TikTok-themed picnic goes awry

March 4, 2021 — by Justin Guo and Amanda Zhu
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Our aesthetic picnic at Argonaut Elementary School.

It turns out that we are not fans of overly sugary food or the act of reappropriating wine glasses as utensils.

After seeing viral TikToks of people going on aesthetic picnics (which, as far as we could tell, usually consisted of cake, chips, sodas and pastries as a bare minimum), we decided to arrange a picnic of our own to see why the trend was so popular. 

Our journey began with us pacing back and forth between the aisles at Safeway, where after an hour of seemingly never-ending deliberation, we wound up buying a bag of Kettle Brand Farmstand Ranch chips, a bag of Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos, two Mucho Mango Arizona teas, a chocolate cake and Sugar Bowl Bakery Duet Bites. 

Unhealthy? Yes. Disgusting? Absolutely. That became increasingly clear the longer we stood at the self check out aisle, struggling to find the barcodes on half our items. But at this point, we were in so deep that we had to go through with it for the sake of the story. 

Fortunately, all the TikTok videos we saw did seem to have, you know, some form of actual food present — such as sushi or sandwiches. As such, we settled on sandwiches from a nearby Togo’s before making our way to the fields of Argonaut Elementary School.

But before eating, of course, we had to first take an aesthetic picture of our picnic setup. This seemingly simple task actually ended up being one of the hardest parts of this entire adventure. The wind kept blowing away our picnic tarp, so while one of us was holding down the edges of the sheet, the other was frantically scrambling to take a semi-decent photo. 

Once that was done, we unwrapped our food and started eating. Unfortunately, though, as both of us could have predicted, the actual meal was awful. 

Individually, each of the foods we bought would have been great, because they each have their own distinct taste and flavor. However, it turns out that eating salty chips in between bites of dry sourdough bread while trying to wash it all down with a swig of obnoxiously tangy Arizona tea doesn’t make for a great eating experience. And because all the food was processed, we were feeling icky and heavy, and ready to call it quits not even halfway through our sandwiches.

Before we could do that, however, there was one last thing we had to do.

For context, a big part of the TikTok trend involves people eating cake with wine glasses. They turn the glasses upside down to scoop out their piece of cake to apparently increase the aesthetic factor — which doesn’t make much sense, considering that they just end up slaughtering the cake and the wine glass. 

The two of us deliberated on whether we should follow the trend — truly, we did — but ultimately could not bring ourselves to commit such a heinous act. It just felt wrong, on principle.

At the end of the picnic, we agreed that we would never take part in an activity like this again. While it was a good bonding experience and gave us a chance to catch up with each other, the cost it had on our physical well-being was too high to justify repeating. 

If there was any big takeaway that the two of us had from the experience, it’s that we should be extremely worried about the next generation of teenagers if they are actively choosing to have picnics like this (especially if they eat cake with wine glasses). 

Maybe it’s just us, but we would much rather prefer having a typical balanced meal with rice and vegetables. 

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