I made a huge mistake on Wednesday night.
I had agreed to go to a whiskey tasting immediately after work. What I didn’t realise (but should have): tasting also means drinking.
Four whiskeys on an empty stomach later, my mistake was palpable in all of my senses. I began Googling nearby places to grab a quick dinner under the table while the instructor prattled on about the different between 15 year and 18 year single malt. (Honestly, I’m still not convinced there’s much of one).
When I noticed the McDonald’s a block away, my mind was immediately made up. I had remembered the new Big Mac sizes the company had just released, and I knew what I had to have. There was no better opportunity to devour the largest size, the Grand Big Mac, than right now — belly full of whiskey but devoid of food.
I hadn’t stepped inside the famed Golden Arches in quite a long time. It was exactly how you likely remember it. Spartan, but a little upbeat. I stepped up to the counter and after some forced pleasantries, relayed my order.
“Can I get a Grand Big Mac, please?”
I watched the counterperson’s eyes grow wide as she realised what I asked for. “Oh, gosh,” she whispered under he breath. “Anything else?”
Yes, there was something else. I also purchased a 4 piece chicken McNugget. I was feeling myself.
A short while later, my number was called, I grabbed my bag and practically ran home.
“You’re gonna need two hands,” the box reads. I was undaunted. With one bite, I was instantly transported to another time and place. This wasn’t just a bigger Big Mac. It was a portal to 15 years ago, when I was smaller and Big Macs just seemed bigger to me than they really are.
I ate a lot of Big Macs as a kid of the 90s, when nutrition was less of a concern to a working single mum than finding time to feed me something I liked. And, man, I loved Big Macs. Truly. Madly. Deeply.
Naturally, I don’t eat that many Big Macs anymore. It’s impossible to find the same solace I once did. That’s why the Grand Big Mac was so remarkable. For a moment, I truly felt like a kid again.
For McDonald’s to continue to transform its struggling self in the modern food service landscape, it would do well to look to the past. It’s these nostalgic only-90s-kids-will-get-this experiences that will keep me coming back when I’m looking for comfort.
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