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. Adriana Harris Inactive
    Adriana Harris
    @AdrianaHarris

    I’m also a coffee snob and peanut butter. The only ingredients that should be in peanut butter are peanuts and salt, that’s it. You can keep your sugar and hydroginated oil. Choosy moms choose Jif? No they don’t! Jif is junk. Don’t even look at it….just back away.

    • #181
  2. St. Salieri Member
    St. Salieri
    @

    Misthiocracy:

    J.C.B.:

    Whiskey Sam:New model Jeeps. I refuse to wave at those people in Fiatmobiles and 4-door Hummer wannabes posing as Jeeps.

    No doubt. The new Jeep designs must be the worst interpretation of a classic design in the history of mass production. Those grills look like nothing Jeep ever has been or should be. But how about Kia and Hyundai? There current styling is impressive – fully expect to see a luxury hood ornament on those cars.

    If you want a real Jeep you can try importing one from India:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahindra_Thar

    I forgive you…

    • #182
  3. St. Salieri Member
    St. Salieri
    @

    Randy Webster:Heinz is out because of John Kerry. Buy it if you must, commie traitor.

    Heinz is no longer owned by the Heinz family.

    [added this a few moments later via edit]

    It is still the only edible ketchup on the market and with the exception of Theresa, I’ve nothing but good things to say about the family and their good works in western PA.

    • #183
  4. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    Matt Balzer: Spaten Oktoberfest

    Putting it on my list.

    • #184
  5. livingthehighlife Inactive
    livingthehighlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Whiskey Sam:New model Jeeps. I refuse to wave at those people in Fiatmobiles and 4-door Hummer wannabes posing as Jeeps.

    I’ll take my 2009 “4-door Hummer wannabe” and challenge you on any trail, any day.  I’ve gone places that make a Hummer quiver and shake, and have the scars to prove it.

    But, I don’t wave at any Jeep with chrome, or the very silly Starwood Motors poseur rigs that never see anything more than potholes in the mall parking lot.  (see here for example)

    • #185
  6. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    Misthiocracy: Isn’t Black Label a Canuckistani brand? Carling’s a Montreal brewery (or was), no?

    <sigh> The ignorance that goes hand in hand with snobbery.  You’re probably right.

    When I tried them years ago I wasn’t even paying attention to their origins.

    • #186
  7. The Lopez Inactive
    The Lopez
    @TheLopez

    Basil Fawlty:

    SParker:

    Randy Weivoda:Manual transmissions. When I see a fast, sporty car like a Corvette, 911, or Mustang GT with an automatic transmission, I sigh and feel sorry for the poor sap that drives it and doesn’t know what he’s missing.

    Like the enhanced joy of sitting in stop-and-go traffic for a couple of hours.

    CA v. MN.

    It must and forever be, a manual transmission. I drive a little turbocharged 6 Speed Volvo. I have no idea how fast it goes… the pin stops at 160 mph.

    Owen, I’ve consumed all of your beer sophistry and, while I don’t drink, the girlfriend does. When she drinks, she drinks Talisker with one ice cube.

    Contessa, on the other hand, is absolutely correct. Coffee must be black, rich, and bold. More than once in my house, a full pot has been flung into the sink because of it’s inherent pusillanimity of flavor.

    And just to keep the arguments going, it’s the Oxford Comma, or death.

    • #187
  8. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    The Lopez:

    It must and forever be, a manual transmission. I drive a little turbocharged 6 Speed Volvo. I have no idea how fast it goes… the pin stops at 160 mph.

    And just to keep the arguments going, it’s the Oxford Comma, or death.

    I learned on a manual transmission, and to this day I don’t think a person can actually say they know how to drive unless they know how to drive manual. Even though my right leg has fallen asleep in rush hour traffic.

    Agree: Oxford comma forever.

    • #188
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Randy Weivoda:Manual transmissions. When I see a fast, sporty car like a Corvette, 911, or Mustang GT with an automatic transmission, I sigh and feel sorry for the poor sap that drives it and doesn’t know what he’s missing.

    My snobbiness has more to  do with operator skill than the car itself. If you don’t know how to drive a car with three pedals, you are a lesser being, and probably should not call yourself a “driver.”

    • #189
  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Full Size Tabby:

    Randy Weivoda:Manual transmissions. When I see a fast, sporty car like a Corvette, 911, or Mustang GT with an automatic transmission, I sigh and feel sorry for the poor sap that drives it and doesn’t know what he’s missing.

    My snobbiness has more to do with operator skill than the car itself. If you don’t know how to drive a car with three pedals, you are a lesser being, and probably should not call yourself a “driver.”

    It is a useful skill, just in case you find yourself stuck in a situation where the only available vehicle has a stick shift and you are the only person capable of driving.  But my main thing is that a sports car is just not fully enjoyed if someone else is doing the shifting for you.  It’s a crying shame that so many high-dollar sports cars like Ferarri’s and such are no longer even available with a stick shift.  I understand that the dual-clutch automatics can shift faster, and therefore save time in a race when every second counts.  But I never read a review where the author says it’s more fun than a manual.  And most people buy sports cars because they are fun to drive, not because they are trying to set a new record for lap time at a race track.

    • #190
  11. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Randy Weivoda:

    It is a useful skill, just in case you find yourself stuck in a situation where the only available vehicle has a stick shift and you are the only person capable of driving.

    This is why my father taught me himself. He wanted me to be able to drive any car in case I was ever out on a date and anything went wrong. The man was a saint, putting up with my 15-year-old driving skills as I lurched around that grocery store parking lot.

    • #191
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    My daughter learned to drive on a straight shift Dakota.  My son was too young, and paid the price later.  I was teaching him to ride a motorcycle, and he’d never driven anything with a clutch.  It was hard on both him and the bike.

    • #192
  13. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    The Lopez: 1. If you have to put anything on your steak, the cook has done something terribly wrong. 2. When I cut it, the blood comes out of the steak or it comes out of the chef.

    The Lopez, we are in the same universe.

    If I serve you a sizzling steak of grass-fed Hereford and you try to put anything on it, or object to tissue fluids therefrom, or behave ill in any other way, well, you are doomed.

    • #193
  14. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    The Lopez: And just to keep the arguments going, it’s the Oxford Comma, or death.

    Hear, hear.

    • #194
  15. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    Owen Findy: Oh.  I just realized I’m also a wings snob. No.  Not the band. Skin, bone and rubbery-blubbery (H/T Shel Silverstein) connective tissue.  That’s it. What the heck is that about?

    It’s collagen and it’s yummy, especially with salt and a bit of vinegar.  Your instincts are excellent, I’d say.

    • #195
  16. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    jzdro:

    Owen Findy: Oh. I just realized I’m also a wings snob. No. Not the band. Skin, bone and rubbery-blubbery (H/T Shel Silverstein) connective tissue. That’s it. What the heck is that about?

    It’s collagen and it’s yummy, especially with salt and a bit of vinegar. Your instincts are excellent, I’d say.

    Hmm.  I guess the phrase, “X snob” is ambiguous.  Does it mean I look down my nose on people who dislike X, or on people who favor X?  On people who favor X, in this case.

    • #196
  17. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    livingthehighlife:

    Whiskey Sam:New model Jeeps. I refuse to wave at those people in Fiatmobiles and 4-door Hummer wannabes posing as Jeeps.

    I’ll take my 2009 “4-door Hummer wannabe” and challenge you on any trail, any day. I’ve gone places that make a Hummer quiver and shake, and have the scars to prove it.

    But, I don’t wave at any Jeep with chrome, or the very silly Starwood Motors poseur rigs that never see anything more than potholes in the mall parking lot. (see here for example)

    Still not waving at you.

    • #197
  18. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    I did not read through the comments like I normally do. However I am in this Category in two areas, one I almost never eat at home and am a bit of a foodie. I literally could pay for my Mortgage, and property taxes, with the extra money I spend eating out which is 95%+ of my meals. I am eating out a decent places most of the time.

    The second is I am a audiofile.  I will not spend this every year but last year I spent about the same amount on a great car system and home office system (this is my entertainment room also).  You pretty much get what you pay for in this area.

    Then again I am a bachelor with a decent salary living below my means, so I will make large purchases everyone once in a while on entertainments goods, which bring me up to almost my means. Yes I should be paying off my car debt or investing more of it but when I have such a low interest rate, what is the hurry.

    • #198
  19. Jan Inactive
    Jan
    @Jan

    Randy Webster:By the way, welcome, Jan.

    Thank you, Randy!  :-)

    • #199
  20. jzdro Member
    jzdro
    @jzdro

    Owen Findy: On people who favor X, in this case.

    Hmmm . . . LOL!  How about when the platters of wings come around you take your share anyway and we work a trade.  How about these here oil-cured olives or sweet potatoes?

    • #200
  21. Owen Findy Member
    Owen Findy
    @OwenFindy

    jzdro: How about when the platters of wings come around you take your share anyway and we work a trade.  How about these here oil-cured olives or sweet potatoes?

    :D  I guess I’d probably not mind licking the sauce off the wings, even.

    • #201
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