Posted by: Kristy | November 26, 2008

Stroll with me down the drive thru lane.

His name was Dave. I saw him every day of the week, pretty much, and we had nearly the same conversation each time. I admired him from afar, with his blue eyes and spiky blond hair and slow, easy smile. It’s been nearly six years since I last saw him, but yesterday Dave popped into my head …

When I started spending the majority of every day in my temporary office at our still-under-construction building, my body quickly capitalized on another opportunity to be freezing, all the time, even with the addition of a space heater and wearing my coat all the time.

This? Was no fun. Until I discovered Tim Horton’s. Don’t laugh, I seriously had poo pooed this fast food restaurant because all I knew was the sold doughnuts and my mind will not let me consider consuming doughnuts. It’s part of the strange mental battle I fight with food. ANYWAY …

The brilliance behind my discovery is that I can get a cup of hot, hot tea to warm my insides for $1.25. For a large. And they add honey for me. It’s a beautiful thing, and much easier on my change purse than a daily Starbucks would be (as much as I adore Starbucks). So I have fallen into a daily Tim Horton’s habit.

Yesterday, as I pulled up to the speaker and I heard the normal girl ask if I wanted to order a muffin, I wish I could have seen the look on her face as I smiled really wide toward the speaker (because people can hear the smile when you speak, I’m convinced) and said, “I’d like a large honey and lemon tea, with honey, and that’s all, thank you!” I bet she thought, “Man, it’s THIS girl again. Are we going to do this every day?”

Yes. Yes, m’am, we are.

Ah, I used to think that about my buddy Dave, as every day between 3:30 and 4 p.m. I would stand in the back cubby working the drive thru at Wendy’s. I’d see his black car turn the corner and after, “Thank you for stopping, how can I help you?” he’d say, “I’ll have a biggie iced tea with extra ice and that’s all.” Except I’d think, “It’s this guy again. I hope we’re going to do this every day.”

I’d hold him captive at my window for a few seconds, trying to pry information out of him. At first my co-worker and I called him The Biggie Iced Tea Guy. I’d let her know it was him so she could jostle to be at the next window and share a smile. (It’s the little things that keep you going in food service, you know.) So then one day I asked, “Hey, what’s your name so I can stop calling you The Biggie Iced Tea Guy?” (Yeah, because my flirting skills were so advanced at 18.) Then I saw he had a parking pass from the college I attended. He was a senior. Poli sci major. Worked at UPS every day.

We got to where he could say, “I bet you can guess what I want” at the window and I would say, “I bet you know how much it costs! Come on up.” I pretended he didn’t have a girlfriend — because in my ponytail, visor and XXL Wendy’s issued polo shirt engulfing my size small body we all know I was hot like a fresh order of fries and that eventually our five-second window conversations would lead to him wanting to know everything about me. Or at least take me out for a biggie iced tea.

One day he stopped coming through … I’m sure in his post-graduate success he moved and now drives through a different Wendy’s, thinking of that girl who was so nice in college. Who always made sure he got extra ice and Sweet N’ Low. And an extra big smile.

Or maybe not. But isn’t it funny how random people like that stand out sometimes? I don’t know this guy from Adam, but six years later a memory of him is triggered. The mind is a strange thing. Especially mine.



  1. good story. i knew a dave like that once. wonder if it was the same guy? probably not, but since mine broke my heart and then disappeared, i’ll borrow yours.
    still on for friday, right? what time did we say? i remember cheddars, i’m just extra forgetful these days.
    did you know that excess stress actually changes the chemical makeup of your brain? as if my brain didn’t already have enough to worry about…

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