I was in a job interview once for a big cooking website. I was perfect for the job and I was getting along with the interviewers and it was looking like the job was in the bag. Then the interviewers started mocking Nilla Wafers. I’ve probably bought two boxes of Nilla Wafers my entire life but it really bothered me that they were making fun of them just because they are not fancy. I couldn’t let it go for some reason so I defended the Nilla Wafer. Just because something isn’t fancy, doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. I did not get the job and I knew that’s what would happen when I defended the Nilla Wafer but for some reason, this was my Norma Rae moment.
Years ago, I created an anti-Bond character named Kevin. Kevin lived in his parents’ basement and drove a Pinto. I love James Bond and have watched all the movies multiple times but I also love Kevin. I love the little guy who is awkward, not talented, but still somehow succeeds once in a while because he just keeps trying. Kevin is basically the Nilla Wafer of spies. He’s not fancy, but he gets the job done.
I’d like to say I’m fighting for the little guy but the truth is, I just like to be contrary. Especially if someone is trying to set something up as a new standard. We have such short memories. Today, Nilla Wafers are “common” but they used to be a southern delicacy until Nabisco figured out how to preserve them and mass produced them. We normalize things until we decide they aren’t exclusive enough. That just chaps my hide for some reason.
OK, this is not a rant against fancy. I can actually whip up a mean spicy peanut sauce and I have garlic aoili and Sriracha in my fridge. I like me some fancy.
I just believe we should appreciate our Nilla Wafers too.