Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Recently, the lovely and talented Peg of Peg-O-Leg’s Ramblings invited several people to write about the same topic on the same day. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Naturally, I jumped right in (and in case you’re wondering — yes, if all the others jumped off a bridge, I probably would too). Peg’s rules were simple: we had to write a piece called “Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups” and post it at the appointed time. We also each had to focus on a different subject area, so, naturally, I chose fashion. I consider myself an expert in this topic because — and I swear I’m not exaggerating — I wear clothes every day. Even on weekends. Seriously.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups aren’t commonly used as clothing today, but they have been in the past. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, oversized peanut butter cups were often used in ballet costumes, as we can see in paintings from that period.

Edward Degas Ballet Scene painting, with two dancers wearing Reese's tutus.
Ballet Scene With Reese’s, Edward Degas et al., c. 1879

In 1944, the The Hershey Foods Corporation landed a lucrative contract to provide hats to the US Navy in an attempt to raise sailors’ spirits by furnishing them with chocolate-based headwear. The resulting Reese’s Peanut Butter Sailor Caps were popular at first; however, their low melting point created such a mess that the Navy terminated the program after the first year.

Alfred Eisenstaedt's V-J Day in Times Square picture from Life Magazine, featuring a sailor kissing a woman, while wearing a Reese's peanut butter cup hat.
V-J Day in Times Square with Reese’s, Alfred Eisenstaedt et al., Life Magazine, 1945

Up until this point, peanut butter cups had been used in costumes and uniforms but still weren’t part of an average person’s wardrobe. This all changed in 1955, when Marilyn Monroe wore her famous peanut butter cup skirt in The Seven Year Itch. Some little-known movie trivia: although it appears that Marilyn’s skirt is being blown up around her by a gust of air from a subway grate, in reality, peanut butter cups just aren’t that pliable. The skirt’s apparent movement was the product of a stop motion animation sequence that took ten hours to film and required Marilyn to change into more than 200 different chocolate skirts.

Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway grate with her dress -- or in this case, her Reese's peanut butter cup skirt -- blowing in the wind, from The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, 1955.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Reese’s were a standard part of any elegant woman’s wardrobe, due in part to Marilyn Monroe’s famous dress and, of course, Jackie Kennedy’s signature Reese’s hats.

Jackie Kennedy wearing a Reese's peanut butter cup instead of a pillbox hat.
White House portrait of Jackie Kennedy

Reese’s fashions fell out of favor in the 1960s, possibly because Jackie’s peanut butter cup hat became associated in people’s minds with the Kennedy assassination. But it’s been almost 50 years — perhaps it’s time they made a comeback.

You can read more about Reese’s on all these fine blogs today (unless it turns out they’ve been playing an elaborate practical joke on me, and I’m the only one):

The Big Sheep Blog
Childhood Relived
Go Guilty Pleasures
Fifty Four and A Half
Fix It Or Deal
Play 101
k8edid
Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly
Life In The Boomer Lane
Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings
Refrigerator Magnate
Running From Hell With El
She’s A Maineiac
The Byronic Man
The Good Greatsby
The Monster In Your Closet
The Ramblings
Thoughts Appear’s Blog
Unlikely Explanations

Bonus fact: The results of a Google image search for “Rhesus Pieces” are a little disturbing, but not nearly as bad as you might expect.

Three Scary Things In My House

Scary thing #1: creepy-looking insect.

I was going to use my cat's paw to show scale, but he wouldn't cooperate. You'll have to go by the carpet fibers instead.

What is this thing? What planet is it from? Why is it in my house? How many more of them are there? If my cats try to play with it, and it bites them, will they turn into mutant alien insect cats? Do mutant alien insect cats eat cat food, or what? (Actually, based on the pictures at whatsthatbug.com, a site that actually exists, this appears to be a potato bug. But my other questions still stand).

Scary thing #2: ambiguously-labelled water filter.

Sounds delicious, doesn't it?
Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

The scare quotes on the label do not fill me with confidence.

Scary thing #3: confusing condiments.

Sugar and spice.

On the left is a jar containing a mixture of crystallized sugar, chocolate, and coffee beans, with a built-in grinder; on the right is a jar of pepper with a built-in grinder. Alone, neither of these is scary — but I know that one day, when I least expect it, I’ll confuse the two. It’s like having a ticking time bomb in my kitchen.

When Memes Collide: Unfortunate Pairings from Catroulette

By now you’ve probably heard of Chatroulette, the website that pairs people up for anonymous online video chats with random strangers. Here are some screenshots from a similar but lesser-known service catering exclusively to cats.

1. The Cat in the Hat meets Limecat.
The Cat in the Hat meets Limecat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

2. Maru meets Schroedinger’s Cat.
Maru meets Schroedinger's cat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

3. Archy meets Keyboard Cat.
Archy meets Keyboard Cat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

I’m actually not the first person to think of the name “Catroulette” — it’s also the name of a cute site that collects images from (apparently) real Chatroulette sessions involving cats. But the best use of the name by far goes to this cat adoption site in Belgium.

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