DoorDash, I Wish I Knew How to Quit You
How my relationship with DoorDash got out of hand during the pandemic
During the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, both my husband and I, like the rest of the world stopped going to the office for work. I ended my job all together and he set up his home office to work from home. In the beginning it was a fun and new adventure for us both. I was determined to get fit, make meals every day, and reap the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom again for the second time in my life. The reality of it though, was that none of that actually happened.
The rising deaths, and the coverage from the different news outlets consumed us for the most part. The panic buying and the fear spread deep like a wildfire that had no intention of being controlled. We had thought it would be a temporary thing, two to three weeks tops then back to the everyday life we were so used to living before. That idea couldn’t have been more wrong.
Innocence is Bliss
As the days and weeks began to blur into each other we grew restless and afraid to go out unless we absolutely needed to. Grocery shopping was not something either of us wanted to do and going out to eat was definitely out of the question. In the days before the pandemic, we would enjoy a Friday night out after work at a restaurant of our choice, followed by a movie. No longer being able to do this we decided to join the growing trend of ordering take out delivery. UberEats had been something we tried a few times, and Postmates was also a decent service, but alas DoorDash hooked us with its low monthly fee and free delivery.
The relationship was innocent at first, and we stuck to the once-a-week motto to ‘treat ourselves’ for surviving another week in isolation. We were supporting the local restaurants and tipping our drivers well, and we were able to enjoy the once a week treat of take out again. The problem was that it became too convenient, and too easy to become over dependent on. It lured us in and then once we were in its grasp it was impossible to stop now.
A Point of No Return...
What started as a ‘treat yo’self’ thing quickly turned into an over indulgent monstrosity. At first, we only did dinners maybe twice a week, but then it spiraled to McDonalds for breakfast and Panda Express for dinner. It was an endless snowball of a bad habit that we unintentionally picked up as the weeks turned into months, and the idea of going back to our ‘normal’ got further and further into the distance.
Over the year we managed to order from DoorDash 145 times (yes, I counted them all) from March 2020 to March 2021. The worst part was that with the app downloaded onto both of our phones, it became easy to just order whenever the urge was there. I like to think that I have more self-control than my husband, but I will tell you I placed quite a few orders to Wingstop. Looking through the order history is something of a nightmare. I could see how we went from 10 times a month to ordering 22 to 23 times a month. It was insane to me that we had managed to get so wrapped up in a service that was not even used by us at all the year prior.
You're Toxic, I'm Slipping Under
Commuting to work and back and having to physically drive to places for food made us not want to go out all the time, which is why we used Friday nights as the ‘treat yo’self’ day. Now that it wasn’t really safe to go out anymore the ease of having take out brought directly to our door without human contact (introverts dream come true) was the solution and answer to our prayers. It wasn’t just a treat anymore it became a routine and part of our lives and we didn’t even realize it.
Once I went back to work in November 2020 the use of DoorDash reached its peak. I was working again, from home this time, and the idea of cooking became less and less appealing. With more income coming from me to throw at DoorDash we went full steam ahead to ordering at least 3 times a week. There was no pumping the breaks in sight, until recently when I decided to stop and really take a look at the order history.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel
As we approach the one-year mark of us being at home, I am taking a conscious approach to taking a few steps back from the DoorDash world. I’m not going to quit DoorDash completely, yeah right! Baby steps guys, baby steps. I am going to be more aware of that idle desire to just order food instead of going downstairs to the kitchen to make it. When things are literally at your fingertips it’s hard to not become dependent and hooked on the fast and easy way. Why prep a meal and cook for an hour when I can just order it from my phone? As we get more and more digitalized, we begin to lose the desire to do things simply because we enjoy them.
Self Discipline !
Breaking habits are hard, but it is achievable with time and effort. Will I still have the urge to order when I don’t feel like cooking and cleaning after? Absolutely, but I will fight that urge and ignore the siren call coming from my DoorDash app. I’m looking forward to a bit more meal prepping which will be great for the week, not as great as a McDonalds breakfast, but still good none the less.
Looking back on these times I know I will be able to say to my husband, ‘hey remember when we ordered DoorDash almost every day for a year? That was wild.’ I’m hoping that as we slowly shuffle back out of our homes and into society again that we can look back on that time and think about always moving forward, not backwards. Pulling back the reigns on our DoorDash ordering may seem like a small thing, but it’s still a move in the right direction to taking that control of our life back. In the words of Jack Twist from Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you DoorDash.” I don’t, but I’m working on it.