They had dinner dates in fast food restaurants at opposite ends of the world. It was his idea. He’d call the day before, or at some point during what passed for her morning, and make arrangements. It was a cute conceit, shared gastronomic experience separated by the miles and li between them. The easy availability of franchised foodchains was their helper, their happy medium: McDonalds on Monday, Wendy’s on Wednesday, Subway on Saturdays. They picked the same items from the menu and took photos with the food that they sent to each other over Twitter. I miss you, he’d add to the pictures sometimes. “Stop that,” she’d say every time, embarrassed by the sentiment.
Then one day she rocked the boat, her phone tucked between shoulder and ear as she folded the laundry. “I want to try the new seaweed shaker fries from McDonalds.”
He paused. “We don’t have that here.”
“That’s sad. It’s really good. And it comes free with every Extra Value Meal when you upsize it.” She tossed aside a shirt whose color had faded to unwearability. “Maybe I’ll have the seaweed shaker fries and you can have the regular ones.”
He pursed his lips, not that she could see it. “But that’s not the point of why we’re doing this.”
“What does it matter? It’s not like we’re even eating the same meal. You’re having an early lunch and I’m having late supper.” She sent him a picture of the shaker fries later, showing him what he was missing out on.
A couple of weeks later she said, “I don’t really feel like having fast food today.”
“But we’re supposed to do this. That was our deal.”
“I’m sick of fast food. And Tony says I’ve been putting on weight. It’s all the junk food I’ve been shoveling down.”
“Who’s Tony?” he asked.
“We’re going to try a new Japanese restaurant that just opened recently,” she said, and hung up.
He stared at the dead and silent phone. “Fuck globalization,” he said.