What Your Favorite Afternoon Snack Says About You, Probably

A group of psychiatrists recently found that your popcorn-eating techniques are indicative of your personality. But why stop at popcorn?

Aug 1, 2013 at 1:30pm | Leave a comment

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Brontosaur crossing.

OK, I admit it: I'm a major sucker for any and all arbitrary declarations of personality based on the minute details of one's life. It's probably a virtue of being a Leo and therefore narcissistic as fuck, but I pretty much can't get through a day on the Internet without clicking on a quiz promising to reveal what my body type/birth minute/snot consistency/liquor preference/freckle constellation says about the "true me." 

I mean, it's hard to resist, right? So many of our relationships, I think, involve trying to communicate who we are (or who we believe ourselves to be) to relative strangers, and to understand who they are in return. The idea of being able to distill our entire personalities into discrete, easily interpreted symbols like "hair color" and "preferred dog type" is incredibly appealing. 

It's awfully comforting to imagine that, upon meeting a coworker or a housemate for the first time, we could simply lean in and whisper, "Nectarines are my favorite fruit," and watch their eyes widen in comprehension, compassion, and -- if we're lucky -- solidarity.

But even so. Even so. This story about how our popcorn eating techniques showcase our personality types might be too much for even me.

I mean, I guess it's nice that some psychiatrists somewhere took the time to formulate a survey correlating introverts' apparent tendency to delicately snatch popcorn out of the bag kernel by kernel, while extroverts just stick their whole hand in there like the uncaring St. Bernards they are. Kind of weird, sure, but information is information all the same. 

Unfortunately, the study does seem to be missing an analysis of my two favorite popcorn-eating strategies -- rolling one's spit-wet hand around to pick up all the kernels using PHYSICS and placing the bag over one's nose like a racehorse at break time -- but I can only assume those ones are coming in the sequel. 

Despite this gross oversight, the survey did take the time to examine some gender differences. Women are "considered" with their salty snacks, while men, traditionally regarded as the funner and fancier-free sex, take a "chaotic and carefree" approach. Specifically, dudes are more likely to "enjoy throwing [popcorn] at their mouth and hoping for the best."

That sounds more like "an emotionally and physically masochistic exercise in grease burns and lost revenue" to me, but, hey, I got an English degree, so what the fuck do I know.

Anyway, I'm no social scientist, but I kind of wanted to join in on the personality-analysis fun all the same. Using my decades-vast breadth of experience in watching people eat food, I honed in on what your favorite afternoon snack might say about you. (Aside from popcorn. Popcorn has clearly had its day in the personality-test sun.)

Carrots and hummus: You're always prepared, even on the go! When your friends want to organize a seaside trip, they call you first to make sure everyone avoids the beaches with the undertows (and brings extra sunscreen). 

Chips and salsa (mild): You're a girl who loves to party! Not too hard, though, you have to be home by ten.

Chips and salsa (hot): You're a risk-taker, but you reap the best rewards. You have the most interesting stories at impromptu high school reunions.

Junior Mints: You may be the baby of the group, but you're also the easiest to get along with. Everybody wants you to join their kickball team, even though you never manage to boot it past infield.

Curly fries: People breathe a sigh of relief when you walk into a room, because you can make conversation with just about anybody.

Protein bar: You're right, I'm sure everyone does love your rendition of "Defying Gravity" after three tequila sunrises. 

Broccoli, no ranch: Some people might call you a "clothes horse," but those people have clearly never been to a Barney's. (Also, you've actually owned a clothes horse.)

Broccoli, ranch: You pretty much don't care who sees you dance to Ke$ha.

String cheese: Class clown on deck! You may be a bit of a weirdo, but you cover it up nicely with a well-timed joke about lobster mating.

Trail mix: You can sometimes be a little absentminded. It's okay, though, because you're so good-natured that it's hard to get frustrated that you forgot the concert tickets and we're only 10 minutes away from the venue, a-fucking-gain

Orange slices: Wo-oah, slow down there, sporty! You're always on the move, even if it sometimes means leaving behind the people you love. You can't outrun your problems forever!

Chik-fil-A: You're a charmer, enough so that your friends don't really mind having to avoid talking about anything even remotely related to President Obama.

Fruit by the Foot: Every time you move apartments, you think about finally tossing out your old collection of Pogs. You never do, though. 

Garbanzo beans, from can: You might be taking the whole "listening to nothing but whalesong" thing a little too far this month. We didn't want to tell you, but your mom is getting kind of concerned.

ICEE: In Catholic school, you had a forbidden red streak dyed on the underside of your hair because you thought it meant the nuns couldn't see. (They could see.)

Nutritional yeast, from bag: You watched all of Orange is the New Black in less than two days. 

Bagel and cream cheese: You have a secret Reddit account you use solely for talking shit about your other online personas. 

Cough drops: Are you okay, dude? That's not a snack.

Seaweed sheets: You were that kid who knew waaaay too much about dinosaurs for the hungover field museum guide to deal with in a rational manner that one day in the fourth grade.

Timbits: You've puked at a hockey game.

Donut holes: You've puked at a baseball game.

Whiskey on the rocks: You've had a rough day.

Kale salad: You recently considered taking an "Introduction to Longsword" class but were worried it would conflict with your improv troupe schedule. 

Eggplant parmesan: You can't remember the last time you slept for more than four hours.

Black coffee: I'm sorry, man, but you're never actually going to finish a song on that synthesizer, OK? Just let it go. 

California rolls: I mean, Jesus, we get it, "Infinite Jest" changed your life. We've all read it too, y'know.

Raw meat: You are a timber wolf.

Microwave-warmed tomato juice: You are a recently reformed vampire.

Brain (human): You have been summoned back to life by a wizard to perform his evil bidding.

Brain (non-human): You enjoy mountain biking.

Twinkies: You would be a valuable ally in the post-nuclear winter apocalypse. I promise I would only double-cross you under the direst of circumstances.

Black licorice: Where your heart used to be, there lies now only fear and toothy, pulsing darkness.

Chocolate chip cookies: Your smile makes every day a little bit brighter.

Corn nuts: Thanks for being you!

Spoiler: Kate's favorite snack is black licorice. Feel free to tell her yours: @katchatters.