Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I wonder if the UN peacekeepers ever hit snags and roadblocks like this

This is one of those Simpsons-style posts, in that it starts in a totally different place from where it ends. And if your stomach is particularly queasy at the moment, you may want to just quit halfway through. The end may be more than you want to know.

The other day, while trying [unsuccessfully] to fight off a Taco Bell craving, I started thinking about the comment Nabbalicious left in response to my "five things" post last week. "Why would you have Taco Bell," she asked, "When you can have Chipotle?"

This isn't the first time I've been chided over my refusal to slight the Bell. It's a recurring point of contention that clearly isn't going away. We are a nation divided into two extremes, and for once, those extremes aren't Republican vs. Democrat. No, what we have here is a Chipotle vs. Taco Bell camp. It's a polarization I simply do not understand, and friends, I feel it's high time we came together across the aisle to seek out the middle ground.

Why would I want Taco Bell when I could have Chipotle, you ask? The answer is really quite simple, in fact. Because the two cannot be compared or contrasted against each other as though they fill entirely equivalent needs. To say that Chipotle in all cases trumps the Bell is like saying there's no need for hamburgers in a world where there is steak. It's like asking why I'd eat a Hostess cream-filled chocolate cupcake when I could seek out a slice of Cafe Latte's famous turtle cake. It's like asking why I'd ever watch a cheesy and light-hearted romantic comedy when I could see a serious and award-winning drama. People, there is a time and a situation for everything. Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep can coexist; one doesn't cancel out the place of the other. Likewise, I can appreciate the bold flavors and fresh ingredients of a Chipotle burrito and still veer over to Taco Bell when I want a familiar and convenient snack at a fraction of the price.

I was preparing this peace-seeking argument in my head earlier tonight--deciding just which fluff-movie actress would best demonstrate my point (I'm still not entirely sold on the Sandra Bullock example, but Jennifer Aniston is actually doing critically acclaimed films now, and Drew Barrymore is annoying as often as she's not). I was considering all of this and deciding how best to make my case when suddenly I realized I may have an entirely different reason for my Taco Bell love. Maybe I'm just disgusting.

The evidence for that argument is mounting, I fear. I lick the inside rim of my yogurt cups (only when I'm alone, of course). I pick my scabs. I like McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwiches. I don't remember the last time I swept or vacuumed my floors. And tonight, when I looked inside the cup of water from which I was drinking, I saw three patches of mildew. Say it with me; it's OK. Eeewww.

I can explain how the mildew happened in a way that seems entirely innocent and reasonable... I live alone, and I drink a lot of water. (No, those two thoughts are not necessarily related. Stay with me, OK?) Rather than dirty a new cup each time I want a drink, I simply refill the same cup repeatedly and stash it in the fridge between drinks. Every several days, I swap it out--put the current cup in the dishwasher and reach for a clean one to take its place. And usually this plan works just fine. Usually. I honestly don't remember how long the current cup's been in use, but apparently I've found its limit. I wonder if I've also found the source of the near-crippling stomach ache I'm suddenly developing at the moment. Ugh.

Seriously--ingesting mildew... I can't actually die from that, right?


Maliavale said...

I totally agree -- Taco Bell and Chipotle can be equally appreciated, but they must remain discrete. And it's OK to know what kind of soda goes best with each, and what kind of mood suits each best, especially if they differ.

Guinness_Girl said...

Firstly, I completely agree with your Taco Bell & Chipotle distinction. I love 'em both at different times. As for the mildew - ha! At least you're not an eyeball-licker, though.

-R- said...

I always think that I don't like Taco Bell, but when my husband goes there, I usually try to eat some of his food. And then he gets mad. So I think I am with you and like both TB and Chipotle.

Mildew in the glass doesn't really gross me out. If you continued to drink the water, that would be gross.

Leslie said...

You have no idea how much I'm comforted by the fact that you can't remember the last time you swept your floor, and reuse your water glass. I also live alone, and am guilty of both the above, and numerous other gross habits. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Darren said...

Okay, I'm going to try really hard to be diplomatic here.

I can see what you’re saying about Chipotle and Taco Bell both having the right to exist. Shit exists too, but I don’t feel the need to roll around in it just to mix things up every once in a while.

I pretty much failed at the whole being diplomatic thing, didn’t I?

nabbalicious said...

Wait, what were you talking about? I'm sorry, I was plugging my ears and saying, "LALALALALALA!" so I missed everything but the mildew in your cup part.

I guess this is what I get for the wound picture being on my blog, huh?

stefanie said...

Malia, GG, & R--Good. Glad you're with me on the finer points of distinction between the two. Judging by Darren and Nabbalicious's comments, though, I think we still have a long way to go before we win over the die-hard Chipotle folks.

Leslie--Oh, living alone is totally a free pass to be lazy about many, many things. Sometimes I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. Regardless, no, you are not alone. Glad I could help. :-)

Darren--Um, yeah... A career in diplomacy is maybe not your strongest calling.

Nabbalicious--I swear to you I really was just trying to extend an olive branch and explain my point of view on this, not issue retaliation in any way. Sigh. I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree, OK?

Stinkypaw said...

Since I've only experienced Taco Bell, I'd say you are disgusting, BUT in a GOOD way! ;-)

As for the mildew, am I to understand that you really don't waste water and keep it in the fridge, in a glass? humm... interesting.
I re-use my glass all the time, but not the water in it though... humm...

Luscious Lumpkin said...

I LOVE taco bell - sometimes you need really gross mexican food, you know?

As for Chipotle...meh. I can get a nice big burrito with whatever I want at a million other Mexican restaurants so I don't see what is so special about it. (disclaimer - i've only had a bite of a friend's chipotle burrito, never bought one for myself).

stefanie said...

Spaw--Um... yeah? I pour the water in the cup from my filtered water in the fridge... I wouldn't want to dump filtered water by the cupful... Is that weird? (Again, maybe it's a living-alone thing. I know when I visit my parents, there's no room to stash a water glass in their fridge...)

LL--Ooh. Those are fightin' words. I was trying to make PEACE with the Chipotle camp, not antagonize them! ;-)

3carnations said...

We don't have Chipoltes here, so I can only vouch for Taco Bell...which I like just fine.

I reuse the same glass all day long (for one day) at home. I dump the water and put fresh water in before each meal, though.

We have a mildew problem in the shower sometimes, does that count? Tilex takes care of it, then a week later, it's back...repeat Tilex, etc...

LC said...

I like DEL TACO.

What does that make me?

I am with you in the using the same glass to drink water over and over.

Thankfully, no mildew for me just yet.

stefanie said...

3carnations--Oh, don't even get me started about my shower... that's a whole different problem entirely.

LC--I have never heard of Del Taco, so far be it from me to judge. :-) As for your water glass... just take my advice: look inside every now and then!