Would You Like Fries With That?

by Jason Kotecki on · 19 comments

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“Would you like fries with that?”

This sim­ple yet bril­liant ques­tion helped McDonald’s make billions.

It even­tu­ally mor­phed into, “Would you like to super-size that?” which became a sym­bol of our culture’s nasty habit of overconsumption.

Indeed, we are con­di­tioned to want more stuff. Big­ger homes. Bet­ter appli­ances. Faster cars. Fancier vaca­tions. I’m skep­ti­cal whether we are bet­ter off because of it.

But there’s one ques­tion we should ask our­selves more often. It has the ben­e­fit of not only leav­ing our waist­lines intact and our homes less clut­tered, but would decrease our over­all stress lev­els as well:

“Would you like fun with that?”

I’ve never encoun­tered a study alert­ing us to the neg­a­tive effects of too much fun, and indeed, the world is aching for silli­ness. But Adul­ti­tis has us con­di­tioned to believe that fun is merely a sliver of the over­crowded pie chart that is life bal­ance. You work, you run errands, you do chores, you chauf­feur your kids to soc­cer prac­tice. If there’s enough time left at the end of the week, then maybe, just maybe, you are allowed to have a lit­tle bit of fun. And once in a while, the cal­en­dar gives you per­mis­sion to do things like dress up in silly cos­tumes or blow stuff up, but only if the date hap­pens to be accom­pa­nied by fine print that says some­thing like “Hal­loween” or “Inde­pen­dence Day.”

But wouldn’t work be bet­ter if it came with a side of fun? What about errands? Or chores? Or those every­day road trips with the family?

In case you’re scor­ing at home: yes, yes, yes, and um, yes.

What would your life look like if you always made it a habit to ask, “Would you like fun with that?”

It might inspire you to make some ugly cook­ies to share with your coworkers.

It might inspire you tell a funny joke to the check­out per­son at the gro­cery store.

It might inspire you to make crazy bets with your spouse to see who has to do laun­dry this week.

It might inspire you to insti­gate reg­u­lar Chi­nese fire drills with your family.

When we take the time to ask this sim­ple ques­tion, and when we take the lit­tle effort it requires to answer said ques­tion with a big, fat, unapolo­getic “Hells yeah!”, we end up cre­at­ing what I like to call “scenes.” And even though we may spend most of our days fret­ting over seri­ous things like the econ­omy and health care and the war on ter­ror, when you get to the end of your life, and have gath­ered your friends and fam­ily around your death bed to share your last days and moments, those big, seri­ous things never seem to make the con­ver­sa­tion. You know what does? The lit­tle things. The scenes we cre­ated with one another.

It’s the scenes that mat­ter most in the end.

So do your­self a favor. Every time you’re faced with some seem­ingly mun­dane or oth­er­wise unex­cit­ing use of your time, ask your­self this sim­ple question:

Would you like fun with that?”

And don’t for­get to super-size it.


by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and pro­fes­sional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a for­mer kinder­garten teacher) make it their mis­sion in life to fight Adul­ti­tis and help peo­ple use strate­gies from child­hood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escap­ing adulthood.
Jason Kotecki
View all posts by Jason Kotecki

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

sheila November 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

Yes, all that supersizing got a lot of people into trouble financially. I think as a whole we’ve learned a lot. And as for fun, there are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many fun things to do and share time with your family all at the same time! Most are free! Walking in the park, sitting around a fire pit, laying in the grass and seeing what you see in the clouds, walking the dog, having a laugh fest…. yep… people need to enjoy spending time with themselves and their families. It’s great for us in SO many ways!

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Excellent ideas, Sheila! Funny how as we get older, it takes more and more to impress us. But the simple things still usually end up being the best!

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Alex | Perfecting Dad November 13, 2011 at 10:48 am

Nice post. People today are way too serious. Most people’s lives are not very serious at all, with decisions that don’t affect any other people, so it’s totally safe to have fun. I’m not saying go out and buy toys, I’m saying just “Have Fun!” like your suggestions. Cleaning can be fun, fixing something can be fun, dinner can be fun, hanging with the family can be fun.

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm

You’re right, Alex, almost everything can be fun. Except maybe getting audited. But even then I bet there’s a way to inject some kind of fun…in any case, we do take ourselves way too seriously and a little perspective can do wonders!

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David Stevens November 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Hey Jason,
Fun is good. Many seem to live their lives in boredomsville and wait till the retire “to have fun”. Excuse me, I’m not waiting 65 years to have fun…..make every moment as fun as possible.
be good to yourself
David

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

David – you know, I never saw it guaranteed anywhere that we automatically get 65 years. And if you wait till then to start having fun, you’ll have wasted 65 good years!

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David Stevens November 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Absolutely!

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Lynn November 14, 2011 at 8:24 am

You made me look (at the ugly cookies.) :)

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Galen Pearl November 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Oh, I absolutely LOVED this! “Would you like fun with that?” I’m going to use that all the time. (Interesting that I just posted something about fun myself.) And the super size add on is priceless. This is my new mantra. Thanks!!!!

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Rock on, Galen.

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Debbie @ Happy Maker November 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

This is great. I always what FUN with that. and yes you can spuersize it. These days life is to busy and we need to remember to have fun. Great article and it put a smile on my face and now for the rest of the day what ever I may be doing you can bet I am going to have fun.
Blessing to you,
Debbie

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Jody - Fit at 53 November 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I love this idea & honestly, those cookies look good to me!!! I am a cookie lover! :-)

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Jody…I’m not too picky about my cookies either. I’m kind of like Cookie Monster in that regard :)

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Bryan Thompson November 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Lance, true, we don’t make enough ugly cookies. And we don’t have enough fun. Life wasn’t meant to be so serious all the time. I think God laughs when we get serious about our plans. We must stop taking ourselves so seriously!

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Bryan Thompson November 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Jason, I hadn’t seen this was a guest post. My apologies. It’s a brilliant reminder. :) Forgive my slip-up!

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm

No worries, Bryan. Referring to something I wrote as brilliant more than makes up for it :)

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rob white November 15, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi Jason. What a simple and empowering question – a great way to snap us back to our Authentic Self who wants only to practice with joy and ease in all daily activities. When we can turn tasks and chores into “labors of love” we can handle any challenging circumstance life may hand us.

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Jason of Kim & Jason November 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Well said, Rob. “Labors of love” sound way more appealing than stupid chores.

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Alex Aguilar December 12, 2011 at 4:33 am

I think society as a whole is slowly but surely moving away from the era of supersized happy meals, gas-guzzling SUV’s and gaudy McMansions. I’ve noticed a growing interest in things like minimalism, sustainability and off-the-grid living in the last few years. No doubt the recession has a lot to do with this, but I like to imagine we’re all evolving beyond the ideals of conspicuous consumption into something more refined and less wasteful.

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