The queso dip consumption ritual between two female roommates is a complicated, delicate dance.

It begins when one roommate purchases a jar of queso dip. Perhaps it’s procured from the local bodega on a drunken night. Perhaps it’s slipped into the cart during a by-the-book grocery store run. Or perhaps it was “accidentally” taken home from Greg and Lucinda’s potluck.

Once the queso dip is brought into the apartment, the roommate will store it carefully with the other condiments, so as not to draw attention to its presence. This, of course, is a game. She very much wants it to be noticed, commented on, admired. But she is willing to wait. The female roommate will continue her usual habits: using the elliptical, watching Masterpiece Classic, over-plucking her eyebrows. All the while the jar of queso dip will lay in wait.

It is around this time that the other female roommate will discover the jar of queso dip. She will immediately understand its significance. The jar of queso dip is an offer, a question posed to her, the answer to which is not yes or no, but rather when.

A day, a week, a month will go by before either roommate dares discuss the jar of queso dip. Several jars of salsa, bags of chips, the odd tub of icing, all of these foodstuffs will come and go. But Queen Queso shall remain, biding her time as the roommates bide theirs.

The first step toward consumption will begin with a casual aside: “Oh, I noticed we had some queso?” one roommate will remark. While delivered as an off-the-cuff observation, the twinkle in the roommate’s eyes will betray her true intentions.

She is obviously “DTQ”: Down to queso.

Finally, the Great Opening will happen. The roommates, conveniently, will “not have anything going on” one evening. So they will put on their fraying bathrobes they still have from college and sit down to watch a rerun of Felicity. It is then the queso dip consumption ritual will commence.

One roommate will wordlessly go to the kitchen cabinet during a commercial and takeout the jar of queso dip. She will consider pouring it into a larger bowl, but then decide “fuck it,” and will simply bring the jar of queso dip and a bag of chips with a sketchy sell-by date into the living room.

And then it will be on.

Once the queso dip ritual enters the consumption phase it will get quite messy. But the roommates will care not. The only goal will be getting as much queso dip into the their queso dip holes as possible. All forms of decorum will be forsaken.

The roommates will take turns liberally dipping their chips into the jar of queso until the queso level gets too low for dipping to be possible without risking losing the entire chip in the jar. Yet they will not stop eating until they are wrist-deep in the jar of orange cream, fishing out broken chips, and licking themselves, from fingertips to friendship bracelets, so as to extend their pleasure.

And then it will be over as soon as it began. The jar will be tossed into the recycling crate, the bag of chips will be wrapped up. The roommates will retire to their rooms, mumbling words of regret, burping. But they both recognize that this is not really the end, for another jar of queso dip will beckon. That’s just the way nature and delicious spicy cheese dips work.