As I was spending time in my homeland, I recalled the days when my dad and I lived on Capitol Hill. It was just the two of us for a while, and every day he'd pick me up from day care on the way home from work. We'd walk home down (I think) Pennsylvania Avenue, and we'd pass McDonald's and Roy Rogers on the way. I would very often plead with my dad to take me to one or the other on the way home -- I wasn't a foodie from birth, folks -- and sometimes he would cave in. At Roy Rogers, I loved the fact that the large fries came in a holster, even though I wasn't ever allowed to get anything other than the small. At McDonalds, I usually got a cheeseburger, but there was always a bit of an issue. McDonalds, at least back then, adorned their burgers with ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles. I, at that time, absolutely hated mustard and pickles. Dad experimented a few times, scraping off the offending condiments, but I was too picky, and swore I could taste pickles and mustard even after they were gone. So Dad would have to special order my cheeseburgers, without mustard and pickles, completely defeating the point of the "fast food" experience.
Over the past five to ten years, I have learned to like many of the foods I never did as a kid (except for goat cheese, which I still don't really care for), including pickles and mustard. So, Dad, I just wanted to apologize for the wasted time you spent waiting for my custom-made cheeseburgers. I can't give you the time back, but the next time you want a burger, it's on me -- with whatever condiments you choose.