Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Rise and Fall of PB&J

The ONLY peanut
butter I eat.
This morning as I was preparing for tennis camp, I put a piece of toast in the microwave oven and reached into the cabinet for a giant sized jar of JIF peanut butter.  As I pulled a butter knife out of the silverware drawer, I thought about how I arrived at putting peanut butter on toast in the morning.  I thought about the fact how I took a peanut butter sandwich to school almost everyday for lunch, but how did that get started?
Let's take a big kangaroo hop back to my life where this all started...

2nd grade: I didn't want anything to do with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I did watch PB&J Otter, remember that show?) The idea of them made absolutely zero sense to me.  How do people even come up with that type of sandwich?  Well, one of my classmates who lived down the street came over to my house one day after school.  My mother decided to fix us a snack and he wanted a peanut butter sandwich.  Now my brother and I haven't had a pb&j sandwich before so my mother was really surprised by this.  She went ahead and fixed one for him and asked me if I wanted one.  Of course I said no...but my friend asked if I've ever tried just grape jelly?  I never really had, so I went ahead and tried it...and it was delicious!  That jelly sandwich became a standard lunch item throughout the rest of elementary school.

Beginning of 6th grade: After eating plain grape jelly sandwiches, I figured it was time to "upgrade" to peanut butter AND jelly.  This most likely was the biggest challenge of my life.  I know that sounds really fake, but considering all that happens as a sixth grader, this was basically the climax of the year (and it was only about a month or two in).  I made the switch, and it was delicious.  This sandwich became my staple as I turned into the typical kid with the paper lunch sack and the pb&j sandwich.

Ending of 7th grade: As a seventh grade gets older, the idea that they are now the "head of the school" begins to crowd the mind.  I had the same ideas but also the idea that my staple sandwich was too "kiddy" for me.  I'm the head of the school, and I'm still eating pb&j about just, peanut butter?  And so I just dropped the jelly off my sandwich.  In my mind, eating a sandwich with just sticky peanut butter is a challenge.  There's stickiness, a bunch of raw flavor, and a sense of maturity that comes with the sandwich.  However, I was the only one who thought that much about a sandwich.  Most of my friends just found it odd.  "Did you forget the jelly?" "Oh, did you not have any jelly on hand?"  Can I not just enjoy a peanut butter sandwich?  Okay, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

I still get questions from people when I tell them what I have for lunch or what I have for breakfast even though it's become a popular sandwich type. But compared to rice and sausage, peanut butter toast doesn't sound as unusual...that's a different post, though.

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