Dear McDonald’s McRib: No One Loves a Tease

Love is complex and often painful, but nothing is worse than being in love with a tease.

Today, McDonald’s announced—through a memo leaked to Ad Age—that the McRib sandwich won’t be available this coming fall. America will have to wait until December to continue its tangy and delicious love affair with the McRib.

As with all strategic teases, this move is designed to leverage attention and expectations. Not being able to have something makes you want it more, and McDonald’s, which typically offers the McRib in October, has concluded that an end-of-the-year release allows for the greatest possible profit margin.

To fill the pork sandwich vacuum, McDonald’s will feature a Cheddar Bacon Onion Angus burger. Though some may argue its better to settle than to be alone, for those of us in love with the McRib, there is no alternative. Angus? Puh-lease.

Nevertheless, every lover has their limits, and by toying with our savory emotions, McDonald’s may be playing a risky game. What if consumers decide that the holidays and McRib don’t go together? Who wants a McRib before eggnog? How do you get McRib sauce out of a Christmas sweater?

Love may be fickle–but so, it turns out, is McDonald’s. Are we all going to let McDonald’s toy with our hearts? And will we open our arms wide as soon as the McRib returns to our lives in December?

Yes. Yes, we will.

You see, even people who don’t like McDonald’s love the McRib. When the restaurant temporarily resurrected its limited-edition sandwich last fall after a 16-year hiatus, the mere sight of it brought back treasured memories for millions of Americans. Now a new generation will learn the term “riblet” and experience the emotional power of molded pork patties doused in BBQ sauce.

Of course, the McRib is a fickle mistress; it will leave us as it always has. Only later will we realize, deep down, that the McRib didn’t include any ribs (or parts of ribs) at all. That liar. That tease. That sandwich. There is nothing in life that the McRib can’t teach us.

Please come back.