When I tell people I'm addicted to potato chips, laughter is usually their first reaction. Then they'll ask about my favorite flavor. But would you ask an alcoholic if they prefer wine or beer? Apparently, an addiction to chips isn't taken very seriously.
I've downplayed it to myself for years, but I think my addiction began the moment I had my first fried sliver of salty goodness. Lay's warned chipheads like me back in the 80s with a commercial that stated, "No one can eat just one." For me, that became doubly true.
I eat at least one bag every day. It's not unusual for me to wake up craving chips. I'll go to the supermarket to buy a bag without taking a shower first. To contain my addiction, I've made a deal with myself: no chips before 1 PM, except when I'm hungover. It's the only food I can stomach in those situations.
Potato chips are the ideal snack. Have you ever heard someone say: "I don't like chips?" That's what I thought.
My mom used to make me eat chips out of a bowl so the portions could be measured. That was really annoying, but as soon as she looked away, I would quickly refill my bowl and stuff a handful of them in my mouth for good measure.
I realized that my addiction got out of hand when I began to hide the empty bags. I felt like an alcoholic who empties a carton of juice to fill it with wine. Twelve years ago, I was forced to hide chips from my sisters and parents, and now I do the same with my roommates. I used to hide them in a drawer under the bed where I kept my diaries. Recently, I found out that all my sisters knew. I don't know what's worse: the fact that they read my diaries back then, or that they ate chips from my secret stash.
My roommates once ate my chips when I left them in the kitchen by accident. Few things in life are worse than coming home to an empty bag of chips. I like cooking just fine, but I like chips even better. I often feel queasy during dinner, because I often empty a bag of chips beforehand.
I see people in supermarkets thinking about what the hell they should make for dinner next, but for me, the most important thing is always, What kind of chips should I buy? If I haven't figured that out beforehand, I spend quite some time in front of the potato chips aisle at the supermarket. After years of being addicted, I don't have a single favorite kind of chip. I really don't care too much, as long as I'm able to eat them. But there's one flavor I'd really prefer not to eat: the basic, salted variety. People who buy that stuff are weird. They're probably the same people who eat Hawaiian pizza because they think it's healthier. They disgust me.
If I skip a day of eating chips, I feel off. I get really bummed out when my night gets too busy to have time to eat chips before bedtime.
The moments when I'm alone with my bag are the best: laid back like a couch potato, my hand nestled in there. It's lovely. I don't get people who eat them while walking down the street. Chips are to be eaten inside.
I've even ditched a boyfriend for a bag once. I'll ghost on my friends when I'd rather be at home with my bag of chips. If the night ends in a fast-food joint after going out, I usually end up going home and enjoying my chips in bed instead of eating a burger in some poorly lit place.
A word of advice to people who say "chips" instead of "shit": Please stop. Everybody knows what you're really saying. And more importantly: it's degrading towards chips.
I don't want to stop eating them, but I know it's not healthy. There are insane amounts of additives in there and tons of salt. But I usually eat three healthy meals a day, and I feel a lot worse without chips. Maybe I'll eventually try to buy less chips, and limit myself to eating it at parties. For most people, eating chips is something you share, and sharing can be fun. I think.