Today, I went to Chipotle for lunch. As I watched one of the servers fill my bowl with gorgeous white rice and succulent peppers and onions, one of them said, “You should get an award. You come here everyday.”
I hadn’t quite heard what he said. All I heard was “You should get an award,” and I immediately hoped that award was chicken fajita bowls for life.
“You’ve been coming here every day for months,” he explained half-laughing at me.
I felt myself start to blush. “No!”
I did the math in my head. “No, I’ve been coming here everyday for like…five weeks.”
Five weeks might not be five months, but it is clear to me that I am addicted to Chipotle chicken fajita bowls. I’m not sure how it happened. Two months ago I was eating rice bowls from a health food chain, chopped salads from an upscale soup shop or bringing microwaved soup cans from home for lunch. Now I’m a full on Chipotlaholic.
If you’ve never been to a Chipotle Mexican Grill, it’s this fast food chain that specializes in serving burritos, tacos, rice bowls and pure pleasure. This sounds completely fine until you actually start eating there and discover that the food they serve is like heroine mixed with cilantro-lime rice. This is also fine until a stranger tells you that you deserve an award for eating there everyday for five whole weeks. Then, shame sets in. Then, the shame disappears as soon as you get your next fix.
Every morning this week, I’ve told myself that I won’t go to Chipotle for lunch. I’ll go back to my salad place and treat myself to extra sprouts this time! I’ll go back to the health chain and get two servings of squash instead of one (how daring!). I’ll remember to actually pack a lunch and sadly slurp watered down Chicken Noodle soup alone in my office’s kitchen. I set a plan in place. I’m going to beat my addiction.
Then, at around 10:45am, I get the itch. I need that sweet mild salsa and perfectly grilled chicken. I need Chipotle.
I try to distract myself with a fresh cup of green tea, but I only get more hungry. I try to sate my appetite with a Chimes ginger chew, but then I need more. So, by the time noon rolls around, I’m running to Chipotle and cursing every sharply dressed man and lady in a pencil skirt who is on line in front of me.
Right now what I need is an intervention. I need my friends to gather round me and let me know that I need to eat something else. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think that if my friends were going to talk to me about Chipotle, it would probably be how I’m stupid for preferring their rice bowls over their burritos. So, they would be no help at all.
Failing an intervention, I need a support group. If only there were Chipotlaholics Anonymous meetings. Our step program would be slowly weaning ourselves off of Chipotle by removing one ingredient per week from our orders until the only thing we’d order from the restaurant would be the foil a burrito was wrapped in–and our tears.
However, if I can’t find a group of like-minded people to help me quit my Chipotle habit, I need a rehab center. A beautiful facility in the middle of nowhere where there would be no Chipotle. Of course, that would be great. It would totally work until I returned to the real world and saw Chipotle everywhere! How then would I resist my desires?
The truth is I think I’m doomed. I’m doomed to forever go to Chipotle for lunch. The cruel sick joke behind this is that the company seems to be in on this. If you go to the website, they brag about their “fan-atics” and Chipotlaholic’s addiction. It’s like they know they’re food is irresistible and they’re proud of it or something.
Unlike my server, I don’t think I deserve an award. I do, however, think I deserve a frequent buyer card. (Seriously, Chipotle? You don’t even have a “Buy 10, Get 9 Free” punch card? It’s like you think I don’t need incentive to eat your food or something.)