I’m not religious, but even as a heathen there are still some commandments I observe. Thou shalt not commit murder, unless he was asking for it. Thou shalt Urban Dictionary slang before thou ask. And thou shalt not covet thy roommate’s food.
You see where this is going. During the two weeks my roommate was out of town, I ate the forbidden fruit, which in this case was 20 oz of his tortilla chips. (To be fair, he did say I was welcome to them, but to be fairer I’m sure he did not mean all 1.25 bags.)
One morning, I woke up to Michigan’s first snow and made a beeline for the refrigerator. Not because I was hungry, but because food makes me feel safe. I found nothing appetizing, and no amount of shutting the door, lowering my expectations, and reopening the door would change that opinion.
I looked back outside toward the grocery mart across our parking lot, and the blanket of white separating us only thickened.
I wasn’t going to starve on four fish filets, ten apples, and five avocados. Someone who once ate ten spoons of Nutella and called it a day was not above what I had in stock. Like MattressFirm, being snowed in was a sad and obvious front. We all know I started eyeing my roommate’s 1.25 16oz bags of Trader Joe’s Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips because I wanted to eat my feelings.
When I’m feeling like trash, the last thing I want to do is eat food that makes me feel good. I want to wallow in the depths of self-pity and mild indigestion.
Me: Don’t do it don’t do it don’t do it
I admit this is a mildly inaccurate reenactment of what actually happened. I didn’t eat the chips in one sitting, which at first seems not as sad until you realize that means I had so many opportunities to stop actively eating my roommate’s food. Regardless, both representations resulted in horrific, post-chip clarity.
Me: oh GOD what have I done
I don’t have a car, so I opened my laptop and sought counsel from our corporate overlord, Amazon. I’d figured these Trader Joe’s branded chips wouldn’t be easy to find, but I hadn’t expected only one match—a 2-pack for $19 when the originals cost $2.99 each. I felt guilty, but not that guilty.
After Instacart also proved unfruitful, I remembered I was not alone in the world and could phone a friend.
Me: Would you be able to take me to Trader Joe’s? I ate too many of my roommate’s tortilla chips and they’re not sold elsewhere.
Me: Specifically, 1.25 bags.
Me: Technically I ate them because I was snowed in but really I just ate them because I wanted to.
Me: I don’t even like tortilla chips.
Politely sidestepping whatever verbal breakdown was emerging on my end, Friend laughed.
Friend: You gotta eat three quarters of one now, or else he’s gonna find out.
Me: You’re right. I don’t make the rules.
After Operation Trader Joe’s, I put away most of one bag, replaced the chip clip, and slid the replacements above our fridge into their original positions. I did all this well before my unsuspecting roommate returned. He would never, ever find out, until I wrote a post about it.
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One thought on “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Roommate’s Food”
Great posting, as usual. The ending is especially nice as you build the narrative and then slyly confess at the end. But there’s a typo in the first graf: “Thou shalt Urban Dictionary slang…” (consult? never consult?)
Also: “a 2-pack for $19 when the originals cost $2.99 each”–no idea what that means.
As a side note, the one thing I really miss…maybe the only thing…about living in snow country (I came from the Lake Erie snowbelt) is…”snow days!” They’re like a “Get out of jail free card” for anything you don’t want to do…or do want to