In the junk food aisle of our little rural supermarket, somewhere between the Buffalo Ranch Doritos and the Chili Cheese Fritos, I won the longest running squabble in the history of marriage: The Blue Corn Snob Chips War.
It began like this.
My big city sister asked that we pick up chips for a family gathering and my wife unwittingly tossed an ordinary bag of tortilla chips into the grocery cart.
I informed her that ordinary was not worthy of my big city sister’s legendary guacamole dip, only Blue Corn Tortilla Chips would do.
She did not take it well.
“I’m just a country girl…” she began, “and where I come from people don’t eat snob chips.”
Forgive me for stating the obvious here but when my wife begins a sentence with “I’m just a country girl,” what follows is not an expression of humility. For her, being “country” is the most virtuous of all virtues while being “city” is the viciest of all vices.
You would think our years together would have narrowed that cultural chasm, especially after moving to her little Minnesota town – but it only made matters worse.
She continues to insist on plain old while I continue to tilt toward snobby – which makes for some awkward situations.
For example, I enjoy craft beer and once made the mistake of serving a Guinness Stout to a rural neighbor. He spit it out, saying “It taste like the stuff I use to seal-coat my driveway.” The next time he came over I served his favorite beer, one that comes in a 24 pack and has less kick than tap water.
The same happens with coffee.
My rural guests complain that they can taste my coffee all the way until tomorrow. They prefer it weak, preferably with less caffeine than the FDA allows in baby formula.
So does that make me a snob?
My wife thinks so.
But who’s the snob here?
If someone likes blue corn chips, craft beer or strong coffee, who’s to say it’s wrong?
The world needs change – but yeah, some people take it too far. They change their morals and politics at the speed of Twitter.
The world sorely needs stability too. Someone has to anchor the culture, least we all drift away – but again some people take it too far and haven’t changed their views since cars had fins.
There is enough vice and virtue to go all the way around and being the last to adopt a fad is just as virtuous as being the first.
It’s why I like being a Midwesterner. Ideas come to us from the coasts and by the time they get here, they are threadbare so we can see right through the worst of them.
But things do get here eventually. Even things like Blue Corn Snob Chips which recently made it all the way to Almost Iowa and are now readily available on the shelf of our little rural supermarket – right between the Buffalo Ranch Doritos and the Chili Cheese Fritos.