Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Peanut Butter Snob

So a while back I was eating my breakfast at work when one of my co-workers stopped by my cube for a little chat. We’ll call him Peanut Butter Snob, the reasons for which will be evident very shortly. I was eating a bagel with peanut butter, and he asked me, “What kind is it?” I was quite confused about what he was talking about, so I asked for clarification, and he said, “The peanut butter, what kind of peanut butter? My wife and I only buy organic, I can’t even stomach that other stuff.” My reply?

“Um… well… I think it’s Skippy?”

Then, of course, I had to act all interested in this idea of organic peanut butter as he blathered on about it’s greatness, insisting the stuff I was eating was pure crap in the form of a spread. It was one of those times where you feel really stupid, uncultured, and decidedly un-hip. However, thinking about it now, this co-worker has a habit of making me feel this way quite often, so I’m debating now if these repeated occurances have more to do with his snobbishness or my insecurities. Here are a few accounts of our run-ins, you tell me if I’m being totally crazy, or if this guy really is a bit of a snob, (Note: PBS is short for “Peanut Butter Snob”, not the broadcasting network that has brought us delightful little children’s television gems such as “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”):

Instance 1:

Setting: I’m walking out of the building on the way out to lunch with PBS and two other male co-workers.

PBS: I like your purse!
Me: Uhhh… thanks.
PBS: Where did you get it? It’s so unique! I like to buy my wife one purse a year as a gift, and I’m always looking for new ones. Usually I get something from Saks, like a Coach, or a Kate Spade.
Me: (stammering and fumbling) Uhhh… I… uhhh…
PBS: So where did you get it? I think she’d really like it.
Me: Um, actually I don’t remember, I’ve had it forever!

The truth: I bought it at Target a few months before. There was no way in hell I was going to tell him that I got it at Target after he told me about his previous ultra-spendy designer purchases! I felt ridiculous. While I have no problem with designer purses, and wish with all my might I could afford to buy them, I simply cannot at this point in my life and career. To be honest I tend to spend a max of $50 on my handbags, and am a self-proclaimed knock-off queen.

Instance 2:

Setting: At lunch with the guys, again.

PBS: So what did you do this weekend?
Me: Well, we went to dinner with my parents on Friday night because both of my brothers are home from college for the weekend…
PBS: That sounds nice, so where’d you all go?
Me: Umm, Chili’s.
PBS: Oh. Well… that’s nice.
Me: (feeling embarrased and as unsophisticated as you can get) Yea, that’s just my family’s restaurant, we always end up going there…
PBS: Oh, yea, no Chili’s is pretty good. My wife and I went to
W.A. Frost for dinner Saturday night…

So basically the guy makes me feel really insecure, and I have no idea why I feel the need to impress him, but I do. On the other hand, I must say that he is the nosiest mother-f-er in my office, and why in the world is he even noticing what kind of purse I’m carrying?

Let's get back to the whole peanut butter thing. Dan and I were at Costco on Sunday doing some shopping, and I remembered that we were almost out of it (as I said a few weeks ago, I am on a major peanut butter kick and am going through that stuff like it’s water). So when I saw it, I grabbed the big ass double pack of Skippy and threw it into the cart, but then I noticed that next to it was a double pack of Maranatha Organic Peanut Butter. Thinking back on my conversation with PBS, I decided to try it. So out went the Skippy, in went the organic.

A day later, as I’m lazing around on the couch watching some TV (and for the record, there are many reasons why NOT to watch Heather Graham’s dull new Sex-and-the-City-wannabe show), I found myself itching for a little snack. I grabbed from the loaf of bread the butt end that no one wants to use for their sandwich and opened up my experimental jar of peanut butter. First thoughts? GROSS! Before I even tried it, I was grossed out. The stuff is all runny and oily and has a completely different texture from regular peanut butter. I took my first bite. Yup, tastes just as gross as it looks. Blech!

So now I have TWO monstrous jars of the nasty stuff in my cupboard, that I know I will never touch again, and I feel like a traitor to Skippy, the most delectable, creamy, yummy, processed-to-all-hell treat ever. And it’s all PBS’s fault, and admittedly a little bit mine for trying to be someone I’m not, and feeling the need to live up to the standards set by an equal co-worker who probably doesn’t even remember our conversation about organic peanut butter many months ago.

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