JOANNA: Life is hard. Sometimes the only way you can get through the day is knowing that you hate a certain kind of cookie. For me, that cookie is oatmeal raisin. I hate it. I think it’s a bad cookie. And it makes me feel good to know that other people hate that cookie too.
But when I learned some people, like you, actually like oatmeal raisin cookies, it made me pretty upset. Raisin cookies taste healthy but they’re not healthy. That’s a lie in your mouth.
ANDREA: How did we meet? I don’t know when, exactly. I had already been working at BuzzFeed for two years. We were in different departments, of course, but I started seeing you around. She seems cool, I thought.
Fast forward to five years later, and I was sitting at my desk thinking about how naive I was back then. But that’s the thing: I’ve worked here longer than you. Ever heard of seniority? You could at least have respected my opinion. But the situation had gotten so out of hand; it was way beyond pleasantries, even for a veteran list connoisseur such as myself.
JOANNA: When we first started working together, I thought you seemed like a nice, normal, even talented person. But when I learned you actually LIKE to EAT oatmeal raisin cookies WITH YOUR MOUTH, I knew that you deserved to burn in hell and suffer in every way imaginable and that even looking at your face would make me want to vomit up my own internal organs until there was nothing left.
I’m the kind of person who likes to tweet my opinions on Twitter so that other people can read them. Boy oh boy, what a fun activity. One day I was doing just that: expressing myself. And I got some pretty harsh feedback from you. I was taken aback by the negativity.
ANDREA: After I found out “the truth” about you, I had a lot of anxiety coming into work. Imagine having to sit next to someone you know you can’t trust. And not only that, but everyone else seemed to be on your side! This baffled me. It scared me. I was stubborn. I wasn’t willing to reach out or change. I tried to research other haters of oatmeal raisin cookies on various websites. But I still couldn’t understand. How could this be?
So many nights I went home angry and exhausted, shoveling oatmeal raisin cookies into my mouth. My neighbors seemed worried about me. “THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!” I would bark. They hadn’t even said anything. I had nightmares about Trump banning raisins.
JOANNA: I made zero effort to try to understand people who like oatmeal raisin cookies. I grew up in a town where if you liked oatmeal raisin cookies, you were humiliated in the town square as passersby chucked raisins at you, sometimes really hard. And to this day I continue to uphold my hometown values.
Sure, it’s absurd to have your identity wrapped up in the kind of cookies you like. That’s why I keep my identity wrapped up in the kind of cookies I hate. Hating oatmeal raisin cookies is just a part of who I am. It’s the only thing I am.
ANDREA: Well, there was one day that really took me by surprise. Recently, someone wrote in the public office Slack room that they had brought in freshly-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. The first thing I read was the word “cookies,” and I thought, “Oh, yay!” but then I read the rest and became DISGUSTED.
JOANNA: You were the last person I wanted to discuss cookies with. Your taste was clearly very bad. I was never going to see eye-to-eye with someone who puts raisins in her mouth on purpose. It was very kind for someone to make white chocolate macadmia nut cookies for us but everyone knows those cookies are not good.
ANDREA: I was instantly so nauseous I bolted to the women’s bathroom. But…someone was running alongside me. I and the mystery person thrust the bathroom door open together, flung open adjoining stalls, and immediately began projectile vomiting. When I was done, I returned to the sinks to find it was you. You hated white chocolate macadamia as much as I did?
JOANNA: It was me. The thought of eating a white chocolate macadmia nut cookie was so horrifying I had to run to the bathroom immediately and gain composure. I just casually assumed as a raisin-cookie lover you would like these shitty cookies too. But you didn’t!!!
I never in a million years thought you would join me in hating the same kind of cookie. The unholy marriage of white chocolate chips and any kind of nut can only be described as Barf City, USA.
ANDREA: We cleaned ourselves off and, without a word, understood each other on a new and meaningful level. We talked about it in Slack the whole rest of the day. Now, we make funny memes about it just for each other. I gave you a t-shirt that said “Macadami-uhhh…NO!” on it for your birthday and you loved it. We have movie nights every Saturday.
JOANNA: Maybe we weren’t so different after all.