I had my heart set on having a chocolate shake from my favorite fast food joint, you know, the one with the golden arch. When they announced their ice cream machine was broken it was so irritating I decided to go for grease instead and drove across the street to the chicken place.

I ordered one of their combo specials – a two-piece and a biscuit. I read it directly off the drive-thru men. For some unknown reason the voice, inside of the speaker box, had no clue what I was talking about. I could have ordered something else but if they’re going to go to all the trouble to put combinations together, number them, advertise them and insist we order them, then I wanted it to be filled as the menu indicated.

After "the voice" realized I wasn't going to give in, she said, in the most pleasant tone she could muster, "pull forward, please." She filled my order and said, "I guess I'll have to go out and look at the menu board because I'm not aware of that special." I looked at her over the top of my reading glasses and drove off. I thought about saying something smart like "maybe you should" but it wasn't her fault my fast food drive-thru lunch hour had turned into anything but fast.

When I was younger I’d do anything to save the embarrassment of confronting an order-taker or waitress if my food wasn't how I wanted it. I’d eat whatever they gave me and move on. The older I get the more it’s about knowing what I want, getting what I want and having it done when I want it. Wow, I’ve really turned the corner, and probably should start asking for the senior citizen discount.

I'm not comparing relationships to fast food, but there is an advantage to finding middle-age love. It's at a time in your life when you want what you "ordered," you're grateful to have found it and have studied the menu long enough to know when the right one comes along. After having found my guy nearly 15 years ago I continue to thank my lucky stars to have someone to share this time of my life with.

We don't have the energy for the mind games young couples play and with more than half of our lives already spent, we agreed this relationship would not be "a thinkin' thing." Besides, we need to conserve our brain cells.

Relationships are a lot like the fast food drive-thru menu. If it's on the menu board it should be available or, in relationship terms, you are who you say you are.

Love – seasoned with happiness, cooked to perfection, aged like a fine wine and good to the last drop.

-- Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com