Is this a guy thing? | Column
by The Press and Standard | February 2, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: January 29, 2019 at 4:32 pm
Do you use the same knife twice?
Last Saturday, I was conducting important research online—how many calories are in a cucumber?–when my husband, Widdle Baby, let out a bellow in the kitchen. Now, Widdle bellows when he’s happy, sad, confused, skeptical, hungry or watching football.
There’s no TV in the kitchen, so strike football. It was too early for him to be sad, confused or skeptical. That left happy or hungry, but this particular bellow didn’t sound familiar.
I figured I’d find out soon, and I did.
Widdle marched through the kitchen, across the dining room and into the spare bedroom, where I hunched over the desktop Dell.
“What’s in the honey jar?” he demanded. People. Could you resist?
“I’m going with honey,” I said.
“No! There are flakes—bits—something else is in the honey!” he said.
If you ask me the sum of two plus two, I have to ponder for a moment, but I knew immediately what this was.
“Oh, it’s just peanut butter crumbs,” I said, waving my hand. “After I use the knife for peanut butter, I dip it in the honey.”
Widdle’s eyes almost shot out on stalks.
(Let’s stop here to recap the incredibly delicious “recipe” I shared a few weeks ago: Plop a little coconut oil, some peanut butter and a dollop of honey in a coffee mug, nuke for 30 seconds, stir and pour over ice cream, or add almonds or blueberries and eat as is. I make this almost daily, which my snug jeans tell me is way too often.)
Back to Widdle, who was practically pawing the ground at this point. When he did speak, it was in the stunned tone of a man who just realized his wife was feeding him antifreeze.
“Are you…. telling me… YOU USE THE SAME KNIFE FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER AND HONEY????”
It was my turn to be shocked: “Are you telling ME after 13 years you never noticed?”
His horror took me back to the day my best friend’s Anne’s father, Tanky, wandered into the kitchen after I’d spent the night. They lived in rambling old beach house where the windows stayed open and the porch hammock was open to any and all nappers.
That morning, I was making a peanut butter-and-strawberry jam sandwich. As we talked, I slapped PB on the bread and then went to dip the knife in the jam. Tanky—a laid-back guy who taught shag lessons for 50 years–literally shrieked, “Oh, my God, Julia! No!” (He never got my name right.)
His scream was loud enough to wake whoever was in the hammock, loud enough to make the next-door neighbor stop washing his car, loud enough to freeze me in my tracks.
Tanky gently but firmly took the knife from my hand, placed it in the sink and handed me another.
“Always use separate knives,” he said.
“Yes, sir,” I said, because my parents raised me right. “But… why dirty two of them?”
He sighed. “It’s unsanitary to use one,” he said.
It’s not like I licked the length of the knife, then tried to dip all my germs back in the jam. No, all the knife had on it was peanut butter and a whiff of salt air.
Now here was Widdle saying the same thing. “You NEVER use the same knife in different jars!” he said. “It’s not clean!”
So my question is, is this a guy thing? Why is it so horrible?
Asking for a friend.
Julie R. Smith, who’ll never tell what she does with chocolate and peanut butter, can be reached at email@example.com.