Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Beef with Peanut Butter

My Dear Reader,

Those who know me well know that I dislike peanut butter. Dislike is a good word for it; hate is what I feel for uncooked onions and loathe is what I feel for ranch dressing. To illustrate, if I were at a social gathering and someone set me before a nice salad ruined by ranch, the smell would make me sick and I'd immediately push it away. I wouldn't care who was looking. If I was at a fancy restaurant where I was required to wear a dress I have yet to buy, I'd tell my server to take it back, something I ordinarily wouldn't do. With onions, on the other hand, I would probably just pick them out, no matter where I was and no matter who I'm with. I'm not eating that. If I was served something with peanut butter, however, I would swallow my pride along with the concoction, in the interest of being polite. By now, Gentle Reader, I hope you understand my full intent when I use the word dislike in this context.

The funny thing is that it didn't used to be that way. Growing up, I was the tomboy who spent her recesses catching grasshoppers and her suppertime devouring whatever happened to be on the plate. Sure, there were things I liked better than others, but food was food, and I had to eat it all before Madre would let me go and ride my bike. It was the same at lunch time, where the faster you ate, the faster Mrs. C would let you go out and play. I was a messy eater, but I'm what Madre calls a Pokey Puppy and that's what it took to keep up with the other kids.

The peanut butter thing didn't start until at least seventh grade. Madre was raising six kids at the time, and two were twins and one was a toddler. So of course, the budget was tight, and of course that meant than when she made lunches she went with whatever happened to be a mixture of cheap and easy. For Madre, that meant peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Every single day. When Madre was feeling like making us something special, she'd make us peanut butter and honey, and once in a blue moon we'd get tuna. So by this time, peanut butter consisted of a large part of my diet, as it had ever since I was in kindergarten. I guess it just kind of got old.

At first, it was just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I begged for peanut butter and honey, but that got old, too. I started begging for tuna, but there was no way my Madre was going to make me a tuna sandwich every day.

Then something strange happened. I stopped liking peanut butter in everything. While that kid on TV was trying to figure out how to eat a Reese's, I was trading the Reese's I got for Halloween with Smarties, Hershey Kisses, or whatever I could get my hands on. The same went for every special occasion, and I honestly believe that my dislike for peanut butter has decreased my enjoyment of pretty much every holiday, because there's always a Reese's tree in your Christmas stocking or a Reese's egg in your Easter basket. There's no hiding from a Reese's.

Eventually, I started hating peanuts. Madre had to keep me out of the large jars of trail mix because I would go through and eat the M&M's . . . and nothing else (except the occasional date). Then, I stopped liking Butterfingers, which was pretty tragic because at the time it was my favorite candy bar. By the time I got to college, I could only eat Almond Snickers.

The funny thing is that most people put peanut butter in just about anything and don't even conceive of the possibility that someone might not be a fan. So here I am, standing up and saying that I, Cecily Jane, am not a fan in the slightest. And I know I'm not alone. I once met a man who tells people that he's allergic just to avoid the guilt trips. That's what I call desperate. But now, my Gentle Reader, you have been enlightened. Good for you.

Regards, best wishes, and dislike,

-Cecily Jane


Cindy Jensen said...

point taken -- no peanuts, peanut butter for Cecily. Kinda sad

Cecily Jane said...

That's what I thought when I ran into a girl who didn't like chocolate. To each his own, I guess. Sorry if my point came off to strong, but thanks again for reading!

Cindy Jensen said...

I don't feel like your point came off to strong -- but I am still sad for and I feel the same way for those who don't like chocolate -- like your missing out on something really great and maybe you should just try to like it one more time. I don't like bananas and people think that is strange but then you can't really compare bananas to peanut butter and chocolate can you they are completely different. I will say that now I am a little worried about Ciara cuz that is all she wants in her lunch everyday, and I mean everyday since I can remember a peanut better sandwich and just peanut butter -- hopefully, she will come out of it okay and still like peanut butter. Have a great weekend and thanks for listening

~Stappsters~ said...

I'm not the biggest peanut fan, but Reeses! Man those are sooooo good. I would love to be trading with you on Halloween. Alex won't eat popcorn. Crazzzy

Molly said...

You should totally use this in your food memoir. And I just loved the first paragraph. Did you know that your link to Pokey Puppy has an ad on it, displaying Brittany Spears in her undies? How embarrassing for her!

Molly said...

and I would not be offended if I saw you picking onions out of a salad. But I think my raw onions are your ranch. Once they've touched something, that something is ruined. End of story.