Every now and then, I'm reminded that I'm just not the young, hip, spring chicken I used to be. I just used the term "spring chicken" so that proves my point. I don't Twitter. I can't even bother to understand the point of Snapchat. I don't have a Target Red Card despite the fact that I regularly spend the equivalent of half a month's paycheck on what was supposed to be a quick run for toothpaste (damn you Target!) I have sold my soul to Amazon Prime, so I'm not entirely in the Dark Ages. And I can now pay for my Starbucks via a quick scan of my phone, thanks to their app and the 75 dollars of gift cards my students gave me last year.

Then my favorite quick-service, fast food, casual dining (whatever they're calling it these days) restaurant introduced a new app. You can pay through your phone app, convenient. And you can also place an order through your phone, okay. And of course, it will locate and direct you to the nearest branch, plus let you earn free food, all the basics. But to be honest, I didn't really see the point. I mean, I can just as easily walk up to the counter and order, right? The time I spend inputting my order on the phone is probably equal to the time I'm going to spend telling my order to the cashier. If I'm too lazy to do that, I'm probably too lazy to even park the car and go inside, in which case you'll find me in the drive-thru lane, doing the same place order-wait in line-recieve food song and dance I would have done anyway. Do I really need an app for this? Are we going replace all real live human interaction for robots that take my order and drones that drop it on my table? (Cue old person rant since I am, in fact, an old person now.)

But when we arrived for lunch at said establishment, it was the seventh ring of lunchtime insanity that I knew it would be. Why must you be so popular with every mom toting two hungry kids and meeting a friend for a lunch/playdate? Why must your chicken nuggets be so tasty? Can't some of these people go slumming it at the hamburger place down the street?

Of course, the girls wanted to head straight to the indoor playground. Which was perfect, since there wasn't a table available in sight. Begrudgingly I followed them in and took a cold, hard look at the dilemma facing me as my eagle failing near-sighted eyes scanned the room for signs of a departing table:

1. I can't claim a table AND order our food.
2. There's no point ordering food if there's not a table to sit at.
3. My children aren't old enough to do either of those things for me.
4. I have not yet managed to clone myself.

Cue the fancy new app (which I had downloaded because they promised me a free chicken sandwich and I will do most things for free food). While I sat there pretending to be actively engaged in minding my children when in actuality I was determining which table was farthest into their waffle fries, I went ahead and pulled up the menu, choosing this, customizing that, even making the inevitable swap of kid's meal toy for delicious ice cream (kids these days have it so great). I had the choice to pay on the spot, and then there was a little button along the lines of "let us know when you are here/ready/have finally managed to secure that holy grail of a table so we can make your food for you".

Lo and behold, the heavens smiled upon me at that moment and a table appeared, an oasis amidst the roiling mass of humanity. I grabbed the girls with a swift "just leave the shoes, we can come back for them later!" command and jumped in those seats like they were the last spots on a lifeboat casting off from the Titanic. (Getting old has done little to lesson my flair for drama.) And because this was Chick-fil-a (you knew that, right?) we were immediately attended by a dining room monitor, who fetched placemats, brought my now-ready order to us, refilled our drinks, chased down my free sandwich that had somehow morphed into an inexplicable order of cinnamon rolls, allowing me, my girls, and our lunch dates to eat a relaxed meal (if relaxed means getting up 47 times to open the playground door for Annie and fussing at the littles to eat those nuggets, not just the ice cream).

So the app won me over. All kidding aside, it really makes things easier, especially for moms with kids who require supervision or an extra set of hands; you know, those of us who haven't figured out how to clone ourselves yet.

And no, I'm not receiving anything for this honest review, if you can even call it that. Not that I would be opposed to another free sandwich or anything. And as long as we're being honest, I should probably disclose that my brother works for Chick-fil-a. Although he's not likely to give me a free sandwich either.

#CFAOne for the Win.

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