17 December, 2017

Spread Wars II: This Time It's Personal

Five-odd years ago, a couple of Aussie bloggers I followed at the time started an online debate about which spread was better: peanut butter or Nutella. I joined in the fray (and links to both of the original blogs are in that post, although both are inactive now).

You do not need to read that post to understand this post.

We now live in China, and when we first found peanut butter, I noticed they only offer small jars. Small, and tiny. I have since found creamy in larger jars, but I now realize that the big jars of chunky that I used to purchase in the States are simply an element of The American Dream.

Peanut butter is not cheap here. When we first moved here, we had nothing, so we certainly didn't spend on peanut butter. When we decided to splurge - mostly because of my peanut-buttered apple addiction, I spread the peanut butter very thinly. I was the primary user of the peanut butter, and I was frugal with my expensive decadence. 

Now that we are more settled and have reliable income, there is always peanut butter in the house. (It's not cheap, but it's not *that* expensive.) 

However, we are at an impasse. Brett has this habit of dipping a licked utensil into the jar of peanut butter. And he ALWAYS wipes down the insides of the jar with his finger. His logic, "You let me put my tongue in your mouth..." like that makes any kind of sense. So when we had a backup jar - because we must never run completely out - I claimed it as mine, hid it, and told him the current jar was his to ruin.

Now, I considered hiding the peanut butter in my underwear drawer, or among feminine products, or other places he NEVER would consider. I am good at hiding! But Brett is a typical man: unobservant. He is always asking where something is which I quickly find by moving one thing. So I didn't put a lot of effort into hiding it: 
He never opens the cabinet under the cook-top.
I didn't dream he'd actually move the saucepans like this!

Brett: Well, I'll buy more peanut butter today. You can get yours out from under the stove.
Me: What? You found it?
Brett: I've been without peanut butter for two days!
Me: I thought I was safe, because you never open that cabinet.
Brett: I didn't find it by accident. I knew you hid it somewhere. I was making a big show of bringing in my chocolate bars smeared with peanut butter - I thought surely you'd ask!
Me: I saw your almost empty jar on the counter, and almost threw it out, but there was enough for at least one more of your chocolate bars, so I decided to leave it there so you wouldn't search for mine.
Brett: I kept waiting for you to notice yours was going down.
Me: I wasn't using it, because I didn't want you to see me eating peanut butter and remember we had another jar in the apartment!

Today he is buying his own peanut butter. He'd been digging into mine secretly - allegedly not using his fingers - for the last 2 days. He kept expecting me to notice, but I didn't because I was intentionally avoiding using peanut butter, thinking he forgot we had another jar, and would try to take it from me!

So we were both deceiving each other over the same thing. Except apparently he was trying to get caught, while I just assumed his small jar was lasting and lasting, like a Hannukah miracle.

This is the real Spread Wars, people: keeping your spouse out of your spread!

UPDATE: He still hasn't bought more peanut butter, 2 days later.

14 December, 2017

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Facebook keeps reminding of what I was doing this time in past years - prepping and baking fruitcakes, shoveling out my car, gift-wrapping, setting up nativities, writing letters - these are my ghosts of Christmas Past, but also, of Christmas Future.

We haven't had an oven since moving here, which means no baking for last Christmas or this Christmas, but if we're still here next year, we will be in a better apartment, and I *will* have an oven! And maybe some surface space that isn't in active use, where I can place my one nativity that I brought back from storage in August. And maybe I'll find actual Christmas cards, now that we've figured out the postal system. Here's to Christmas Future!

Last year I saw Christmas decorations for sale in a couple places, so I thought I'd put a string of lights in our enclosed balcony, but when I shopped for them, they weren't around yet, and I haven't been back, so it's a no go. Just as well, because we have a lead on a good apartment that we might be moving into early in the new year - who wants to take down decorations in addition to a move?! But next year I'll do some lights.

Today I am home with a fever. I don't know why. I got excessively cold two days ago, and my body hasn't figured out how to regulate my temperature since then. Whatever. It'll sort itself out.

Before I opened my computer to start work this morning, I reached out to my sister with a message, and to my best friend back home, just saying hi and wishing well. I guess it's a kind of Christmas spirit homesickness. I'm not sad, but just needed the contact. Weird, huh.

My ghosts are messing with me. 

{I wanted to drop some pictures in here, but trying to find the right past Christmas pics is tiring. I need a rest!}