You Are a Snob

 

snobNo one likes a snob. He lowers his salmon-colored Financial Times to register disgust with your every-colored USA Today. Picking up his detailed Maserati Quattroporte GTS (with sport package), he sighs as you bounce into the car wash with your 2008 Honda CR-V. He lives in a better neighborhood, his kids go to a better school, and his dog is a pure-bred shipped in from an artisanal kennel in Hungary.

Being called a snob is one of the worst insults you can offer to a class-denying American. That’s why CEOs brag to their employees about flying coach, celebs hang out with sick commoners at the local children’s hospital, and multimillionaire politicians suck down corn dogs like carny folk. (Note: None of these rules apply to The Donald, for he laughs at the iron laws of political physics.)

But the dirty little secret is that everyone is a snob. Hopefully not about many things, but always about something. Wherever you fall on the income scale, there is at least one area in which you will not skimp. The F-150 driver in rural Michigan who scoffs at the fools driving Chevy pickup trucks. A self-described redneck in Kentucky who only drinks Basil Hayden’s bourbon. The stoned surfer who wouldn’t be caught dead in a Quiksilver tee.

As for me, I’m a snob about a couple of things, but especially coffee. I might not live in a mansion or commute to Ricochet HQ on my Gulfstream, but I will delay paying my water bill in order to get beans shipped from Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago. And I wouldn’t think twice.

A book titled Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods — and How Companies Create Them discusses how the vast majority of Americans of all income levels will treat themselves to something special:

America’s middle-market consumers are trading up.

They are willing, even eager, to pay a premium price for remarkable kinds of goods that we call New Luxury — products and services that possess higher levels of quality, taste, and aspiration than other goods in the category but are not so expensive as to be out of reach.

Consider Jake, a 34-year-old construction worker earning about $50,000 a year, whose passion is golf. It took Jake a year to save enough money to buy a complete set of Callaway golf clubs — $3,000 worth of premium titanium-faced drivers, putters, and wedges — although he could have bought a decent set from a conventional producer for under $1,000.

As I said, my snobby vice is coffee. Even if I was living in a box under a freeway bridge, if a businessman walked by with a tankard full of 7-11 Hazelnut Blend, I would shake my head and think, “what a loser.”

How about you: what are the one or two areas in which you’re a complete snob?

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  1. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Whiskey Sam:

    Stad:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: How about you: what are the one or two areas in which you’re a complete snob?

    I wouldn’t call having a few premium product choices being a snob. Even low-priced products are premium to a lot of low income folks, who just want to treat themselves, albeit in a more moderate fashion. My “snobbish” choices are:

    o Favorite beer: Grolsch ($9 for a 16 oz four pack, and worth it!)

    o Bennet’s tartar sauce

    o Prime Choice steak sauce

    o Old Spice cologne, deodorant, after shave

    I can probably think of some more of my “snobbish” simple pleasures, but I have to go to the StadCave and get ready for the football games tonight. Oh! One more:

    HD plasma TV in the basement . . . woohoo!

    I have been to the town where Grolsch is made. Not a bad beer.

    Alex Delaware lives!

    • #31
  2. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    I used to be a distance running snob, but then I got old and fat. Now I can’t stand distance running snobs.

    • #32
  3. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Boots: Lucchese

    Belt buckles and money clip: Matt Hackett

    Power tools: John Deere tractors, Stihl chainsaws

    Hand Tools: Gransfors Bruks and Wetterlings axes

    Asian Hotels: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Island Shangri-La and Peninsula Hong Kong, Dharmawangsa Jakarta

    Beer: Karbach Hopadillo (Houston) and Great Lakes Brewing Commodore Perry (Cleveland)

    That’s more than two isn’t it.

    • #33
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I am discerning.

    You are opinionated.

    That idiot over there is a snob.

    Douglas:

    Misthiocracy:Linux.

    Yeah, but what distro? Are you a Ubuntu hipster? (“It has that cool African name!”). Are you a Slackware purist? (“It’s the only real Unix-like system”). Are you a Gentoo guy? (“No, really, I’m ‘leet because I watch hours of compile scroll during setup”).

    Software is one place where real snobbery does live.

    It’s not always mere snobbery.  Sometimes it’s a holy war.

    • #34
  5. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    The King Prawn:

    Johnny Dubya:Electric guitars. Mine are Fender, except for one Rickenbacker. Gibson is also acceptable. Squier (Fender’s budget brand): blecch!

    (OK, I own a Squier, but it’s okay BECAUSE IT’S A PROJECT GUITAR!!!)

    Thrice have I earnestly sought to buy a Fender and was wooed by an Ibanez. Closest I’ve ever come was one Mexican Tele that sounded exactly as rough and tough as it should have but still played like a dream.

    Fender P-Bass and Michael Kelly Dragonfly Bass for me.  I’m considering a Hofner Beatle Bass.

    • #35
  6. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    Millions of free sites but I pay for Ricochet. I’m a Ricosnob.

    • #36
  7. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Toledo steel. Any other type of blade is for losers who wish to go six feet under.

    • #37
  8. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Rob Long:Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

    Levi’s Jeans above all others.

    The superiority of my (long lost) 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

    Never flying First or Business (unless someone else is paying)

    French food over Italian, always

    French wine over all other, almost always

    really good butter

    The populist sentiment yet again?

    1. Levi’s don’t fit women. 7 For All Mankind do.

    2. BMW 4 series convertible all day long.

    3. Would vote for sashimi over French so I can fit into my Sevens.

    4. Butter? Extra virgin olive oil with a dash of citronello.

    Most importantly, NO donuts unless they’re the ones that you deposit in the bank.

    • #38
  9. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    It all depends on where you live, too. I owned a Chevy Suburban many years ago, because we had five children to tote around, and it was my dream car. No one in the West even blinked at this vehicle. When I moved to the East Coast, near Washington D.C., it was made clear that in the “city” big old gas guzzlers like that wonderful machine were considered profligate, rude, and almost sinful. One was expected to use public transportation. A large personal ride like that was just not okay in the parking lots at groceries. What kind of horrible person even needed something that big?? Yeah…

    • #39
  10. Underwood Inactive
    Underwood
    @Underwood

    Mr. Dart:Millions of free sites but I pay for Ricochet. I’m a Ricosnob.

    Shhh. (We’re not supposed to say that outside the member’s area.)

    • #40
  11. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    It’s harder work being a snob since I joined Ricochet.

    • #41
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Pseudodionysius:Toledo steel. Any other type of blade is for losers who wish to go six feet under.

    Damascus steel, varlet!

    • #42
  13. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    You’re all effete RINO squishes….

    “Honey, did you do something with my Admiral’s Pennant beard oil?”

    • #43
  14. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    I used to be a snob about Danish furniture.

    I am a snob about dry, sunny climes.

    I guess I’m a snob about staying in shape mentally and physically.

    • #44
  15. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    1. Traditional Adams Peanut Butter – the kind you have to stir the oil back into. I can’t even eat other kinds of peanut butter.

    2. Scotty Downriggers. I see those fishermen with their Canon down riggers and I think – they don’t know what they are missing.

    • #45
  16. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Scott Wilmot:Asian Hotels: Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Island Shangri-La and Peninsula Hong Kong …

    Shout-out for three of the best hotels in the world! I would only add the Regent in Kowloon.

    • #46
  17. V.S. Blackford Inactive
    V.S. Blackford
    @VSBlackford

    Amish furniture.  My husband and I discovered the local Amish furniture store shortly after moving to Ohio, and have gradually added pieces to our home these last few years.  It is amazing.

    • #47
  18. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Percival:

    Pseudodionysius:Toledo steel. Any other type of blade is for losers who wish to go six feet under.

    Damascus steel, varlet!

    I’ll take your blades from each of you when you are done with them.

    Eric Hines

    • #48
  19. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Eric Hines:

    Percival:

    Pseudodionysius:Toledo steel. Any other type of blade is for losers who wish to go six feet under.

    Damascus steel, varlet!

    I’ll take your blades from each of you when you are done with them.

    Eric Hines

    I’m just wild about Harry.

    • #49
  20. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    EThompson: Shout out for three of the best hotels in the worlds! I would only add the Regent in Kowloon.

    I spent a lot of time in China and Hong Kong but never stayed at the Regent – I’m sure it is lovely. My family and I spent a New Year’s vacation at the Four Seasons Hong Kong and had a fantastic view of the fireworks over Victoria Harbot from the hotel balcony – a great memory. I’m retired now and will probably never get back there but have lots of great memories of being spoiled in those hotels.

    • #50
  21. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Scott Wilmot:

    EThompson: Shout out for three of the best hotels in the worlds! I would only add the Regent in Kowloon.

    I spent a lot of time in China and Hong Kong but never stayed at the Regent – I’m sure it is lovely. My family and I spent a New Year’s vacation at the Four Seasons Hong Kong and had a fantastic view of the fireworks over Victoria Harbot from the hotel balcony – a great memory. I’m retired now and will probably never get back there but have lots of great memories of being spoiled in those hotels.

    The Regent bar has the best view and the most interesting clientele plus their main restaurant served a beggar’s chicken to die for. :)

    The Peninsula was lovely and elegant as it was a bit less ostentatious.

    • #51
  22. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I am a snob about water. I will only drink tap water.

    • #52
  23. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Fly rods. Weapons.

    • #53
  24. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Without a doubt I am a cookware and dinnerware snob. I won’t buy anything made in China.

    • #54
  25. Goddess of Discord Member
    Goddess of Discord
    @GoddessofDiscord

    Olive & Sinclair’s Mexican Style bean-to-bar chocolate. Hand made in small batches in Nashville. Tennessee I feel snobby just saying it! So good.

    • #55
  26. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Misthiocracy:

    TinyCore for the old Pentium III I use as my home server.

    Ahh, I see you’re a “Throw nothing out until it dies” guy too. In my little lab at work, I have a couple of Pentium II’s running. No kiddin’.

    • #56
  27. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    JustmeinAZ:Without a doubt I am a cookware and dinnerware snob. I won’t buy anything made in China.

    Health concerns? Quality? Or just a general sense of “Efff China”?

    For the record, I’ve tried to avoid PRC products increasingly as well.

    • #57
  28. Yeah...ok. Inactive
    Yeah...ok.
    @Yeahok

    American (U.S.A.) Football
    Indiana High School Basketball
    Catholic Primary Schools

    • #58
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Goose Island Bourbon County Brand stout.

    • #59
  30. Ulysses768 Inactive
    Ulysses768
    @Ulysses768

    Linux. Microservices architecture. Docker.

    I look down at those who program in java and work under the waterfall methodology, even though most of them are probably smarter and more experienced than I am.

    • #60
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