Once, when I was little, my father was going grocery shopping and asked my brother Y. and me what kind of peanut butter we wanted. My brother said he liked Jif best but also enjoyed Peter Pan. I hated Jif and loved Peter Pan, so I said as much and asked him to get Peter Pan.
Upon his return from the grocery store, my father said, “Faustus, since Y. was willing to be flexible and compromise and you weren’t, I got Jif.”
When I protested that this wasn’t fair, he said what he always said whenever either one of us thought something wasn’t fair:
“Well, it’s like Jimmy Carter always used to say. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.”
Life has grown much fairer to Jimmy Carter than it was–what with the Nobel Peace Prize and all–and my father, perhaps in subconscious sympathy, has grown much fairer to me. But there’s a small part of me that has never been able to let this go.
Now I eat Skippy.