Things were better back in my day. I’m not saying everything was a ball, except for the Ball Corporation that manufactures us, but at least the whole world hadn’t gone to hell, like it is now, thanks to this new generation—say, jarneration—of Mason jars.

When I was young I learned Mason jars were for storing food: preserves, compotes, prunes, soups, pickled everything. Our type was born of necessity and pragmatism. Whatever style we possessed belied our utility, and we were useful, goddammit. But the Mason jars today—all they do is hang around waiting for some kid to go on Pinterest and search “rustic chic wedding.”

My parents’ and their parents’ jarnerations of Mason jars were downright heroic. Two world wars and the Great Depression, and the humble Mason jar carried this nation on its back, feeding it through the wretched decades. They knew something that today’s Mason jars know nothing about: struggle. Mason jars were absolutely crucial to survival. Food rations? Saved in a Mason jar. Scraps? Leftovers? Put ‘em in the Mason jar! They saved lives. Mason jar might not be much to look at, but they salvaged the country.

By the time I came around Mason jars had a lot to live up to. We knew our place, and we worked hard. Only one thing was expected of us: store food. Maybe that food would curdle, mold, or rot, but we had a single purpose and were expected to live up to it 100%, no excuses.

My God, Mason jars today! I know I sound like an old, canned fart, but I can’t sit quietly by the wayside while I see tomfoolery everywhere. They’re so entitled. Now they believe Mason jars aren’t just for storing food anymore! They hang out in these pretentious little cafes, delivering things called “cold brew” and “nitro.” What are Mason jars doing, thinking they’re drinking glasses? Every jarneration before you worked hard so that you wouldn’t have to drink out of a Mason jar. Mason jars don’t make good drinking glasses; they make no ergonomic sense.

And, Target is no place for a Mason jar to come from. They definitely shouldn’t be made of brightly colored PET plastic with a goddamn handle swooping out the side. It’s garish and indecent! First of all, Mason jars are made of soda-lime glass, not some unnatural crap. Second, everyone knows handles are for mugs! A Mason jar isn’t a mug! And have you seen those jokers with straws? I wouldn’t even call that a Mason jar; I’d call it an abomination. They think they’re all that, and really they don’t know where they came from, the noble lineage they are shattering like I hope someone shatters them one day.

I heard the most obscene thing last week. It sickened me. I heard that a whole set of Mason jars went to a sorority rush event to be decorated! What is this frivolous bullshit? Why aren’t you sitting in a dive bar on a countertop holding some mysterious pickled eggs, like I did for most of my youth? Well, bravo, your sole purpose is to bear painted chevron patterns and Greek letters, and occasionally be used as a Keystone Light delivery vehicle. That’s what Mason jars call “college” nowadays, right? Or maybe you sit on someone’s dresser, filled with string lights like you’re a goddamn firefly. Preposterous.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing. My jarneration had a little something called dignity, not to mention integrity and self-respect. We were humble. We knew our place and we accepted it. We didn’t devote ourselves to twentysomethings sipping kombucha after a particularly invigorating improv class. Well, we knew our place; we knew that we existed from necessity! I know where you came from, kiddos! And let me tell you something: you know nothing.

Aw hell, I’m just wasting wisdom on you. I’m gonna go and see about another underrated American hero, the stainless steel flask, who, by the way, only has patience for straight bourbon, like a real flask.

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