Choco­late-cov­ered fries help over­come scan­dals

Edmonton Sun - - LIFE - — Bloomberg

My hus­band and I have been to­gether for more than 25 years.

Two years ago my hus­band got a mes­sage on his phone while he was driv­ing. He asked me to look at it. I got on his phone and it was a Face­book mes­sage from our son. But I also saw an­other mes­sage ex­change be­tween my hus­band and an ex­girl­friend of his from col­lege.

When I read it (with him sit­ting right next to me), I was shocked and an­gry. I read the mes­sage out loud at his re­quest. He de­nied that it was him, and of course, was ag­i­tated that I had found it.

The woman asks what he was up to, and states she is di­vorced. Then she sug­gested they meet up and go to a foot­ball game soon to catch up.

She re­ferred to his pre­vi­ous di­vorce. But my hus­band made no men­tion of me or our kids, and replied that he had a busi­ness trip com­ing up in the area she lived in.

Now, he had promised to take me on that trip with him, he ended up mak­ing some ex­cuse about why I couldn’t go this time. (I found this Face­book en­try af­ter that trip.)

I asked him to tell the truth, and also to un­friend this woman on FB.

He con­tin­ues to deny that he ever wrote that mes­sage and that he ever met up with her.

Since the in­ci­dent two years ago, I can’t even face sleep­ing with him with­out think­ing about this.

I have just found yet an­other old girl­friend he has been say­ing sweet things to, and I am heart­bro­ken and fu­ri­ous.

He doesn’t know I have found the lat­est mes­sages yet. I’m not sure if he is just FB flirt­ing or if he is se­ri­ously look­ing for some­one else.

I have been putting money away to be pre­pared for any­thing that comes next, but I love him. I am also re­al­is­tic, and un­der­stand that he may not love me or care about “us” any­more. Any ad­vice?

We vis­ited rel­a­tives out of the coun­try three years ago and ran short of lo­cal currency. Many places did not take our credit card.

The rel­a­tive cov­ered many costs that we should have shared.

When they vis­ited us in the U.S., we took them to din­ner.

At din­ner I wanted to of­fer apolo­gies and re­im­burse them, but my hus­band was adamantly against it.

Now, three years later there is much an­i­mos­ity to­ward us, which is un­der­stand­able.

Is it too late to is­sue my apol­ogy and try to re­im­burse the rel­a­tive? How should I pro­ceed?

I was very up­set by the let­ter from “Sick of This,” who re­ported that she was ex­tremely bur­dened by clear­ing out the “clut­ter” from el­derly or de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers.

I am old; my place, by Sick’s stan­dards, may be a mess, but it’s my mess and I like it be­cause it took 65 years for my hus­band and me to cre­ate — and it’s what I need.

I need this mess be­cause when I see my late-hus­band’s pli­ers on the garage floor, I re­mem­ber that he left them there when he told me he loved my shirt be­cause it was the same color of lipstick that I wore on our wed­ding day. They still lay on the garage floor be­cause he was too close to death to re­mem­ber to put them away.

mcdon­ald's Ja­pan took a se­ries of hits start­ing in 2014 that threat­ened to crack its Golden arches: a sup­plier was sell­ing ex­pired chicken, a hu­man tooth was found in french fries and a child was in­jured by a plas­tic shard in­side a sun­dae.

Sales plum­meted to their low­est since the com­pany went pub­lic in 2001, and the chain closed hun­dreds of restau­rants. mcdon­ald's Corp. in the u.S. said it was con­sid­er­ing sell­ing its 49.9% stake in the Ja­panese com­pany as losses piled up.

"I re­mem­ber think­ing at that time: 'mcdon­ald's is over,"' said Ichiro Fu­jita, a tor­rance, Cal­i­for­nia-based con­sul­tant who helps bring for­eign restau­rant brands to Ja­pan. "a lot of peo­ple even said they might need to change the name be­cause the im­age was so bad."

yet Chief ex­ec­u­tive Sarah Casanova de­cided to coun­ter­punch. a com­pany lifer who took over mcdon­ald's Hold­ings Co. Ja­pan in 2014 with lit­tle com­mand of Ja­panese, Casanova vis­ited all of the coun­try's 47 pre­fec­tures to as­sure diners — es­pe­cially moth­ers — that her com­pany was im­ple­ment­ing safe­guards, and to ask them what they wanted from mcdon­ald's.

"It made us go out and lis­ten to cus­tomers," Casanova, 52, said of the cri­sis. "We were not do­ing a great job of giv­ing them what they wanted."

armed with their feed­back, Casanova re­vamped the menu to add lo­cal flavours like the pork-and-gin­ger "yakki burger" and quirky head­line­grab­bing items like choco­late­cov­ered fries. She gave many out­lets a facelift and forged a part­ner­ship fea­tur­ing poke­mon char­ac­ters.

She cut off the trou­bled Chi­nese chicken sup­plier and in­tro­duced mea­sures so par­ents could trace where their chil­dren's meals were com­ing from. Since then, the shine has re­turned to the arches. mcdon­ald's Ja­pan stock closed at an all-time high Sept. 11 as part of a 62% in­crease this year.

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