Monday, March 14, 2011

The Cheese Factor and Neuroticism

I cannot eat the last bits of anything that comes in a bag.

Be it chips, crackers, vegetables, dried fruit, beef jerky, bread heels, shredded cheese, candy... well, no, not candy. I'm not sure when this strange tendency started, but recent memory recollects the time I was eating a bag of Munchies and, after about five minutes of happily crunching away, found an ant on the cheeto I was about to put in my mouth.
 After the initial reaction, "YUCK!!" I threw the cheeto away and looked in the bag. I philosophically reasoned it could have been the only ant that had made it into the bag so far. No such luck. There were dozens in there crawling around. I won't tell you how I reacted then, but it was much stronger than "YUCK!!" Just imagine screaming and flailing limbs and you'll have a fairly close idea.

Most things just don't taste as good after being left in an open bag overnight. I don't care how well you fold it closed or duct-tape it shut, it's tainted.

Somewhere in my mind, there lives a five-year-old who believes that if I eat those last few crumbs or whathaveyou, I will become infected with a horrible case of herpes and get cold sores all over my face. Either that or leprosy.

I pretty much have to eat the entire bag of ____________ (fill in the blank) in one sitting to feel satisfied that I will not die terribly disfigured. Of course, eating a whole bag of anything usually ends up badly in other ways; typically involving stomach-ache, indigestion and bizarre dreams.

We had tacos for dinner yesterday. I am grateful a million times over every time I pull out that bag of pre-shredded cheese and put some into a bowl. I lived in a household of nine people growing up and we could easily go through two or three pounds of cheese on a taco night. I remember being excited to get the job of grating the cheese. It was so simple and rewarding. That is, until I realized that it was a really crappy job and if you managed to go through the entire block of cheese without injuring yourself on the grater, it was a major miracle.
We always used cheddar cheese. This further compounded the problem of injuring yourself while shredding because cheddar cheese "sweats" when held in the hand of anyone not experiencing rigor mortis. So, yes, very grateful for pre-shredded cheese.

When I went about the task of filling the bowls with cheese, I was faced with the problem of one bag being nearly full and the other having just about a bowl-full left in it. One bowl would have nice, fresh, wonderful cheese which I would be more than happy to sprinkle on my tacos. The other bowl would have herpes-riddled leper cheese. What's a poor girl to do???

I filled both bowls, carefully noting the appearance of the diseased bowl and put them on the table. I smugly made sure to put the infected bowl on the farther end of the table and the lovely, fresh bowl on the side where I would be sitting.

Are you wondering why I would allow the rest of my family to eat from the leper bowl? Well, the answer, dear reader(s?) is that I am more than aware of the fact that the cheese was almost positively fine. However, I also know that I will allow my brain to tell me that certain things will almost certainly kill me if I don't let my neuroticism take over.

I shuddered fractionally every time I saw anyone take cheese from the bowl. I consoled myself with the knowledge that in the extremely unlikely event that my brain was right after all, I could go to the store and buy Abreva for everyone.

I just do my best through all of this to not think about the fact that the food I'm being so picky about is actually curdled, fermented and moldy milk.


Benjamin said...

And you let your ever-trusting husband be the benefactor of that neuroticism by letting me eat the "unwanted" cheese.

I love you too.

Trillium said...

what a naughty child I raised . . .

. . . but what is that saying about apples not falling far from the tree . . . .


Rebecca said...

that is hysterical! I won't eat cereal after I have had the first bowl (i have to open the box and pour it out myself) - after that the box of cereal is up for grabs :) I think my kids know that.

Chris said...

Yeah, I don't like crumbs either. And, I am wary of open bags of chips too, because they have a chance of being stale. Nothing worse than eating stale chips.

I couldn't agree more with grating cheese, especially when you have a new 5 lbs block just opened. The little narrow 2.5 lbs aren't too bad.

Sometimes when I set the table and I notice that one of the dishes has something on it, I make sure it isn't placed where I usually sit. Teheheehe!!


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