Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You're such a snob!

I am probably giving away too much, but here goes:

I readily confess to being a snob. An arbitrary, opinionated, sometimes contrary snob, but a snob nonetheless.

I read the dictionary and love the origins of words and their more obscure or obsolete uses. My goal in life is to get the complete, unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. I would build a special bookshelf to house said dictionary.

I think people who don’t read books have something fundamentally wrong with them and I don’t trust them and don’t think they have much going on in their heads.

I categorize people based on their taste in books, too. Nora Robers & John Grisham = Fox News/People Magazine type. Current best sellers = Mostly ok, bordering on trend-chaser. Classics and only classics = the worst kind of ivory-towered academic.

If you have a liking for a style of music I find awful, it colours my opinion of you and I immediately plug you into a category. C&W = hick. Current pop = ditz. Celine Dion = all your taste is in your mouth and even that’s probably debatable. However, if you like the music I like, you must be someone worth knowing.

If you like the following:
Bruce Springsteen
Jimmy Buffett
Dave Matthews Band
Jack Johnson
Excellent – we can talk about decent music.

If you like any of these:
Great Big Sea
The Pogues
The Beautiful South/Crowded House
Lyle Lovett
Manhattan Transfer
Then you have wonderful taste and we can probably talk about lots of things in addition to music.

People who don’t follow the news, at least a bit, are also foreign to me. People who listen to NPR immediately go up in my estimation. If you read The New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly, you get bonus points.

Ultra-conservatives make my skin crawl.

I don’t give a shit about clothing, but I can’t stand it when people look sloppy. Comfortable is fine, but attempt to match your shirt and trousers and don’t wear white socks with dress shoes.

Poor table manners make me nauseous. I stopped dating a guy once because he talked with his mouth full and waved around his fork while he was eating. Great guy, very intelligent, funny, taller than me (hard for me to find), but his eating habits were one step up from a toddler’s.

Also, please put your napkin in your lap. Please put the glasses above the knife. Please put the fork on the left-hand side of the plate and the knife (blade towards the plate) and spoon on the right. Don’t saw at your meat. Eating in the European fashion will win you points with me. When you are done, put your knife and fork at 4:20 on your plate and don’t, for the love of god, place your napkin on top of your dirty plate.

I love good (read: expensive/wanky) food, especially if it’s prepared by someone else – more so because I don’t then have to do dishes than any lack of ability in my cooking skills – but I’ll also readily enjoy hot dogs at Fenway Park or Kraft dinner out of the pretty blue box.

I also like Miracle Whip.

Cheese. Cheese is good. If you don’t like cheese, you are internally flawed and I will glance askance at you. Frequently.

Don't get me started on crappy beers. Bud Light is not beer, it's beer-flavoured water. Same holds true for Michelob Light, Miller light and anything with the word Ultra in the name. NB - if you have to put a piece of fruit in your beer, it's a shitty beer.

Chocolate. If you don’t like chocolate, I just can’t trust you. How can you not like chocolate? It’s ok (sort of) if you like Dove or some other mass-produced thing, but if you get into wanky chocolates, even better. And if you love dark chocolate with a passion bordering on obsession, well, come sit by me. White chocolate? Get out. Just leave. It’s not chocolate. It’s fat and flavouring and complete and utter crap. Worse than a Hershey bar.

Women who can only discuss their children, homes, hair styles and nothing else leave me baffled and feeling like the gawky wall-flower at the junior high school dance. I have a plethora of things to discuss. Once those have been covered, then and only then, I might be able to have a 3-minute conversation on those topics.

Poor grammar skills make my blood boil and will turn the inside of my skull a flaming orangey-red. I have to keep away from red pens for fear I’ll go around marking up signs and menus and flyers. (Note that there’s no apostrophe on any of those. That’s because they’re PLURAL, not posessive. Thank you.)

God. Re-reading this, it’s kind of amazing I have any friends at all. I call myself, only half-jokingly, a curmudgeonly misanthrope, but going by this, that doesn’t seem far from the truth.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... quite a few nods in agreement here.

Words, yes, I like words. I used to read the dictionary and I've always got a book on the go.

Music: I think we see eye to eye on a number here.

Table manners: absolutely agree. I guess I eat the European way. I hate it when people cut up spaghetti, or linguine, or tagliatelle with a knife and fork. It doesn't taste right that way!

Chocolate: Life without chocolate is surely just the stuff of nightmares, and as for beer, I grew up with hops practically in my back yard. If it isn't decent you may as well save on the calories and alcohol - drink lemonade!

Pet hates of mine: people who don't know the difference between there, their and they're; your and you're; its and it's; specific and pacific (hello??); bought and brought; you get my drift.

The only problem is cheese. I only eat my cheese cooked. Cheese fondue is one of my absolute faves, is that good enough?

Can I be your friend?!

Seriously, great post, really brought a smile to my face!

Major Bedhead said...

Oh, fondue is like heaven in a little enamel pot. That's fine. You're in. :D

Jamie said...

I think we're all snobs about something. I'm not so snobbish about grammar (as you already know lol), but I am a snob about manners at the table, people who let their kids run around with snotty noses (don't ask me why), people who smell bad, country music (I hate it), bad drivers (because I know "all" on the roads - heh) and people who are too competitive (people who have to be THE best at everything - and so do their children).

Sounds more like a list of pet peeves, but I really can't handle any of those categories.

Oh, and I am the same way as you about chocolate. I am a self declared chocoholic - can't live without it!

Jamie said...

Oh, and white chocolate??? What the HELL? It has no business being called chocolate!

Shannon said...

I pretty much agree with everything your wrote, except for one thing:

I love John Grisham and I happen to love reading People magazine. I hope those two "flaws" don't rule me out, LOL.

Jess said...

J - I love the way you write, you curmudgeonly old thing!

Shannon said...

I meant "you", not "your". Whoops.

Major Bedhead said...

Shannon - I read Maeve Binchy and Rosemund Pilcher, so I'm kind of glass houses/stone throwing over here.

Shannon said...

Oh sure and you make fun of us Grisham fans. Nice, real nice.

Just so you know, my 85 year old grandmother reads Pilcher and Binchy. They're not bad really.

Angewl said...

Oh God! You must secretly hate me!!

I listen to country, read gossip magazines and Nora Roberts. My grammer? UGH!

Does it help at all that I hate white chocolate and that I like Dave Matthews and cheese?

Washington Crunchy Mama said...

Julia, I love your writing! I must confess that most times, I feel like a complete retard (yes I know that word is politicaly incorrect) after reading your posts.

But I have to wonder where do I fall?

Although I don't read the dictionary, I love Scrabble and will memorize words with high point value, that must have some redemtive qualities, right?

I read books when I can, but can't seem to get it at the top of my priority list.
My taste in books is as eclectic as my taste in music, so I don't think I can fit into a catagory other than misc.

As for music I think I am a hickditz with a bad taste in my mouth, however I'm able to take a breathmint and happily discuss Manhattan Transfer with you!

I don't follow the news except for what I hear on WPR (Wisconsin Pulic Radio), so does that count for anything?

I always chew with my mouth closed and put my napkin on my lap, but you lost me with the glass above the something or other and the order of my silverware. I'm a complete hick when it comes to that. Just roll up my siverware in a napkin and we'll call it good.

Cheese! Ah, well I'm from Wisconsin, 'nough said!

You know how I feel about chocolate. Dark choclate IS my happy place.

I can't even pronounce curmudgeonly misanthrope, and I'm guessing I have enough grammatical and spelling errors to send you to the moon in this post!

Ha ~ So tell me, where do I fit in on the snob-o-meter? LOL This is like one of those quizzes we took in teen magazine as kids!

Allison said...

Sniff. But I like white chocolate...

The latter half of your music list I'm unfamiliar with, unfortunately, but I love DMB and Jack Johnson.

My homepage is, so I get the news as much as I can.

I am probably the most progressive Christian you will ever meet. I'm also a walking contradiction. Because I like chocolate and white chocolate. Not necessarily because I think it's chocolate, I just happen like it. If it was called just "white," I would still like it.

Allison said...

Sniff. But I like white chocolate...

The latter half of your music list I'm unfamiliar with, unfortunately, but I love DMB and Jack Johnson.

My homepage is, so I get the news as much as I can.

I am probably the most progressive Christian you will ever meet. I'm also a walking contradiction. Because I like chocolate and white chocolate. Not necessarily because I think it's chocolate, I just happen like it. If it was called just "white," I would still like it.

Major Bedhead said...

Look, I read all of your blogs and enjoy them thoroughly. I think I can forgive you your reading/white chocolate/odd musical tastes. I mean, really, you can't ALL be like me. There's not room on the planet for more than one of me. Besides, if everyone were like me, we'd have all killed each other in a fit of pique a long, long time ago. So, really, the world's doing us a favour to make us all different.

WCM - dood. You sent me chocolate with espresso beans in it. After that little gift, you can do no wrong. :D

Anonymous said...


I read literary, mainstream, sci fi, poetry, news, non-fiction (physics, biology, environmental, cultural studies, feminism, politics, biography), and several magazines. Not a lot of women's magazines, though--one or two Elles a year will do quite nicely. Bitch, on the other hand, always makes me happy. I'll go on about the books, authors and magazines I love ad nauseum because to me they don't have anything like hte recognition they should. Brain, Child--do you read Brain, Child? It's amazing. I don't read romance, western, horror, suspense/thrillers, mysteries or most bestsellers (nothing against bestsellers per se, but formula fiction and I do not get along--Margaret Atwood, on the other hand, I adore whether her books are bestsellers or not). When I go to a bookstore, I try to find one thing by someone new that I've never read before and give it a try. And if you scroll back through my archives a bit on my "me" blog you'll see the pile of books I regularly keep beside the bed. It's a hazard for midnight bathroom trips but I can't seem to make it any smaller for more than a day or two. (I've signed this comment with the "me" blog--the "mommy" blog is Beanie Baby.)

Some of the bands on your second list I like (TMBG, Crowded House); but my favourites are Sarah Slean (cabaret pop--strange and wonderful) and Sleater Kinney (indie rock) and a few others. Enon (more experimental, I think). Ani DiFranco (cliche but true). Dar Williams, Paula Cole, Pulp, U2--I'd have to look at my iPod to remember most of them. I try to try new things. Celine Dion is a constant source of shame to me as a Canadian.

I do talk a lot about Frances. But I can talk about a lot of other things, too. I love chocolate. Especially truffles. I make truffles.

Cheese--the stronger the better. Extra-old cheddar aged for seven years is worth $10, in my book.

There's no NPR here, but I'll admit I'm not a TV or radio person. I'd rather choose my own music and I hate ads. And I get my news from other sources, mostly online.

I will get an allergic reaction to an improperly used semi-colon and the failure to distinguish between "your" and "you're," "they're" and "their" and "there," "its" and "it's" is painful.

I try to wear clean clothes that match--that's the extent of my fashion acumen--but I don't care what other people wear unless it makes their underwear plainly visible.

By god, there are two of us!

Joke said...

I agree with everything! Except that I would have voted for Goldwater (but I was only 7 months old at the time, and they check for ID).


Sandra Miller said...


We could be friends.

Best friends.

Nicole P said...

We're at least somewhere near the same page, Julia.

I'm a fan of words and proper grammar; I do the NY Times crossword every Sunday and the Providence Journal crossword on weekdays, we have two Scrabble games in our house, and a dictionary about the size of a sloop. I also carry a dictionary with me - in case I'm in need of a definition on the go.

In terms of music, I'm certain we'd be able to spend a fair amount of time together with only shared CDs and a CD player and get along just fine. That's something, for sure.

As for chocolate, I couldn't disagree with you more. Although I enjoy chocolate, I contend that white chocolate is heavenly if it's not drugstore or grocery store-counter bought. I think it's OK that we disagree on this point, given that you like Miracle Whip -- the very existence of which is a crime against mayonaise and other dressings.

And cheese -- oh yummy, yummy cheese. As the fire behind bi-monthly cheese parties in three offices I've worked in, I assure you that I am down with the cheese.

Books... I gather that you like a reader who pursues a good mix of reading materials... My last five selections: In Cold Blood, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Cell (Stephen King's newest. King books are my very-guilty pleasure), The Pit and the Pendulum, The Last Sideshow (mostly photographs), and Haunted from Chuck Palahniuk (ala Fight Club). I've been in a dark reading mood of late.

Oh, and I have decent -- though not perfect -- table manners. I don't talk with my mouth full and my napkin always goes in my lap.

I do hope, in spite of our differences, we can still be friend.

Your little one likes me... That's got to count for something... Right?

art-sweet said...


I knew I liked you.

But now I really, really like you.

The misplaced apostrophe is the true weapon of mass distruction.

The Beautiful South... mmmm. Almost as good as chocolate.

And Budlight = Filtered Frat Boy Pee.

I'm participating in an online book discussion at It's lots of fun and I'd love to see some of you there.