I sometimes run against conventional expectations. Most women reach for sweets, particularly chocolate, when the life puts on the choke hold. Instead, I would rather have salt. I’m not quite sure why, but a McDonald’s fish sandwich with fries is my comfort food of choice.

I first have to scrape off two-thirds of the tarter sauce and get the perfect blob of ketchup on the sandwich paper to dip the fries in. Then I’m set. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more upsetting than to bite into a cold, limp French fry. I’m not one to send back food in a restaurant, but much to my family’s dismay, I will return fries. No way am I going to eat that many calories and fat grams without perfection.

I learned recently fries didn’t originate in France. The Belgians cut long slices of potatoes to fry when the lakes and rivers were frozen and they couldn’t catch fish. Fried potatoes eventually made their way to France and during World War I American soldiers stationed there started calling them French fried potatoes. Maybe fries were comfort food for them too.

As typical for Americans, we have developed a list of choices for the deep fried potato; manly sounding thick cut steak fries, curly fries, spicy or plain, crinkle cut fries, shoestring fries, or fries slathered with cheese and chili. But, for me, the McDonald’s French fry is hard to beat.

So if you see me in McDonald’s by myself with that perfect blob of ketchup and my hot French fries you’ll know I’m regrouping to face the world.

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