Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cheese in a Jar

Came home late from a thing last night. Had no money for the babysitter, had to stop at Albertson's. This would kill two birds: ATM for the moolah, snacks for the munchies. Walked in the store and I swear a Hallelujah chorus accompanied the woosh of the automatic doors. There, before my eyes, was a pyramid of Lays potato chips next to a smaller pyramid of cheese in jars.

I had my initial doubts. I mean, I don't think I've ever bought cheese in a jar. How healthy could it be? Since it's stored at room temperature, it can't really be considered dairy, can it? I figured it was probably an amalgam of plasticine and botulism and yellow food dye #33. I decided to check the label to see what's in it. At least look at the calorie count. I picked up the jar, and could only allow myself a quick glance. So quick, I can't even tell you the brand name. I did, however, make out the word medium, ostensibly referring to its spiciness. (I doubt it had anything to do with the jar size or the cheese's clairvoyant abilities.) A surge of nervousness passed through me. Was I really going to do this? Buy fake medium cheese? Without anymore thought, I grabbed jar and bag, threw money at the cashier, and scurried home.

Only after the babysitter left, and with Michael ensconced in the other room, did I feel safe. I opened the cheese jar lid. Thwock! Intoxicating. I thought, "This could be a perfect night." Chips, jar of cheese, little bit of TV. I hunkered down in the ripped leather chair, grappled once again with my love/hate relationship with Big Love (see previous entry for significance) and snuck-ate chips and cheese, so I wouldn't have to share with Michael.

There are no words to describe the golden, creamy, jalapenoey goodness that is jar of cheese. Didn't matter that Lays is not the best dipping chip, I had never tasted such manna in my life. Before I knew it, the entire jar of cheese and half the bag of chips were gone. GONE. I must have had an out of body experience because I swear, I only remember enjoying seven or eight chips. Forty-nine tops.

Michael entered the TV room. "What are you eating?" I showed him the empty jar. He looked at me with the same incredulity had I announced I was going to uproot the family, buy me some hogs and harvest truffles in Tasmania. I felt a great shame. Phoney baloney cheese and chips of chips coated my hands, mouth and chin. At this rate, I'll be one of those Neanderthals wearing a stained wife beater and drinking a 40, while reclining in a corduroy Barcalounger.

Today, I'm paying for my jar of cheese binging. It feels like there's a fossilized radial tire in my gut. It's solid and implacable. Why can't I eat like I did in my younger days? There was this place in New York, Potbelly's, and I would go there often for their fries. They served it with either melted cheese or gravy on the side. I'd get both and call it lunch. I wouldn't gain an ounce and my body wouldn't go into toxic shock. But today, I might just possibly have to get over my fear of colonics.

I mourn that I can't eat a load of crap anymore!

The other day, my son said, "I don't like cheese pizza!" That's a terrifying thing for the parent of a finicky boy to hear. There are only so many things Sebastian will eat without fail. Chicken legs. Chinese ribs. Bread spread with Nutella. And up till now, cheese pizza.

Bash wasn't always this choosy. Quite the opposite. In fact I took great pride that I could get him to eat salmon and brussel sprouts with gusto. And I would derisively tsk the other mothers who would give their children Capt'n Crunch to snack on in the park. But my son's habits changed around the time I found him eating out of the dog bowl. He got more basic with his tastes: cereal no milk, pasta no sauce, pancakes no syrup. Then Sebastian refused to eat dinner all together. I'd threaten with, "Well, you're just going to have to go to bed hungry." But he'd hold strong. I'd finally let him be excused and next thing I knew he'd be on his hands and knees sneaking kibble. From that moment on, no green, no fish, no tofu. I can only hope he's somehow leaching vitamins and nutrients from chocolate croissants.

What if he doesn't like chicken tomorrow? And what if ribs are eighty-sixed as well? I'm afraid if I don't take some sort of drastic measure his entire diet will be in the hands of Purina.

Irony is a bitch. My son doesn't like cheese pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese. (Now, that's fucked up. What kid doesn't like mac and cheese?) And yet, these are the very items I want to be scarfing down all day long. Even with bloated belly, I'm still obsessing over cheese in a jar.

I had to go to Albertson's this morning for some light shopping. I was nervous. Would the yellow jar be there as the doors open? Taunting me? Woosh. No chips. No jars of cheese. Now it's a pyramid of Pepsi, and I don't like Pepsi. Safe for now.

9 comments:

J... said...

I just started reading your blog and I have to tell you that you are brilliant.

And you sound a lot like my best friend withe the "plasticine and botulism and yellow food dye #33". That is her to a tee!

Can't wait to read more. :)

binks said...

Just came over from Vodka Mom and I gotta say, very impressed.
Mind if I follow along?

CK Lunchbox said...

this is why I don't eat yams in a can...

Seth said...

Hutch. So funny man. Well done my friend. My brother didn't eat anything but McNuggets, Broccoli and Pizza till he was 9. Now he eats ANYTHING without meat so your boy will probably get out of the dog food phase.

Tee said...

Recently I enjoyed a family dinner out. Out with the husband and the two kids. I started a game, you each had to tell a story that no one had ever heard about you before. My eight year old daughter waited her turn then proudly announced that 'when she was little' she used to eat the dogfood EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don't know what was funnier, seeing her pissing herself laughing with the proudest look on her face or the vision of my toddler fighting off two German Shepherds for some PAL meatybites!

(F)redddy said...

A) That shit is good with a bag of Funyun’s. After you stop gagging at the thought of it, try it. B) Potbelly’s is a national chain, and you should be seeing one on a street corner near you any second now. C) You should really start your son in therapy now for his aversion to cheese. Really, the sooner the better (and he can probably get a two-fer and work out his ‘2-daddy’ issues along with the cheese issues. D) Really funny shit. Seriously.

Jed said...

great blog! I am a bit worried we're about to the end of eating anything we put in front of them stage with our kiddos, this blog did not ease my mind! My partner recommended that I check out your stories. Hope you don't mind!

Goddess of Love said...

Okay... I laughed... out loud. Could so relate. Hmmmm... my weakness... those small ritz peanut butter crackers for kids. I love those! Had to really tear myself away from them.

When my sister's kids were 6 and 7, about 5 years ago, she would buy these crackers for them as a snack. One day I was driving the kids and I gave them each a small package of the ritz peanut butter snack. Nicholas, the oldest, offered me one and being the nice Auntie wanting to participate so they would stay happy and continue to enjoy their snack took a bite; dreading this manufactured, ladened with nothing good piece of cracker with a dolop of peanut butter. First bite down, crunch, sweetness of ritz and buttery, peanut, salt of the peanut butter...!!! Oh, my God! I was hooked. I had my Nephew open a snack bag for me. One time, I accidentally ate the last bag in my sister's house and had to run to the store to get more. (smile). Hadn't thought about that in years.

Funny. Love the blog. I'll be reading.

seafoodpunch said...

You know, i honestly shuddred when i read that your son doesnt enjoy cheese..in ANY form...on pizza, in a jar, on soggy noodles. what the HELL?

my grandma (who is a little slow) grated up some white chocolate on top of buttered pasta thinking it was cheese...and i ate it...becuase even gross PRETEND mac and cheese is awesome. It just looked so much like the real thing...i couldnt stop.

It will get better though...we all come to our senses eventually.