So. #Bagelgate is a thing.
If you are not caught up on your utterly inane internet controversies, someone tweeted about bread-sliced bagels – that is, bagels that are sliced into thin strips like a loaf of bread. For whatever reason, the internet hive mind decided that this was the next Big Food Controversy, on par with pineapple on pizza, ranch on pizza, which place has the best burger, if milk goes in the bowl before or after the cereal…you get the idea.
As a Saint Louisan, I felt a bit personally attacked with this particular food controversy. Not only do I enjoy bread sliced bagels – you can get more cream cheese per bagel that way – but there’s been a lot of general St. Louis hate going on. New Yorkers in particular have been throwing the most shade, because they apparently feel very, very strongly about how to properly slice a bagel, which…I mean, that is a thing that you can care about. If you really want to.
But why would you?
Seriously, that’s a real question. Why on Earth would it matter how someone else slices their bagels, or what they put on their pizza, or the order in which they fill the cereal bowl? Unless they are coming over to your home, tying you down, and forcing it into your mouth, I cannot imagine a reason to care about what they eat. And, if they are, you frankly have bigger problems to worry about than the specific item they are force feeding you.
So, barring hypothetical force-feeding, here are some things you should ask yourself before shaming how someone else eats their food:
1) Why am I angry about this?
Why does it bother you how someone else eats their food? Maybe you find the sight of sliced bagels so repellent it makes you sick to your stomach. Maybe the mere idea that someone eats pineapple on their pizza fills you with a wordless rage down to your core. If that’s the case, I urge you to please seek professional help. That’s not a healthy reaction to food.
2) Is this me being a gatekeeper?
“People who eat their bagels bread sliced don’t really enjoy bagels.” “People who don’t have them bread silenced have never truly had a bagel.” If your comment could be summed up to either of those, where you are implying that someone is “doing it wrong” because they don’t do it the way you like, you need to really think about who died and appointed you King or Queen of Bagels. Because I promise you, no one actually did.
3) Is there anything better I could be doing with my time?
What good does sending an angry tweet about how someone else eats do? Do you think you shaming someone’s food choices is going to make them reevaluate their eating habits? Probably not. Your best case scenario is someone feels guilty about liking something, which means all you’ve managed to do is make someone unhappy for enjoying something that harmed no one. Why not instead do, oh, just for an example, literally anything else? You could exercise. You could read a book. You could pet a cat. You could play a video game. You could pet two cats. You could write a somewhat hypocritical blog post jumping in on the controversy. You could go see a movie. You could go to the humane societies and see if they’ll let you spend a day in a locked room with every kitten they have.
4) Does this personally impact me?
No, it does not.
5) Would I say this to a stranger’s face?
If you would seriously walk up to a stranger that was eating bread sliced bagels and harass them for how they are eating their bagels, then…why? That’s what I want to know. Why would you do this thing? And if you wouldn’t, why are you okay instead doing it on social media where instead of putting it in a single person’s face, you’re doing it to potentially thousands of random people?
I don’t know how to expound here. I am so shocked that this is a thing, I have to resort to 1920’s slang to adequately express how shocked. I am flabbergasted that this is a thing people care about it. Please, explain to me how in any way this could possibly matter.
7) Let people enjoy things.
That’s not a question, it’s just advice. Let people enjoy things. It doesn’t hurt you, and it makes their lives better. Unless the things they enjoy do cause you actual, literal harm – but at that point, again, you have bigger problems.
8) How did it come to this?
How did you get here? You graduated college and found the world wasn’t your oyster, the world was rough and difficult and full of perils, you went from job to job and relationship to relationship in a long-running quest for meaning that just never seemed to materialize, and now it’s 5am and you’re sitting on the toilet yelling about how people slice their bagels? What happened to you? What happened to us? To the dreams we were supposed to fulfill? To the joys we were supposed to experience? To the wonder and the magic and hope?
But you’re going to send that tweet, and for a moment you’re going to get some ‘likes’ and you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will last until you crawl into your bed, alone, and realize how empty and hollow that victory was.
Or…you can let people enjoy their bagels and leave the world a slightly happier place.
I dunno, seems like an easy choice to me.