The Importance of Goal Setting

When I was a wee, wee lass, maybe five or six, I had two goals in life, and they both revolved around a localish ice cream/burger chain called Friendly's (though back then it was just called Friendly). Friendly's was known primarily for their ice cream, and my family could eat ice cream like there was no tomorrow. When we kids were very little (and there was only three of us at the time; the Favorite Younger Sister didn't come along until I was six and a half) the Big Event was going out to eat, and with three obnoxious young children the safest place to eat was Friendly's. It was basically a diner that served lots and lots of ice cream, or an ice cream shop that sold burgers and hot dogs. Very low-key, kid-friendly, no dress code. (Back then, some restaurants had dress codes. No, kids, I am NOT kidding.)

FribbleIn an effort to control their darling little angels, my parents always sat us in a booth, much to my chagrin. *I* wanted to sit up at the counter, on the spinny stools, with the bums and derelicts and sad, lonely singletons that also sat at the counter. But no--we ALWAYS had to sit in a booth, no doubt to corral us kids against the wall with a sturdy adult guarding the only exit. We would then gorge ourselves on hot dogs and burgers and fries and ice cream, while I would cast wistful glances at the spinny stools at the counter. I *so* wanted to enjoy an entire meal on one of the spinny stools, and I did not understand why my parents were so utterly opposed to the idea. So while other children were perhaps starving to death in some city ghetto or third world desert, I would eat my hot dog and ice cream and pine for the spinny stools that mocked me from just a few feet away. We all have our crosses to bear.

But our childhood was not entirely one of TOTAL deprivation, for eventually my father had to pay the bill, and the cash register was at the end of the counter. So during the two minutes or so of financial transaction, we kids were given the run of the spinny stools nearest the register, and we made the most of those two minutes. So while I never actually got to sit and enjoy a meal on a spinny stool as a child, I *did* have that small concession at the end of every meal at Friendly's.

Another thing Friendly had was what was called a Fribble. A chocolate Fribble, to be specific. A Fribble was this HUGE ice cream milkshake, probably around a quart or so, that came in this tall, large glass. I loved chocolate Fribbles more than life itself. My Favorite Father could eat (drink?) his entire Fribble, and still have room to steal from us smaller kids. It was the mark of a True Adult, I soon realized, if you could eat an entire Fribble by yourself. So back in the age when I could barely form thoughts, one of my earliest--aside from my unrequited desire to sit at the counter with the bums and derelicts--was to consume an entire Fribble all by myself.

I did not tell my parents this, for fear they would try to dissuade me, but for MONTHS every time we went to Friendly I would sit there and pound Fribble until I could barely move. Eating an entire Fribble became my goal, my quest, my raison d'etre. I would eat an entire Fribble, or die trying. I also jealously guarded my Fribble to ensure my Favorite Father wasn't stealing any behind my back. Because this goal had to be achieved WITHOUT CHEATING. Eat. An. Entire. Fribble.

And one glorious day... I DID IT. I proudly announced to the table that I had eaten an entire Fribble ALL BY MYSELF, and I rejoiced in the accolades of awe over my stunning achievement. It was a personal triumph of a magnitude you lesser creatures cannot possibly comprehend, so merely bask in this reflected glory for a short bit before the sad epilogue.

For when my Favorite Father arose to pay the bill, we kids ran for the spinny stools as usual, and entertained ourselves challenging the various Newtonian forces thus summoned. (You see this coming a mile off, don't you? And yet you can't look away. Such is the awesome force of Mojo's wordcraft.) And then it was time to leave the scene of my triumph. I jumped off the stool, ran somewhat dizzily into the foyer... and did not make it outside. At least... not with my Fribble.

You would think that would turn me off chocolate Fribbles for life, but as usual, you would be wrong. Mojo is a determined lass. So ensued probably two months or so when the good people at Friendly's dreaded my arrival. Because dagnabbit, I was going to eat an entire Fribble *AND*--this had become the important part--not lose it on the way out their door. It, ahh, took a while before I was completely successful. (If you are wondering where my parents were at the time, just remember *I* was the GOOD child, and they had two other darling rapscallions to watch. Also, I don't know at what age a child starts to hide their true intentions from their parents, but I was actively hiding my true intentions. So they were unaware, each time I ordered a Fribble, that devious little Mojo fully intended to Bogart it and eat the entire thing all by myself.) Finally one day I was able to waddle to the car in PURE triumph, having eventually learned the art of compromise by not actually SITTING on the spinny stool while spinning it up to the speed of light. Ahh, the maturity that comes with the ability to eat an entire Fribble by yourself.

So for those who wish to emulate Mojo and learn the Seekrits of Success and Happiness, I say start at the very beginning. Go to Friendly's, eat an entire chocolate Fribble, spin on the spinny stools for a while, and then attempt to leave. Your perseverance will reward you later in life, though the people at Friendly's might quibble with me a tiny bit on that. But what do THEY know? They just work at Friendly's, mopping up after small children who can't keep their Fribbles down. What sort of life is THAT?