Op-Ed: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

*The Backdoor is a “work” of “fiction” and “satire.”

By Julia Warling

All I wanted was to make my famous chocolate chip cookies. My family has a recipe, handed down for generations. It was a staple for parties and reunions alike, and the recipe was classic. Everyone loves them, and at family events they’re usually gone within a few minutes.

I was running a tight schedule this afternoon — from working out, to grocery shopping, to setting up my sister’s surprise birthday party. This year I was doing the shopping, and I had a special idea for the cake. I never expected that this day would be a turning point in my life, a day my reality would be questioned.

As I walked into the store, feeling the whoosh of the air conditioning at the entrance, I noticed a large display marked “half off- butter!” Excited, I walked closer to investigate the sale. The deal looked alright, although the containers were different than usual. It probably wasn’t a big deal, but I’d have to come back; butter is refrigerated and I needed to get everything else first. I decided to get the butter on the way out, which was part of my horrible mistake.

I picked up all the necessary ingredients and headed back towards the checkout. I had almost reached the front of the line when I realized I had forgotten the butter. I raced over the the stand and grabbed the container from the top of the pile, then hurried back to the line, just in time to start putting my items on the conveyor belt without holding up anyone behind me. Flustered, I hurried out of the store and shoved all the groceries into the trunk, then made my way home.

The cookies were coming along nicely. The sugar and eggs were ready, I was just waiting on the melted butter. From the fridge, I grabbed the tub of butter that I’d bought earlier. But for the first time, I noticed a smaller label, just above the word “Butter.” Those five words changed my life forever, and from then on, I have never trusted butter again. Those words were, “I can’t believe it’s not…” My face went white as a sheet and I stumbled as I partially lost consciousness.

My whole life was a lie. This butter wasn’t really butter! It looked like butter, it smelled like butter, but all this time it was, what is it called again, “margarine”? The horrible truth had opened my eyes. I’m ashamed of this country: lying to us, telling us things that aren’t true. My world had changed, and not for the better.

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