A salad wrap seems like an ingenious idea. Many lunch venues offer the option of ordering their salads wrapped in a tortilla. And now that tortillas are readily available in flavors like tomato and spinach, it’s hard to beat the salad wrap as a healthy, quick meal option.
For those of us who endure days during which we must live out of our cars traveling between work, community meetings and school functions, a salad wrap can be tempting. The salad wrap is, after all, a portable salad. You don’t need a bowl or fork, so you can eat it on the road.
It seems brilliantly convenient. However, I absolutely do not recommend it. If you have time to sit at a table while eating, then by all means select a salad wrap. But beware it’s stability as a portable meal.
Convinced of the healthy and convenient merits of a salad wrap, I recently decided to purchase the wrap version of my favorite salad on the way from work to a board meeting. I didn’t have time to run home for supper. I barely had time for the drive through.
After I received my bag from the lady at the window, I folded down the paper to expose the top third of my wrap and made my way back to the road. The wrap was a little bulkier than I expected. However, it smelled amazing and I was hungry, so I took a bite from the corner.
While I was merging into traffic, a circus of savory salad ingredients was entertaining my mouth. The pangs of hunger dwindled. I was proud of myself for making such a healthy choice in such a hectic situation.
Exiting the highway, I navigated my way to the first traffic light. I managed to finish most of my salad wrap and felt like I had a little something on my chin. While stopped, I pulled out a napkin, wiped my face and peered down. What I discovered next was devastating.
There were several moist blobs of salad stuck to my shirt—one just below my right clavicle, one half on the seat belt and half on the left side of my stomach and a huge blob near the hemline. Instinctively, I grabbed each blob with the napkin I’d used for my chin. What were left behind were painfully obvious, highly contrasting, moist stains.
At this point, my belly was full, my committee report was printed and ready to be presented, I had no time to stop by my house to change and I was three blocks from my destination. My stomach began to churn with stress as my discombobulated thoughts bounced off the edges of my skull.
Rather than parking right in front, I pulled around toward the back to a more obscure space. I grabbed a clean, dry napkin from my fast food bag. I then looked around the car as if a cold bottle of club soda was going to magically appear.
The only thing in the cup holder was a medium unsweet tea. Please don’t judge me on the fact that I am not a sweet tea drinker. While I have loved the taste of sweet tea since moving to the South nearly three decades ago, sweet tea no longer loves me back.
While the tea had no sugar, it was chock full of ice. As we all know, ice is really cold water. It’s not club soda, but it was all I had. I grabbed an ice cube out of my cup and rubbed it on the stains. Then I blotted with a dry napkin.
I quickly repeated the process several times for each spot. Now the spots were bigger, but I was hopeful the moist salad blob material had been purged. It was relatively dry out, so I was optimistic my shirt would dry before the spots drew too much attention.
The clock showed I was running out of time. I checked myself in the mirror. The spot under my clavicle was still a bit obvious, so I moved the pin I was wearing from my left lapel to my right clavicle. The new accessory placement would either draw more attention to the stain or camouflage it enough for folks not to notice.
As for the other spots, I simply held my board member notebook in front of me. If other board members noticed the remnants of my dinner, they graciously said nothing. Then again, I had to leave early to get to my son’s school band performance.
My shirt situation did not pose too much of a problem at the concert considering I arrived late and it was held in a dark auditorium.
By the time I arrived home, I did not care about the faded yet still perceivable discolorations on my shirt. All I wanted to do was sit down and put my feet up. Meanwhile, I’m guessing the look on my face was probably what kept Hubby from pointing out the spots.
Micki Bare is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau and the Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., and author of "Thurston T. Turtle Moves to Hubbleville." She lives in Asheboro with her husband, three children and mother. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org