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Confessions of a Burrito Junkie

My friends say I have a problem. There are tortillas stashed around the house. There’s a small patch of cilantro growing in the back. I keep a bottle of rooster sauce in my glove box.

I’ve been wrapping for years but, recently, things may have gotten a little out of hand.

It started innocently enough—bean and cheese, beef and bean, chicken and rice… breakfast… I stuck with the gateway fillings for a long time but, eventually, things got weird. I wrapped granola with peanut butter but that wasn’t enough. I added bacon. Dried fruit. Chocolate chips.

Before I knew it, I had pudding and Cocoa Puffs dribbling out the back of a tortilla as I hid—ashamed—in my buddy’s garage.

My burrito habit doesn’t hurt anybody though. It’s not like I’m a drive-thru eater. At least, not very often. I mean, I get Fourth Meal every once in while but not with kids in the car.

For what it’s worth, I think most people can eat burritos responsibly. My friends get together at Mexican restaurants once in a while. They listen to some mariachi, have a burrito, and head home. It’s a casual thing.

I’m three meals a day, sometimes for weeks at a shot. It doesn’t help that my brother worked his way through college managing a Qdoba. He taught me how to make their cilantro-lime rice and wrap everything up tight so it doesn’t spill. That might have been when things took a turn.

Over the past few years, I’ve avoided lunch meetings and dinner appointments, pulling away from family and friends, coworkers and clients, because they want to grab a burger. I tried to convince myself that sushi was just a Japanese burrito and rice would be okay on the outside…but it wasn’t. Now I plan meetings in the morning and afternoon so I can have lunch by myself.

I usually go to taquerias. You know the ones—old gas stations painted bright colors in rundown neighborhoods. I get carne asada burritos to go, tucking the foil package under my jacket as I make my way back to the parking lot, then eat in the car. It’s a lonely life sometimes.

I’ve been trying to get things under control for a while. My wife’s really supportive. She plans meals and packs lunches to help out. When we do our grocery shopping we avoid the ethnic foods aisle altogether. Just last week she got rid of every can of beans in the house—donated them to a food pantry while I was at work. It’s slow, but I’m making progress.

I bought my last pack of frozen burritos today and, when they’re gone, I’m done.

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