It’s NOT About the Cheeseburger (It’s About My Sanity)

Written by Ashford Evans

I don’t feel stressed. I know I should be, but I just don’t feel like it. Maybe my threshold has increased. Or Maybe I’ve become immune. I mean, when my new babysitter who was supposed to start on Monday at 8:30 a.m. called me on Friday at 2 p.m. to tell me she couldn’t watch the kids… I didn’t even bat an eye. It was the same level of annoyance as when my free Sirius-XM subscription expired earlier that day. I mean it sucked, but it was not the end of the world.

Normally, something like this would have sent me into a full blown panic. I was beginning to feel proud of myself and how I can now take such crises in stride. I’m really getting the hang of this thing!

I even saw it as a blessing.

“Another chance to spend some extra time with the kids might be nice,” I thought. Because I have truly grown as a person and I am expanding my horizons.

It's Not About the CheeseburgerAnd then I went to Hardees.

I had everything planned out for the flawless execution of my day. After K’s morning nap we would get into the car and head to the hub’s work to pick up the dog since we had dinner plans with his parents that night.

“Heck, it might be nice to pick up lunch for him on our way,” I thought.

So I called and surprised hubby with our offer to drive through Hardees and eat lunch with him. Now, anyone who has ever had a baby knows the importance of squeezing errands in between nap times. Car naps are the kiss of death. Even if it’s only been 20 seconds, they awake thinking they have had their nap and should now be allowed to play. So I’m a little psycho about nap times.

Okay, a lot psycho about nap times.

But we had enough time, if only just. So we pull into the line at Hardees which was a bit long — but this is fast food right? It took about 5 minutes to get to the squawk box where we quickly placed our order. Nothing crazy or difficult, just two number twos. Another 10 minutes passed before we got to the window and paid.

I began nervously checking the clock.

We would now only have 30 minutes to get to hubs’ work and eat. This is doable.

Then the drive thru girl came back and asked me to pull forward. I grudgingly obliged. This was when I began to time the ordeal. This was also when time began moving in slow motion. I tried to distract myself by checking FB. After reading the entire newsfeed I switched over to Instagram. Having exhausted my social media networks I checked the clock again. We had now been sitting for a total of 20 minutes since ordering.

I could feel my anxiety rising. I quickly did the math. I had only 20 minutes till it was time to head back home. “It’s okay,” I soothed myself. I switched over to Pinterest and was alternating between searching clever homemade birthday invites and counting the number of cars who had ordered and left since I had been sitting.

I started to wonder.

Did they forget about me? What had all these people had ordered that was so readily available? How was my cheeseburger not ready? I mean what else do they even serve at Hardees?

Twelve cars had ordered, paid, and received food since I pulled forward. What could they possible have gotten? Surely someone out of those 12 cars had ordered a cheeseburger. Maybe they ordered a different size cheeseburger. I had ordered 1/4 pound burgers. Maybe those other people were ordering 1/3 or 1/2 pounders. Surely they couldn’t have all just ordered drinks. I knew it couldn’t just be the fries holding us up. I know how long it takes to drop a basket of fries and it’s not 30 minutes.

“We’ve been here 30 minutes!!!!!”

At this point I could feel my face flush with anger. They ruined my lunch. I will not have time to sit down and talk with hubs. This will probably ruin the baby’s nap which is a short nap anyway since RJ and DC have to be picked up from school.

The seconds ticked by. I felt my heart pounding in my chest and the blood rushed in my ears. Two more minutes crawled by. Every time the door opened I sat straight up like a prairie dog to see if it was my food.

I start texting Ziggy.

“There is nothing fast about the food at Hardees.”

“I’m so angry I could scream.”

“If I hadn’t already paid I would leave.”

And then it got darker.

“I hate them.”

“I’ll never come back here.”

“You should never come back here.”

“I HATE THEM!!!!!!!!!”

And it was real. These feelings were so real they were palpable. It felt a burning hatred.

As I was contemplating marching in to speak (read: YELL) to the manager, the door opened and the drive thru girl emerged with a bag of food. She casually sauntered up to my car and half threw, half dropped the bag into my lap. I swear she rolled her eyes as she did it.

And without saying a word she turned and walked away.

Not a “I’m sorry about the wait ma’am.” Not a “Thank you for your patience.” Nothing.


My blood boiled and I wished horrible things on her. If I could have hexed her I would’ve. I angrily threw my car into gear and stomped on the gas. Furious. She had ruined my day. Now it was a total waste, a total loss.

“I hate her,” I growled. And I did. I had never felt such burning anger toward a single human being in all my life.

I spent the next few hours stewing in my own batch of “I hate you” soup and lashing out at everyone including hubby. I slung his food at him when we walked into his office. I was angry that it was HIS lunch that had caused me to go to Hardees in the first place. If it hadn’t been for HIM I wouldn’t have been subjected to such an outrage.

It wasn’t until much later when I was recounting the atrocity to a friend [and she was hysterically laughing at me] that I realized maybe it wasn’t about the cheeseburger at all.

Maybe, just maybe, the cheeseburger was the straw and I was the camel.

And suddenly it all came into focus. I realized how wildly disproportionate and misplaced my anger was.

But don’t we all have these moments? The ones where we lose our footing? Lose our sanity?

I hope it’s not just me.

It feels so real at the time. I can only thank God that I have dear friends to pull me out of my delirium. I hope you do, too. We all need someone to slap us across the face every once in awhile and yell:



image1About the Author:

Ashford lives with her husband, three children, and three dogs in SC. When she’s not pregnant, breastfeeding, or polishing off a bottle of wine, she is busy holding down her demanding sales career or working at their family-owned business. She blogs about her crazy escapades and living life in between being the bread winner and bread maker at In LIFE Between.

About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. It’s amazing how when you need to get stuff done, time is never on your side. Thanks for reminding us it’s okay to lose it every once in a while.

  2. I totally would have been fuming and it definitely wouldn’t have just been the cheeseburger, but so much more in the treatment by that Hardee’s employee. I felt your anger just reading this and as crazy as it may sound you were definitely entitled to how you felt. Oh and by the way, I was similar to you with nap time back in the day with my girls, too.

  3. You know, I’d been thinking how much I miss naps, but now I remember how stressful they were. I was “psycho” about them as well. My whole life revolved around them. I am going to be grateful we are past that stage.

  4. This is hysterical!! It’s so funny how patience, or our attempt at having can bring out the worst in us! I consider myself a nice person but will run over an old lady with my shopping cart at Trader Joe’s if she doesn’t GET OUT OF MY WAY!

  5. Thanks so much for reading guys!! I’m glad you enjoyed it! The illusion of being in control can be so powerful sometimes that I don’t realize that I’m really just hanging by a thread.

  6. Yes, happens to everyone, even when your kids are grown and you don’t have to worry about nap time, lol. But it’s never about the cheeseburger or any other “small” thing. It’s just at that moment when everything else that it is really about, (perhaps even lack of sleep) comes gushing out. I agree, if we didn’t have friends, what in the worle would we do???? The good news is, you know it’s not about the cheeseburger. Some people never figure that out and live their lives bitter and angry, never seeking help to find out if there is a hidden issue lurking. In your case, and in the case of all really busy mom’s, it’s a mixture of total exhaustion and juggling 1000 plates at one time. Great, great post!! You haven’t lost your funny!!! 🙂 <3

  7. OH, I totally saw myself in this post. So it’s not just you. And just to show solidarity, I’m never eating at Hardees…until I get my twice a year craving for a thickburger. But after that, total solidarity again.

  8. One of the biggest fights I ever had with one of my sisters surrounded fast food and nap time.

    She went nuts because I told her to adjust the kids naps to the world and not try to adjust the world to naps.

    And it all took place while waiting for our food. If they would have delivered it in a reasonable amount of time no argument would have been had.

    Damn fast food. 🙂

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