I had just passed my colloquium. It was an unseasonably cold day at the end of March (global warming, am I right?) but I was feeling victorious. I wanted to do something that would mirror my triumph over the much-dreaded colloquium (basically the defense of a thesis in the form of a two hour conversation with a panel of three faculty members) that all seniors in the Gallatin School for Individualized Study at NYU must complete in order to graduate. I needed to do something that would match my level of elation. That something was going to McDonald’s and buying myself two McChicken sandwiches and eating them in Washington Square Park, despite the cold (see above photo).
Many would chastise me for consuming such foul (literally fowl) food, but McChickens make me happy. I often call my predilection towards the McChicken sandwich a guilty pleasure but I always wonder to myself “why should I feel guilty about a thing that makes me happy?” That’s the big question. Should you feel guilty about your guilty pleasures if they make you happy?
My vegan friend thinks I should. We were once out one night at some bar in god knows where and I got a little tipsy and insisted that we just call it a night so I could go home, get my McChicken and go to sleep. As I was telling her my plan for the rest of the night, she had been sipping on her vodka martini, and she did a spit take where she found out I would be stopping before eventually going home. “You would really eat that garbage?” she said to me. “Do you know how inhumanely McDonald’s treats their chickens?” Fire was coming out of her mouth at this point. The truth is I didn’t.