The other day I left a meeting that had lasted for hours and decided to stop for a late lunch before making the hour drive home. I chose one of those burger joints where they cook your food to order. As I waited for my lunch in the packed eatery, a family of four sat in the booth next to me and gave me a glimpse into the misery many American households may be dealing with as they try to keep it together financially.
"Why do we have to split a meal," whined the son, who looked about 11.
"Because we do," snapped back the Dad through tightly clenched teeth.
The son continued to whine and complain, and I gathered from the vigorous and loud discussion that this family couldn't afford four individual meals and had chosen to buy a couple of combo meals and split them. The obviously stressed-out dad repeatedly went over the receipt to make sure they had ordered the right items while the wife, unfortunately, made snarky comments. The teen daughter simply slumped into the booth and said nothing during the entire discussion.