Important Debate: Can Chips Be Dessert?

Of course, there’s an obvious answer to that question and that answer is unequivocally no. Why is it even a question? Allow me to elaborate:

Since I’ve known Dan, he’s been a maniac for chips. It doesn’t matter what kind, though we generally buy 2-4 bags of jalapeno kettle potato chips a week. It could just as well be SunChips or “hint o’ lime” tortilla chips, though. Despite his undiscerning tastes in deep-fried crisps (no “puffed” or “baked” stuff really stacks up in this house), his chip habits are specific and completely predictable.

After nearly every dinner, and really it’s only after dinner, he either says out loud or I can hear him thinking, “want some chips?” He’ll slip into the kitchen and snatch a bag off the top  of the fridge – there’s no reason to put them in the cabinet because they’re gone so fast. If we have a light dinner and I don’t nag him to stop, he’ll rip the bag open length-wise and finish the entire thing in one sitting. Some might recognize this as an issue in itself, but I tend to take the stance that he’s a grown man who can make his own decisions.

What becomes an issue is when Dan refers to this post-dinner course as “dessert.” And he does. Earlier I mentioned he says, “want some chips?” It can actually just as easily – in fact, interchangeably – be “want some dessert?” When we were first dating, I’d get excited, say YEAH, and get ready for some Ben & Jerry’s, cookies, pie… I’m not picky. But then he’d come back with a bag of Lay’s? So… how was the ice cream going to figure into all of this?

I’ve spoken to my friends and family ad nauseum about the problem. I need my loved ones to take sides because Dan stands firm that dessert needn’t be more than a post-dinner snack, while I’m almost positive that it says in the Bible that dessert needs to be sweet, and ideally has chocolate, but maybe that part’s like a Protestant thing. At first they’re (obviously) on my side, but then I hear them get bored of how much I care and eventually say something sort of middle-ground. I think they say this in hopes that it will make me re-think my stance and be forever quieted by self-doubt and existential reflection. Unfortunately for them, I am completely sure about this one so I inevitably bring it up again and they are able to finish the sentence as I begin, “CAN YOU BELIEVE DAN THINKS CHIPS ARE…” “…dessert….” (I hope you read that last part with a loving, deliberate eyeroll.)

Even the dictionary is of little help. One edition calls dessert “the sweet course eaten at the end of a meal” and the next says “a typically sweet course that concludes a meal.” “Typically.”

I understand the feeling of needing a little something after a meal. I also totally love chips. But, I can’t help but wonder: can chips ever be dessert?

Hillary

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