I have NEVER eaten peanut butter with a spoon. I'd rather eat a bowl full of snails. Okay, maybe not, but still. This much is true, though: I absolutely despise peanut butter.
You know how there are certain strange times in life when you have to come up with a "fun fact" about yourself? Well, my go-to is always that: "I hate peanut butter."
And, without fail, this seemingly simple statement always causes a scene. It can bring that team-building work retreat from awkward and kind of boring to loud and filled with fits of rage from those who pride themselves on loving peanut butter so much they eat it straight from the jar (my worst nightmare, btw). "How are we even friends?!?!?!" is a typical response.
It's always so amusing to me that my aversion — I'm not allergic at all — to that gooey, smelly stuff is the thing that apparently makes me most unlikeable. It's like I have to apologize for my taste buds and have personally offended everyone in the room. SORRY.
So after struggling through almost 30 years of loathing peanut butter, here are some things that happen when you're in the hater minority.
1. Everyone Forgets You Hate It
I've lost count of the number of times friends have tried to get me to eat something with peanut butter in it all innocently. "OH! I forgot! Because, you know, how could anyone hate peanut butter?" is often the response when I politely thank them for trying to poison me — for the zillionth time.
You really learn to question every dessert after a few accidental bites of cookies with hidden things like peanut butter chips or "just a tablespoon" of peanut butter in the whole batch.
2. People Enjoy Exploiting Your Dislike Of It
Way back on my 13th birthday, my "friends" decided it would be a great idea to birthday bash me with PB on my front lawn. (Remember when birthday bashing was a thing in the late '90s?).
Anyway, they smeared peanut butter all over me, I ate Silly String because I thought they were spraying cans of whipped cream (I'd been momentarily blinded by the smell of PB), and then my mom made me rinse off with the freezing cold hose before going into the house to degrease myself in the shower. It was terrible. I think I was mad for weeks. Ugh, middle school.
This was clearly the most extreme form of peanut butter torture, but these days people just like to try to trick me into eating it — just to see what I'll do. Jerks.
3. The Smell Makes You Queasy
When you despise PB, you learn to follow your nose. You smell everything before you eat it — just as a second line of defense after you ask what's in something. And when you do come across the dreaded substance, you gag just a bit...then politely ask where the garbage can is. Or, you hand it off to any number of people in the vicinity who could never stand to watch a peanut butter treat get thrown out.
It's also tough to make PBJ sandwiches for other people or to give PB as a treat to my dog. It's just so sticky and smelly!
4. You Have Peanut Butter FOMO
When I was a kid, I was basically the only one on the playground without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my lunch box. And my mom certainly wasn't forking over the big bucks for Lunchables. So, I was the weird kid with cream cheese and jelly sandwiches. And though it taught me it's okay to stand out in a PB-loving crowd, you can't help but feel left out when everyone else is discussing the merits of smooth vs. chunky.
Later in life, you often become the one who doesn't eat dessert at dinner parties, because, as I mentioned above, everyone forgets about the girl who hates peanut butter.
5. You Learn That It Ruins Everything It Touches
I've also quickly learned that you can never put a peanut butter cookie in a bag with a chocolate chip cookie without serious PB cross-contamination. I can't tell you how many goodies I've had to toss over the years because of peanut butter's uncanny ability to ruin everything it touches.
6. You Want to Lie and Say You Have an Allergy
Through all of the hardships of growing up without peanut butter as a staple in your diet, you just want people to stop bugging you about it. So, you seriously contemplate telling everyone going forward that you're actually allergic, not just taste bud challenged. But then things quickly become sticky when you devour peanuts on your pad thai and then you're instantly a lying weirdo who hates peanut butter. SIGH.