When I was a young boy, my head the size of a jaded watermelon and my arms no longer than two oversaturated baby carrots, my mother sat me down to explain the most important rules of marriage and love. “Love is not chocolate, love is not cream in coffee, love is not the Energizer bunny thump-thump-thumping its way into the bleak and barren night,” she said. “Love is greasy and artery-clogging. Love sits in a tin container and only keeps its heat with the help of a buzzing heat lamp.” As we sat in silence for the next 45 minutes while these wise words marinated in my little pasta brain, the clouds outside the kitchen window shifted, danced and formed into the gentle wisps of shredded mozzarella. Perhaps my fond memories have changed my perception of that day’s fact, but the clouds were Monterey Jack at the very least.
It became evident that I was ready for more knowledge and she brushed my hair aside to reveal a forehead similar both in color and size to a flour tortilla. “Marriage is not something to be taken lightly, my little mistake,” she whispered. “It is the one time in our lives when God forgives our bakery hubris, the one time he tolerates an edible tower of Babel to be constructed in the name of monogamy and gifts from Sears. We eat the cake to appease our wrathful Lord.”
At this time, my dear papá burst through the door to finish my mother’s point. They began to chant in unison, honoring the sacred tradition of my family.
“Marriage is the highest honor and ceremony,” they intoned. “You must treat your spouse-to-be with the utmost respect and show them the height of decadence when you present the rock-ring smelted to be forever bound to their least important finger.”
Of course, I kid. I have never called my father “papá” because nicknames are generally something you are only given by someone you see on a regular basis. I have no idea what his other family calls him.
In the past month, it has become apparent that I was not the only child to receive this lesson in love and marriage. On April 4, Marc Jacobs (of Jacobs by Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs in Collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Marc by Marc Jacobs fame) proposed to his boyfriend via flash mob in a Chipotle. His boyfriend, someone disappointingly named neither Mark, Marc, Jacob, nor Jakob, said yes. The visit to the restaurant is apparently a yearly tradition for Jacobs and his fiancé (Char Defrancesco), who loves the restaurant more than any other. In one of the boldest moves of all time, Jacobs risked ruining flash mobs, Chipotle, Prince (the song the flash mob danced to) and birthdays for Defrancesco.
Members of the jury, I contend that every single major life event should take place at Chipotle.
Weddings? Duh. Funerals? No doubt. A baptism? Dip me in guac, reverend. Quinceañeras? Absolutely. The brushed metal is a great base for any theme. A bris? Sorry, was I not clear when I said every single major life event?
I will admit that this was not initially the first thought that occurred to me when I heard the news of the engagement of America’s affordable suit baron and… someone else? Defrancesco probably has some nice hobbies too. But upon further examination, the case for a Life at Chipotle® becomes stronger and stronger.
When I reached early adolescence, my knees swelling to the size of peppermint-scented Yankee candles and my hair rising from my scalp like microwaved kelp bleached from exposure to the nuclear heat of NSYNC, my mother sat down with me again. The lessons of marriage, evidently, were too important to teach just once. “Daniel, my adorable little error,” she telepathically communicated, “when you host your wedding, you must show the infinite possibilities your life holds. You must communicate, in the most lovely metaphors available to you, the multitudes your future shares with your loved one.”
Where on Earth can you find more combinations and multitudes than Chipotle? They have multitudes up the frickin’ wazoo. As you walk down the aisle (or, to be more specific, walk hand-in-hand along the counter while choosing the first ingredients of your new union), you can envision your wildest dreams. Handfuls upon handfuls of pico de gallo might fill the living room of your first home. If you are holding your bar mitzvah at the fast-casual chain, you can witness your transition into manhood by the quiet approval of pinto beans being dropped onto your burrito. The selection of ingredients are so rich in metaphor that they have the potential to single-handedly replace poetry in the modes of expression. If Shakespeare and Walt Whitman were in a Chipotle today, everyone else would probably leave because their rotting corpses would really stink up the joint. But if they were alive and not decomposed, they would almost certainly never write another word ever again.
Furthermore, hosting any event at Chipotle is incredibly affordable. Although the restaurant caters, they do not, to my knowledge, have a tried-and-true system for hosting parties in the restaurant itself. But why, you might ask, does this matter? Well, friendo, think of it this way: without a well-oiled machine for hosting, the restaurant will not have a good way to consolidate the bill of everyone involved. This means that you can make everyone pay for their own food and shrug it off, saying, “I am so sorry, bud. I have no idea how to take that bill on. Blame it on them, honestly.”
Chipotle also offers a fun, versatile environment for any party. If you have enough people in attendance, you can use the cover of the crowd to scramble up the walls and climb around on the lighting fixtures like a spider monkey. One of my biggest goals in life is to scamper around above the diners at Chipotle and show them the consequences of their interior designing hubris. They have gone long enough without the modern sensibility of ceiling tiles.
When I recently visited my mother in the nursing home inside of a Panda Express, I asked her if she thought the Chipotle-as-Life Host plan was wise. She looked deep into my eyes, blasting through my retinas as if I were a glass sculpture of our nation’s most fragile person, Elijah Wood, and said two words.
Chipotle can and should be the host of every major event in your life and in the lives of everyone you know. Besides, what makes for a better parting gift for your guests than E. coli?