Last week, we were in the unfortunate position of being in a Target, which I try to avoid, as they discontinued playing music and always only have one checker, despite there being 1200 patrons in the store and 15 lanes. In a stroke of luck, we found some Planters cashews on sale, and curiously, the wholes were the same price as the halves and pieces. Now, listen, I’m not royalty. I don’t toss my bills into the air all devil may care. I’ve spent my life eating halves and pieces like the lower to middle income person I am.
But here was an opportunity–finally–for me to feel superior to everyone, to put a nut in my mouth the way that God intended, whole, not broken, like most of this country. And in a time of unrest and people unemployed and so bored that they look for every opportunity to be offended where no offense was intended, I decided YES this is my moment. My moment to step up that ladder one caste level and taste what I’ve been missing.
To be clear, this was not a short fat can, like short fat poor people. This was a long and lean tin like greyhounds and Windsors and ladies who lunch, despite eating disorders. This was a can of abundance and hope and opportunity. This can was my people, where I truly belonged. No longer was I tossed out “pieces” like a commoner, a prole, a dog begging his master for scraps. Nay! This was the entire brown crescent! Not crushed by the foot of the man, here to oppress me. But untainted, unbroken, uncompromised. And while the image says “lightly salted,” ye who know me know I am nothing if not salty.
I poured out a handful of the beautiful cashews. Now I am important! This is my mink coat! This is my rapper grill, demanding that others affirm my value! Look at me, I have gold chains! My messy past is erased, and now I matter! But guess what? They taste the same. They simply require more labor from you, as they need to be chewed more. And what is the lower class but not the laboring class? Chew, prole, chew. Fatten up, for there is much labor to be done! So many dichotomies. And it occurred to me that I didn’t need whole nuts to feed my self-esteem. The fact was I was eating cashews, and that still made me better than any peon eating peanuts, no? And “peon” literally means Spanish-American day laborer. So there you go. Can we choose to be offended by that? Now, I’ll go one you one better!
Uh-oh! Don’t say that one out loud.