By Nancy Cruse
I vividly remember, not so very long ago, when paying for your gas at the gas pump was not an option.
At that time, I had three children under three, all in car seats. Filling my van with gas meant unstrapping three children, holding one in my arms, making the other two hang on to my coat pockets, one on the left and one on the right, and navigating across a field of gas pumps to go into the gas station. After paying for the gas, the four of would make our way back to the mini-van, dodging cars coming and going. After strapping the kids into their car seats, I would collapse, exhausted, into my seat.
The drive through concept is genius! Extremely convenient for parents of small children and a great timesaver for parents of older children running from one child’s activity to another. Now, you can pay at the pump for your gas, you can drive through for coffee, cheeseburgers, ice cream, smoothies, and even cigarettes. Both the Bloomington and Normal libraries have drop boxes so you can easily return books day or night. You can even enjoy a movie without ever leaving the comfort of your car at the Harvest Moon Drive In.
I can’t imagine why more businesses and services don’t take advantage of the fact that getting in and out of the car is a time waster for most families these days. Maybe they think that getting us to get out of the car and come into the store will entice us to buy more. It won’t. If I don’t have time to come in I will just drive on by.
Allow me to suggest some things I would like to add to the “available through the drive-through” list: baby diapers, postage stamps, milk, orange juice, bread, pacifiers, already-charged cell phone batteries, toilet paper, flu shots, school vaccinations, and poster board. I can’t tell you how many times late at night I’ve had to go out and buy poster board for a school project that is due the next day! My children would like to request that the Panda Express on north Veteran’s Parkway add a drive through so they can talk me into treating them to Orange Chicken more often.
Basically it comes down to this. Late at night, when I am in my yoga pants and T-shirt, with no make-up on (sorry if I scared anyone with that visual), I want to be able to jump in my car, get what I need without getting out of the car, and get back home as quickly as possible. It’s just smart business to cater to us soccer moms because as we all know, if the momma ain’t happy, no one is happy.
Nancy Cruse has been part of the Bloomington/Normal community for the past almost 30 years. A widow, with five children, along with her late husband was a small business owner in downtown Bloomington. Now employed by State Farm, Nancy is active in the community, writing the Clare House newsletter and maintaining their Facebook page, hosting an annual Fourth of July Food Drive, a team leader and fundraiser for the Pat Nohl Lupus Walk, and a member of Toastmasters International, as well as volunteering in various capacities at Holy Trinity Church and schools. In her spare time, Nancy likes to run, bike, hike, read, sew, and be a vegetarian who occasionally indulges in a Schooners Tenderloin.
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