01/23/2012 03:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Stuff That Fluff Is Made Of

I am sure you were rocked with the news just as I was that Fluff has changed their jars for the first time in sixty years. I saw the shocking newsflash that Fluff was now being distributed in plain old plastic tubs like Skippy and Jiff Peanut Butter when I went grocery shopping a few weeks ago. For shame! I ran over to my husband in the next aisle and told him the terrible news. His response?

"Wait, what are you talking about?"

(I hate to tell you this, but that happens a lot around here.)

OK, like my husband, you probably didn't know that Fluff had a unique jar style of pocked glass with "Fluff" branded in its surface. It's also probably not important information to you that Fluff's company, Durkee-Mower, got rid of it, but to me this is sad news. I have a thing for vintage looking packaging. I hunt grocery stores, convenience stores, and sometimes flea markets not for gourmet treasures, but for packaging treasures. Like most things in my current life, I started doing this when I was alone all day with the baby and in need of air conditioning and something to do. It soon became a genuine passion/obsession to seek out old-timey food packaging to take home and draw. It's a very cheap form of inspiration -- something that helps in these lean times. I adore going to new places and combing the shelves of their supermarkets for old and beautiful packaging, like a bag of Cheezies I discovered in a Vancouver Island supermarket or even better, a brick of pink popcorn I found in a convenience store in Santa Cruz, California. They are like three-dimensional illustrations that tell a unique story of food production in America (Cheezies aside).

Without investigation, I know why the Fluff jars were changed -- generic plastic tubs are way cheaper than pressed glass. Yet with that jar design goes part of the Fluff legacy and (dare I say it?) part of an American legacy. New England housewives helped design the jar, saying it needed to be short and wide mouthed for easy storage and serving with a tablespoon. They put bumps in the glass to make it easier to grip. The old jar's look harkened to an older time when such things like JARS OF FLUFF actually were designed with care for both aesthetics and use. Pair that up with the red cap and the blue and white label and it seemed like a beautiful vintage piece you could buy for $3.00. I'm glad I got my jar when I did -- it may be the cheapest relic I'll ever own. Then again, my obsession with this jar might be a symptom of another growing American legacy -- hoarding. Perhaps it's time I recycle the jar and get out more.