Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cheese and Whine

I've always been told that I'm cheesy. But do I really live up to the definition? According to Miriam-Webster, cheesy is defined as:

1 a: resembling or suggesting cheese especially in consistency, color or odor

b: containing cheese

2: shabby

3c, cheap

I don't believe I resemble cheese in my consistency, but coloring...maybe. I am a little pale, but I think my end-of-summer color would fall somewhere in the pinkish red Port Wine family. Interestingly enough, this is my Big Sis Wendy's favorite cheese. Perhaps she chose me as a friend not because I sat with her on her first night of college and let her cry over missed parents, but because my skin color reminded her of a favorite Hickory Farms variety. It would make sense, seeing as how we later bonded over packages of said cheese that her grandmother shipped to Athens from her much warmer post in Florida.

How about odor? I generally smell pretty good, I think, and people generally consider cheese to smell badly, so I don't think this part of the definition applies to me.

Do I contain cheese? Of course! I eat cheese every day. Mozzarella, cheddar, smoked gouda, swiss, cream...I've never met a cheese I didn't like. It's part of nearly every meal.

Shabby? No. I consider myself medium maintenance. My outfits match, I like to have (self) manicured and pedicured nails, my house is always neat and clean, but not spotless, my car is mostly neat and clean, but definitely shows damage from being MY car...we are all aware of my driving deficiencies. But shabby? No. Not unless you add "chic" to the end of that, and then I'll take it.

Cheap? HA! Ask my dad how cheap I am, and he'll tick off a list of dance classes, prom dresses, sorority stuff, home remodeling and car fixing that'll make your wallet wince. Ask any ex-boyfriend and he'll tell you that my idea of a date night did not begin with a Value Menu. Look at my collection of purses and makeup and you'll find that I have an affinity for designer labels. They make me happy, even if no one else knows that I'm wearing YSL Touche Eclat concealer.

So WHY do I keep getting labeled as CHEESY? And why does CHEESE continue to be a metaphor for my life?

You see, I don't deal with change very well. I know it's necessary, but it still sucks. And I have to deal with it. I can't just go with the flow, roll with it, keep on keepin' on or any of those other CHEESY cliches that are being thrown in my face. I have to take it out of the package, hold it, play with it, or as Jada and my Momma would say...wool it. (For anyone whose roots are not in Logan or Mingo counties, this means to rub on something, get right up in it's face and drive it crazy until it smacks you, if it can see out of the hair you've wooled into a crazy ball on top of its head.) I have to make sure Change knows that I'm aware it's happening, but I don't like it, and damn it, I'm going to analyze it every step of the way.

This is both good and bad. How is it good? It keeps me educated and constantly learning. Nothing ever happens without me wanting to know why and what I can learn from it. How is it bad? I think about it too much, overanalyze and generally drive myself batty until I find something else on which to focus for a day or so. Then I am back to driving myself batty until all my problems are resolved.

You can imagine, then, that the last two months of my life, which have provided huge and unexpected changes, have caused me to spend abnormally large amounts of time analyzing. Since breaking up with Pat, I've found that the most absurd things remind me of him and make me sad. Today, it was CHEESE. Which is how I ended up writing this post and you ended up reading it. You see, when I used to ride with him on the round trip to Wheeling to pick up/drop off his son, we often stopped at Able's Cheese on Route 7 in Sardis, Ohio. We both have an abnormal love of cheese and found that a whole store devoted to it on our route was surely a sign that we were meant to be together. On the last trip I took with him, sometime in June, we picked up $30 worth in a variety of flavors...smoked gouda, gloucester blue, casino brick, and the cheese in question today: Hot Pepper. I got home late this evening and found that I was hungry but not in the mood for a giant meal. The answer: CHEESE! So, I cut up some slices of Amish varieties that my parents brought me from their most recent trip, and put out the last two pieces of Hot Pepper from my and Pat's last trip to Wheeling. All the other cheese has long since been eaten. Since I am a weirdo, I was saving this Hot Pepper Cheese as a damn memento of my former happiness. I was waiting for the right moment to say goodbye.

Why is it that the simplest, most ridiculous things are so hard to let go of when you are letting go of a person? It's CHEESE for pete's sake. Two, cube size bites of Hot Pepper Cheese. But this particular dairy delight is a tangible reminder of a time when I was happy and living in the moment. I remember every detail of that particular trip to Able's, because we were so hungry from saving up our calories for this visit that we couldn't decide what we wanted. The lady behind the counter just wanted us out of there so she could go outside and smoke, and plopped our selections into a bag with as much, "Get the hell out of here so I can get my nicotine fix," as she could muster. We sampled our varieties for the remainder of the two hour drive home and voted on the best cheese. For me, smoked gouda, for Pat, casino brick. We never could agree on the same one. Perhaps this was a sign of things to come.

Now, the days of cheese tasting contests on Route 7 are over. It's time to put the past behind me and start the healing process. Tonight, I will cry over eaten cheese. I look at this little cube of Hot Pepper and see my past. Tangible evidence of a relationship that had more holes than Pat's least favorite variety, Swiss. In order to remove one more piece of him from my heart, I have to take a bite.

The verdict? The flavor of my past is pretty good, but the taste of my future is delicious.


KS said...

You are too adorable!! I identified with so much in your post-except the love of purses hehe. I definitely have little things that remind me of when I was happy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

I love cheese too!! I never thought of it this way...I am going to have to think more about my flavor of cheese.

Anonymous said...

I love cheese too!! I am also glad that I am not the only one who has to have matching clothes and wear certain labels. I think we were destined to be soul mates on some level.

leapyeardz said...

Gouda is my favorite snacking cheese, too, Em! I love you for that and so many other things.

Thanks for trusting us with your world. Having faith in us builds our own faith in ourselves -- we're all in this together.

Crap, now I have that frickin' high school musical song stuck in my head.

Anonymous said...

Chesse is one of my favorite things regarding food-- So be cheesy!! :)I am right with you on that status-- but you are a great person who is enjoying the little things in life-- so if that means you are a chesse then so be it ! :) I would rather be chesse than cabbage-- now that smeels bad ;)

Melissa (gmail) said...

I love this blog and could totally relate to what you were saying. Gouda is one of my favorites as well.

I also prefer good designer clothes and makeup. These items are key to feeling good about myself.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

Anonymous said...

Oh Emmy Lou, I love you my dear! How could we survive on this earth without our dear friend Cheese? It holds so many memories for us! We practically locked our refrigerator so the "others" couldn't get it when we weren't looking! Ofcourse we have to send a special thanks to Elinor for providing us with the Hickory Farms delights.......

supermommysquared said...

I love you Emmy and I am sad that you are having such a hard time. Call me if you need to vent!
I loved the cheese blog and agree that it is the small things that always seem to remind us of things in the end. Turtle hugs and kisses!

Jordan said...

I love cheese!! Both literal and figurative :) I am totally cheesy so I can see where you are coming from. It is a good thing to be!

You are great and I cannot wait to read more of your insights.