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?