It was roughly 9:52 on a Wednesday evening when I sat in a poorly-lit Steak ‘n Shake parking lot waiting for my best friend to arrive. It was the twelfth day of my summer break, and I had already begun to realize that the countless hours of conversation and spontaneous escapades that I anticipated had quickly evolved into texting conversations broken up between hours of obligations– a form of communication I had grown accustomed to during our school year apart.
I was eagerly awaiting the moment when Tia would arrive so our “midnight snack” could commence, providing a two-hour block of scheduled milkshakes and face-to-face conversation cleverly disguised as an impromptu late-night adventure.
I had just exhausted my Instagram and Twitter feeds when I turned up the volume on the radio and allowed myself to become immersed in the overplayed pop melodies. Amidst a chorus of “Nah to the ah to the no, no, no,” I found myself experiencing the stare-off-into-space kind of deep thought that, to anyone who would have glanced at me sitting alone in my Volkswagen Beetle, would have created the illusion that I was the pathetic protagonist in a Rom-Com who had just gotten stood up by her boyfriend.
(Fortunately for me, you kinda have to have a boyfriend in order to get stood up by one. It’s one of the many perks of being single, trust me.)
Just as I started to suppress thoughts of the detriment this milkshake would cause me upon the arrival of the impending bikini season, I was warmly greeted with a heart attack triggered by Tia knocking on my driver’s side window.
Miraculously, I managed to recover from this medical emergency.
At one point during our laughter-filled discontinuous banter that inevitably results from trying to fit a week’s worth of stories into an two-hour-long conversation, I caught myself staring down at my untouched food fifteen minutes after the waitress had brought it to the table.
It was the struggle to contain my laughter so I could sip my milkshake without lodging a piece of chocolate in my throat that sparked an idea for a new series on my blog: Milkshakes with Mallory.
It occurred to me that milkshakes are not merely $3 glasses filled with sweet, creamy deliciousness that satisfy you in the moment and make you feel broke and overweight later; milkshakes have the uncanny ability to generate an atmosphere so welcoming to deep conversation that it can only be compared to midnight truth-or-dare confessions whispered between adolescent best friends nestled in sleeping bags.
Sometimes getting food is about more than just the act of eating; it’s about the act of communion.
It’s about waking up a little earlier or staying up a little later just to spend time with humans, rather than stalking them on social media. It’s about cramming around a table with your closest companions, long-lost friends or newfound acquaintances and savoring a face-to-face interaction sweeter than any sugary confection.
So consider this your formal invitation to join me on a milkshake date. Come savor a tall glass of thick, chocolatey goodness as we catch up, laugh and philsophize about life for a little while. (Think: Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe and Joey, minus the iconic couch and oversized coffee mugs. Overalls optional.)
After all, as the wise singer Kelis once poetically stated, “My milkshakes bring all of the friends and meaningful conversation to the table” (or something like that).
P.S. I also extend this invitation to those who are willing to go on coffee dates. Or, better yet, let’s go on a salad date! After all, it is bikini season…