I may not be the most stylish guy in the world, but I know a little. I know you don’t wear navy blue or brown with black. If you wear brown shoes you’d better have a brown belt on. Socks with flip-flops is a no-no unless you’re over 60. And if you’re gonna tape cow spots on your shirt for free food at Chick-Fil-A, you have to wear a white shirt. Okay, so that last one may not be an everyday thing you should know, but it came in handy recently.
When Kristi told me that we could dress up like cows to get free food at Chick-Fil-A, I figured that purchasing the accoutrement to dress like a cow would make the free meal meaningless. But she told me that Chick-Fil-A provides a downloadable and printable cowification kit (I know cowification isn’t a word and I’m okay with it). With the free option of dressing up, I was 100% down with the idea. I learned in college to never turn down free food. It’s a scientific fact that food tastes better when it’s free.
As you can imagine, we looked ridiculous in our cow getups. But, I have never been one to care too much about what total strangers think of me. Kristi, however, was nervous. “I don’t wanna do it!” she proclaimed as we were about to get out of the car. Then her fears were alleviated because there were a lot of people dressed up. We would have looked out of place if we WEREN’T dressed up. Some people got pretty serious about it, too. My favorite was a guy with an inflated surgical glove sticking out from his belly to look like udders… free food makes people crazy.
We got our food, took some pictures, and immediately took off the annoying paper print outs. The short 10 minutes or so that we were dressed up was more than enough. We got free, delicious food and an interesting story out of it. That’s a win in my book.
I love food. I also love saving money. So, if I can combine those two with minimal effort on my part, it’s a win! Let me preface this by saying that Nolan and I have been trying to cut back on eating out. We aren’t doing it for the health benefits (although, I assure you that we should). We are doing it for the sheer fact that we want to save money. It’s crazy how much money you can spend in a month just on going out to eat… and not because you don’t have food to eat- simply because you’re too lazy to cook any of it (at least that’s generally the case for us). So, when a co-worker (thanks, Morgan) alerted me to Cow Appreciation Day, I was all over it.
In case you have never heard of Cow Appreciation Day, it’s put on by the always lovely and delicious Chick-Fil-A. It’s pretty simple: you dress up like a cow and you get free food. To be more specific, you get an entire meal free. When I heard about this, I knew we had to do it. I quickly texted Nolan of our new Friday dinner plans. When he realized we get a whole meal free, he, too, was on board. So, I prepared our “costumes” and we talked about it for the rest of the week. I was pumped. All we had to do was print out the “costume” pieces that they posted on their website, affix them to one another, and BAM we would be on our way.
Before we left the house for Chick-Fil-A, I asked Nolan which one he wanted to go to… our normal one, or the one slightly farther away since it might be less crowded. He opted for our normal one. This is going to sound ridiculous, but here it goes: I was nervous to dress up like a cow. What would people think of me? Would they laugh? I would feel crazy walking into an eating establishment donning bovine threads. I fessed up to Nolan that I asked which one we would go to because, secretly, I wanted to go to the one we didn’t frequent. I mean, they wouldn’t recognize our faces and surely I wouldn’t see anyone I know there. After chuckling at the ridiculousness of that statement, we pulled into the parking lot.
At this point, I wanted out. I was doing that awkward laugh while taping each component onto my clothing. Then, I saw other people dressed up and I felt a million times better (no exaggeration here). As we opened the doors, I realized some of the other patrons took this cow thing to a totally different level… they were serious. I felt normal, like I was supposed to be a cow. Here I was worried about what people would think of me, only to realize that anyone not dressed up as a cow would be the ones getting the weird glances… I mean, why would you come in on Cow Appreciation Day without the appropriate garb?
I left Chick-Fil-A with food in hand a proud woman. I was proud that I just got a free, delicious meal, but I was more proud that I stepped outside of my comfort zone. So, while you’ll probably never see me dressed like a cow again, this was a baby step toward expanding my horizons. Don’t worry about what others think of you. If you are comfortable with your decision, own it… just like I did.
Side Note: this is the only instance where Nolan allowed me to call myself a cow and he agreed. Not that I call myself a cow often, but we all have our days… Moooo.