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Laura on Life

Peanut Butter, A Love Affair
By Laura Snyder
Apr 4, 2012 - 5:55:18 AM

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My son has recently discovered chocolate-flavored ambrosia called Nutella. His old flame, peanut butter doesn't stand a chance.

You could say he has a picky palette. He can't have two favorite foods at the same time. It's as though his body can't accept so many different foods at one time.

There was a time, long ago, when my son would eat a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, blissfully unaware that one day I would make him a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich. Then he would encounter something so vile that he would no longer eat jelly. That something?... a strawberry.

From that time forward, he has eaten only peanut butter, only on honey wheat bread; no jelly. At some point, he decided that the crust was the best part of the bread. It took quite a bit of mom-inspired harassment to get him to eat a piece of bread that wasn't crust. After all, there are only two pieces of bread in a loaf that would qualify for his strangely restricted palette and they are at opposite ends of the loaf.

Our bread loaves always looked like a train-wreck.

After years of eating only plain peanut butter sandwiches, my son was set in his ways, or "way" in his case... If only he had ways.

One year he went through a short-lived FlufferNutter phase, but ultimately decided that nothing could top his beloved peanut butter, straight up.

Then, one day, two weeks ago, something rocked his well-ordered, peculiar world. I was grocery shopping and noticed something that looked like a melted chocolate bar in a jar. I had not eaten before I went shopping. That was a mistake.

Melted chocolate in a jar? I couldn't think of a single reason not to buy it. As if by magic, and without my committed consent, it jumped into my cart.

I dreamed about how it would taste on a piece of raisin bread when I brought it home.

I have gone back to that store three times in the past two weeks just to buy a jar of sinfulness. During these two weeks, I have only managed to snag one piece of chocolate raisin bread. I keep buying more with the hope that one jar will last long enough to have another. I don't know how my son eats the whole jar so fast! Especially without crust!

I have come to the conclusion that, since my son hit puberty, he has turned into an alien. I have no real proof, because I have not seen it, but I believe his tongue is actually a proboscis that he sticks into the jar. Then he inhales it all in one gulp. What other explanation can there be?

My son and I went to the grocery store together to buy the last jar of yummy-ness. As usual, the Nutella jumped in to the cart while I blinked.

In the same aisle, the display of peanut butter was huge. It waited for my son to choose one. His world had been turned upside down. He realized that his old peanut butter could never make him feel like he feels with Nutella.

For old time's sake, and perhaps hoping it would make a rebound, he chose a "whipped" peanut butter rather than his normal "creamy."

I recognized this as a last-ditch effort to save the relationship, but I don't think it'll ever be the same again.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at Or visit her website for more info.

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