(This was the post originally planned for last Friday)
The perfect meal... two Filet O'Fish sandwiches and a Shamrock Shake.
Now maybe nutritionists would disagree, and possibly my non-fish-enjoying wife, too. But this meal is more than the sum of its parts. This meal isn't two overly processed, deep-fried blocks of what was once (probably) fish and 16 ounces of cold, green, partially hydrogenated gelatinous goo that had an artificial mint twig once pass near it.
This meal - for me - is a Lenten tradition. Not just that my Cafeteria Catholicism beliefs tell me to, but because the first Friday of Lent really does signify the start of Spring. Tasting that first bite, chased with that first slurp told me that Winter is on its way out. It tells me to hang in there. It may be 20 degrees today, but that 50 degree day is right around the corner (Side note; when I wrote this last week, I didn't realize that not only did I understate the coming warm spell, but it hit on the very Friday that this actually posted. Spooky, no?)
Even in a religious sense, this meal tells me that Easter is only a few weeks away, and everything that the church says that Easter represents... rebirth, hope after dispair, joy and happiness at the Lord's triumph over evil, etc. That is all coming too, just because I had two Filet O'Fishes and a Shamrock Shake for lunch.
Now combine the two. Spring and warm weather is coming, so is rebirth and joy. Really, this meal with a symbol that the darkness and cold of winter (and life overall?) is in the rearview mirror and warmth and joy and happiness is just ahead.