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Through the McDonalds glass

“Would you like a glass for your soda?” my friend Jenny asked after she handed me a can of Sprite Zero. Usually I just drink soda straight from the can, leaving me one less dish to wash and saving me all that time pouring. But when I’m visiting other people I like to pretend I’m not the low-rent individual that I am who has reused the same bowl three times without washing it, so I said yes.

Then she brought out the Charlie Brown glass.

Charlie Brown glass

“OMG!” I exclaimed, only I actually said “Oh my God” instead of shouting out the acronym, because even I am not that geeky. “We used to have glasses exactly like this! From McDonalds!”

“We also have a Smurfs glass from Burger King,” she said, showing me her Smurfs glass.

“Oh, we never went to Burger King. We were McDonalds people,” I said as I admired the glass. It was perfectly preserved, as if someone had reached into the china cabinet directly into 1984. Our McDonalds glasses took hundreds of trips through the dishwasher until their imagery was washed away along with the sticky soda residue at the bottom. We also had Muppets glasses that suffered a similar fate.

It was so bizarre, finding a piece of my childhood sitting in my friend’s boyfriend’s mother’s china cabinet. It triggered a memory I hadn’t known was sitting in my brain. It reminded me that yes, my past actually did happen. Here was proof, printed on glass and filled with tasty diet soda. It was as though a fragment of the 1980’s had fallen through a wormhole and was now appearing in the present even though it didn’t belong there.

This type of thing hadn’t happened since…a week ago at La Hacienda when they served us salsa in a bowl just like our old wooden kitchen bowls. These were bowls we threw out because the laminated, molded, wood started to splinter, and you don’t want to get a splinter in your tongue. On that memory, I only had one chip of salsa. Before that, I hadn’t had a flashback triggered by a physical object since I’d walked through the Rathskeller’s dining room, furnished with our old dining room chairs. I didn’t want to steal the chairs or the splintery wooden bowl, but I wanted to steal the glass, the cheap, McDonalds branded glass. I kept my kleptomaniac urges to myself though, and instead gushed over the dinnerware.

“You are so easily amused,” my friend said. Yes, I am. It makes life so much more delightful.

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40 Comments

Jill • September 9, 2008 at 8:32 am

I had the Muppets glass too!!!

*sigh*

I love the 80’s.

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Helen • September 9, 2008 at 9:32 am

Back in the 70s I was a Burger King girl…. “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us all we ask is that you let us serve it your way”… ask me how many times I had drunken customers tell me they wanted it their way at 1:00 am. ANYWAY, back then I collected the entire Star Wars series for my baby brother (who is now 37 years old). They are still in my mother’s china cabinet. He won’t let anyone use them.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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April • September 9, 2008 at 9:48 am

I love these! Thanks for reminding me just how much.

I, too, am easily amused. It really does make life more delightful.

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Kim • September 9, 2008 at 10:02 am

My friends and I always comment about how easily amused we are and how we feel sorry for those who just don’t get it. Life is so much more enjoyable our way!

And I love your blog makeover!

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Amy • September 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

We had those glasses too!

Also my mom wouldn’t let us order the way we wanted at McD’s because it took too long. We had to scrape off the nasty pickles and mustard with a napkin. I hated that.

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Liza • September 9, 2008 at 10:17 am

If you want to buy one here you go:

ebay link

Also remember those awful metal glasses, that made you water taste LIKE Metal? We never had those but my neighbor did..

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Julie • September 9, 2008 at 10:36 am

We had the Taco Bell 12 days of Christmas ones. It’s too bad they all have to do crappy plastic stuff now.

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Chrissy • September 9, 2008 at 10:44 am

Smurf glasses rock! I think they ended up with all the yardsale stuff..

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Alexia • September 9, 2008 at 11:01 am

My mother didn’t allow those glasses in the house. I always wanted one. Or the grape jelly glasses my friends had. So deprived ;-)

However, you did flash me back to a Burger King memory with my dad, who died when I was 8. We lived in Tokyo and used to come back to the US to stay with my grandmother for summers. First place my dad and I would go would be to Burger King and I’d get a cardboard crown while I ate my hamburger. My dad and I would also get up in the middle of the night sometimes and sit in my grandmother’s kitchen while we had a glass of rootbeer. My grandmother DID have grape jelly glasses. :-)

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fd • September 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

@Alexia – those are lovely memories!

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MizFit • September 9, 2008 at 12:21 pm

how on earth had I forgotten about those and yet when I saw the pics I was IMMEDIATELY TRANSPORTED back to my linolium peeling kitchen o’youth.

love,

Miz., who is ENTIRELY easily amused and loves it as well. makes every day far more easily dealt with.

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Debbie • September 9, 2008 at 12:53 pm

If you really want some more of the glasses, go to Ebay and get lots of them…Item number: 310080471863 is ending today…HURRY!!

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Laura N • September 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm

I loved those glasses back in the 80s. I’m amazed someone actually still has usable ones. How fun.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • September 9, 2008 at 9:39 am

My parents still have those glasses. I have also seen them at various antique malls if you’re feeling really nostalgic.

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Lisa • September 9, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I had those too! However, they’re horribly faded. What does you friend do to keep them so pristine?

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Esmeralda • September 9, 2008 at 4:05 pm

My grandmother has the Rocky & Bullwinkle ones from the 60s, and holy hell do those evoke memories in ALL of us.

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Pamela • September 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Oh how fun! I used to have those glasses, too! I wonder whatever happened to them. I love moments like that!

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Dolores • September 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Cleaning out my parents kitchen in preparation for selling our childhood home a few years ago, we found a complete set of the Peanuts glasses (which my brother absconded with) and a set with “Morris the Cat” from Meow Mix fame (my dad saved labels from cat food containers for them is my guess) that now grace my kitchen cabinets.

I recently had a “somebody else had these too?” experience when we found some of the dishware I grew up with at an antique store on vacation last week. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Inny • September 9, 2008 at 5:46 pm

This post made me cry (well, almost :) It reminded me of my favorite Manchester United mug that got stolen at the airport. Isn’t it weird that people get so attached to unanimate objects like these?

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Rachel • September 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I **still** remember collecting California Raisins from either Hardee’s or McDonald’s as a kid, and walking clear down to the 7-Eleven to buy a Slurpee and get a free glow-in-the-dark dinosaur. Good times. The 80s rocked hardcore.

PS Remember those awesome plastic charm necklaces?

PPS I got all giddy when I saw pink, sparkly jelly shoes at Target a few weeks ago. If you think I didn’t buy them, you’ve got another think coming!

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p. potter • September 9, 2008 at 7:22 pm

I’m surprised these glasses were never featured on an, “I love the 80s” show. They were, fo sho, the bomb.

My mom never let us use them as “real” glasses, though. But I did manage to save one from my childhood. It currently serves as a pencil cup, sitting right next to my unicorn- Lisa Frank folder.

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K and J's mom • September 9, 2008 at 10:59 pm

OMG… I L-O-V-E-D the Smurf glasses from McD’s or wherever they originated. Seriously, if I stumbled upon them at a yard sale or on Craigslist, I think I might purchase them. I love 80’s nostalgia! Love the new look of your site, love that you are branching out to talk about other things. You are more than your weight. And so am I (right? right!?!?). :)

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Sara • September 9, 2008 at 11:43 pm

We had a cupboard full of silk screened glasses–Among my favorites were the Loony Toons character glasses from the 70’s fast food chain (local, maybe?) called “Sam’s”.

I feel the urge to do an eBay search for similar glass ware. I must have some!

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Ash • September 10, 2008 at 1:45 am

We had simpsons glasses! I loved that era!!

We also had big plastic molded mugs with the faces of the 7 dwarfs protruding from them.. They were a little scary!!

And does anyone remember the plastic hand puppets shaped like the dinosaurs in the Land Before Time??

Awesome stuff!

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trishie • September 10, 2008 at 2:23 am

@Ash –

OMG! thanks for remembering the land before ti.e hand puppets! those came from pizza hut! i had a land before time birthday party when i was 6 with those there!

wow! holy memories!

thanks everyone for sharing your memories. it made me look back and smile.

pq- thanks for opening your blog to more then weight loss. it seriously made my day.

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baretta • September 10, 2008 at 2:34 am

The plates with Ronald,The Hamburgular and the whole Mickey D’s gang on them!!!!

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Amy • September 10, 2008 at 7:48 am

We don’t have heirloom fast food glasses, but my mom still does have the entire set of yellow cereal bowls and matching cups that she got out of the Purina dog food bags!

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Amanda Hartman • September 10, 2008 at 9:07 am

Unfortunatly, all of the Charlie Brown glasses in our house got broken…I imagine they slipped from our McDonalds greased fingers! lol. I love flashbacks.

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Mary • September 10, 2008 at 9:19 am

My older sister got a set of maybe 12 of the Smurfs glasses (and 2 Charlie Brown) at goodwill for me when I moved into first apartment in college. I think they were too fabulous for her to pass up, but she didn’t have anywhere to put them herself. Luckily – I needed cups. They made the move with me to my luxe downtown Chicago condo. Guests are always delighted when we serve up cocktails on the rocks in the Smurfs cups. Those in-the-know now request them- as in “Cranberry vodka in a Smurfs glass!”

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PastaQueen • September 10, 2008 at 11:26 am

@Rachel – OMG, I’d forgotten about the raisins! And their TV commercials where they sang and danced. And the charm necklaces! And the jellies! You truly are from the 80’s like me.

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april • May 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

OH!!! i wish i had those glass?

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Jennifer Cox • June 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

I have 4 of these cups.

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Jennifer Cox • June 1, 2010 at 11:33 am

and there not the ones in your picture. wouldnt mind selling them.

jcox7808@gmail.com

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G.I. • September 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

We had those glasses, too! Also, we had one of the Muppet glasses as well as all four of the Return of the Jedi glasses that came out in 1983.

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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