There was only one kind of blue cheese. My heart stopped just a little bit. I panicked and shuffled the cheeses around a bit. No Stilton, no Roquefort, no Maytag? No local vs. French dilemma? Just two choices: that industrial blue cheese in over-salted wedges wrapped in three layers of cellophane, versus the uneven crumbles in the huge oversized plastic box we Americans use to make us think we’re getting more product…drying out as I watch. They didn’t even use cheese paper. I picture the one short use the blue cheese box will get before it starts it’s life as litter. I pick up the box and turn it over. Overpriced, as well. I’ll pay that price for a nice Stilton…but for an oversized box of drying blue cheese crumbles…Inconceivable!
I’m shopping at the local store, getting acquainted with the people in my new town. Nodding near the produce, listening to the girl at the checkout line ask every customer about Their Thing. She even recognizes me just a little bit.
“Where’s your boy?” She knows my boy turns into a dinosaur.
“I ditched him so I could get some peace.” I say.
I like the peaceful life.
I like that I don’t have a plane flying a hundred feet over my head every minute or government agencies telling me they refuse to admit to what the airport will do with the land they commandeer. And no, I can’t organize a park or community garden. It’ll just stay empty and deserted, looking like a desolate wasteland behind my house.
I like that the local school has so much involvement and so many things for my little dinosaur to join when I sort them all out, and that I’m not arguing with the school system over their regulations about what they permit parents to allow their students to eat–it’s not like I packed him bar nuts and a beer. Juice and a cookie we baked together. Lighten up. I love New School.
I like that the only time I see a police officer in the neighborhood is when I wave to the troopers at the bottom of the hill, because that’s the home of the barracks. Getting out of the city back to my husband’s hometown was nice.
I look at the blue cheese choices again. Air-dried crumbles in oversized wasteful box or over-salted inferior wedge. I pick the air-dried crumbles. I tuck aside my inner food snob for just a minute. I tell myself I’ll go into the Big City and make the cheese run sometime soon. Today, I simply need to put blue cheese on portabellas for a family picnic. Even in the country music-classic rock town, vegetarians gotta eat.
Having only one blue cheese is the price you pay for peace, tranquility, and sanity.
I guess it’s a tradeoff I’m happy to make.