100% beef in their burgers, and real fruit in their McCafe smoothies and Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait. In fact, I recently swung into a McDonald’s for a morning coffee and noticed they use real eggs in their breakfast sandwiches. Not things you’d normally associate with a fast food chain.

Chicken McNuggets Time
After writing this article, my cravings forced me to take the boys to McDonald’s.

It’s funny, though, how certain memories stick out in your mind. To me, it’s the McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish. See, a few years ago, Jason ended up having an emergency appendectomy. He had been sick with a fever for days and one night we took him to an urgent care facility nearby, and ended up going to the hospital just to be on the safe side.

They had said it could be appendicitis so we should get it checked out. Never in a million years did we think that’s what it was. But late that night, probably around 11:30 p.m. or so, the doctor came in telling us he was calling in the surgeon to perform the emergency procedure. That was easily the longest night of our lives, as Allie and I sat in the hospital lobby, just waiting for the doctor to come out.

Everything turned out fine, but Jason spent a few days in the hospital. So what’s all this have to do with McDonald’s? Well, Jason finally came home. That was such an amazing and emotionally exhausting experience for all of us. I clearly remember he had just gotten home and was relaxing on the living room couch. Allie sent me out to fill a prescription for him, and well, next to the pharmacy was a McDonald’s.

I went through the drive-thru and for some reason, a Filet-o-Fish was imprinted in my head. So I ordered one. No, that’s a lie. I ordered two. Then I headed home and devoured both of them, along with a large order of fries.

And can I tell you, It was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in my life.

From that moment on, the Filet-o-Fish sandwich (and by extension, McDonald’s) is now tied tightly to the happy memories I have of my son coming home from a hospital stay.

Filet O' Fish
Reliving that post-appendicitis meal with a Filet-O-Fish!
“Hellllloooo, lunch!”
Filet-O-Fish Selfie
Filet-O-Fish Selfie!

mcondalds logo

What are your favorite McDonald’s memories?

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by McDonald’s via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McDonald’s.”

11 thoughts on “Why McDonald’s Will Forever Be Tied to My Happy Place”

  1. McDonalds brings good memories of eating chicken nuggets when I was a kid. However, since becoming a adult I stay far away from them. I also do not feed my children McDonald’s either. Knowing the fat content in their products keeps me far, far, away. You can get three days worth of fat in just one empty calorie meal.

    (On a positive note: I am glad it brings warm memories to you)

  2. My favorite McDonald’s memory was the first time I tasted their golden brown fries! They were (and still are in my opinion) the best tasting fries on the planet! ..now I want me some McDonald’s fries! lol

  3. I’d have to agree. I love McD’s and ive been going there on my own even as early as my earliest memories of getting allowence and going after getting paid.

  4. McDonalds has always been mine and my kids Happy place and now its where Nana takes the grandkids for fun and good food.

  5. McDonald’s has always been my favorite fast food restaurant. I’m a night owl, so I love that my local McDonald’s is open 24/7. Filet-O-Fish is one of my favorites… my mom’s favorite by far. Thanks for the post!

  6. I bet that’s the 1st Filet-o-Fish selfie yet. I’m so glad everything went well with your son. It’s amazing how we can tie food to a memory just like music. I’ve had those cravings for fast food and when you get it I swear it’s food nirvana!

  7. Because of our job we traveled a lot when my boys were little and McDonald’s was always the major stop on the road because of convenience and quality. Having had the privilege of living and visiting other countries, McDonald’s also brings memories of a taste of home wherever you are at in the world. They will always be a favorite and a standard for other restaurants to compare to.

  8. I took my kids to McDonalds and now the grandkids,,a nice place to take kids to eat and have fun,,used to do birthday parties there when my kids were little


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