Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't fake it

Boxed wine? NOOOO.
Dear Lord, I may end up the patron saint of LOLGoats.
When I was a kid, my sister and I sat down to a breakfast of Frosted Flakes.  But the cereal we got tasted. . .different.  Being a kid, I was not as diplomatic as to say, "Hmm, mom, this tastes different." or even, "Um. . .maybe I'll just have toast today."  I'm pretty sure I used "gross" in my description of the cereal.

My mother 'fessed up.  She said she'd bought the store brand cereal and put it in the Frosted Flakes box, thinking we wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  I'm pretty sure she would have told us after to prove the point that it tasted just the same, but we all learned that day that there was a difference.

Now, with one or two exceptions, store brands have vastly improved since then. But this does make me think about something some people do--either to prove a point or hide the truth.  Namely, faking it.  Hiding it.  Cowering.

My mother faked it to see if we'd be able to tell the difference (we could).  But some people fake it because on some level, they're ashamed.

Look--if you have boxed wine, it's stupid to pour it into a bottle that held the expensive stuff.  (Jeff Yeager has said he does this when he has people over.)  First, boxed wine doesn't let air into the bag inside, so it is always fresh--you get it from a tap, so putting it into a bottle if you're not sure your guests will polish the whole thing off is just silly. (If you think it's pretty and convenient to have the wine at the table, you can often find a decanter for short money at a thrift store.)  If you feel like you have to hide what you use in a brand name container or else you will be ridiculed, there's a problem.  If you feel like you need to sew a designer label on your shirt so people won't know it's not actually designer, you've got issues.  If you feel like you can't let people find out that you bought the inexpensive coffee or cookies or whatever then there's a problem.

There is a word for someone who'd sneer at your choice of wine or food or clothing or anything else, and it's this: jerk.  (There are others, but my mother reads this blog from time to time, so. . .I will be good.)

I am no longer eight, so if I don't like something a friend serves, I'm not going to call it gross.  I'm not a pretentious, snot-nosed teenager so I'm not going to sneer at anyone's choice of beverage or food or clothing or anything else.  This is the blogger with a weakness for the boxed mac 'n cheese, remember? 

There are some things I will not cut corners on, but I'm not going to look down on anyone who does (as long as you're not mooching or being mean about it--look, table poaching is tacky, rude and gross.  Using a coupon or taking advantage of a promotion is just fine.  Common sense, people).  You know why?  Because I do cut corners on other things.  And the things I'm fussy about other people aren't.  Variety is the spice of life.

Just be who you are.  Let your friends be who they are.  Real friends--and people worthy of your respect--will be fine with relatively innocuous but inexpensive things like boxed wine.  And me, I don't need to play gotcha games.  I'd rather just enjoy the company, eat, drink and be merry.


  1. Hehe, love the goat! I've got to admit I only very recently tried boxed wine, but it was no different to the other cheap-ish wine we'd tried.

    I once worked in a Michelin star restaurant, and a table left 2 half-bottles of £100 wine behind when they finished. Now THAT I could tell the difference! :D There is no way ON EARTH I'd spend that much on a bottle though, even if I won the lottery. There are far more deserving causes than some pretentious wine-maker!

  2. I have never tried wine that expensive. I'll bet it was good! The most expensive wine I tried was something like $80 at a tasting. (Where I didn't realize that you could spit the wine out and I got a little tipsy. Not a pretty sight, lemme tell ya.)

  3. Someday, I'll have enough money to try an expensive wine. Really, I'm curious. Could I *actually* tell the difference? It certainly won't be anytime soon, so I will slog through the cheap stuff and relish those decent wines out there (you DO have to *find* them, but they are out there) at an OK price. Variety is the spice of life. Cost does not always equal quality.

  4. Once tried an expensive wine that I'd have spit out if I could've.

  5. Totally agree! I am who I am, and things are what they are. Pouring inexpensive wine into an expensive wine bottle does not upgrade the quality of the wine. It sounds so silly, really. I wouldn't pour my cheapo dollar store laundry detergent into a Tide detergent box. And frankly I have better things to do with my time than sew a designer label onto a non designer shirt. If I can afford the designer shirt, then great, I can afford it. If by afford it, it means I've bought it second hand, or it was a gift, or I bought it on sale, then that's okay, too. I wouldn't pretend that I was suddenly wealthier than I really am. Which is what it seems to me, people who are pouring wine into other bottles, or sewing designer labels onto other clothing, are doing --pretending to be wealthier than they really are, which is a huge waste of human energy, IMO.