Monday, February 21, 2011

Chiding My Choice of Cheese

I’m all for friendly cashiers, and I always appreciate their cheerfulness in the face of all they do, and the crap they must put up with while spending so much time on their feet.

But sometimes, I really sort of wish they would refrain from questioning my purchases and expecting me to explain them.

Yes, I know ramen noodles are high in sodium. Thank you, I’m well aware there’s a hurricane out in the Gulf, and that these frozen chicken nuggets will be no good if the power goes out. But I’m going to buy them for my son anyway, because he loves them, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we won’t have a power outage. As it turned out, we didn’t, because the hurricane shifted elsewhere. But the clerk in that scenario actually chastised us for not stocking up on canned goods instead, and Mr. Lucky grumbled about her busybodying all the way home.

Today it was about cheese, specifically the kind pictured below:

From Sargento, it’s a six ounce resealable bag of mild and white cheddar cheese pieces shaped like Mickey Mouse. Unlike most cheese products, the pieces within are not individually wrapped; you just unzip the bag and devour.

They are perfect for Baby Bear, who loves cheese in any form. He’ll go through all 64 slices of sandwich cheese (which means lots of little wrappers everywhere) and even break into bags of shredded cheese bought for nights we do Mexican.

I’ve been known to buy bags of Mickey Mouse cheese by the truckload. In all fairness, most cashiers simply declare the cheese “cute” and leave it at that, for which I’m grateful.

But not today’s cashier. “Who’s the cheese freak?” she wanted to know.

“My son,” I replied. “He loves cheese, and it’s good for him.”

She just had to ask how old he was, and I told her. It was clear from her stupefied reaction that she thought it very strange I was buying Mickey Mouse cheese for a thirteen year old, when there are so many other cheese products out there packaged in a more sophisticated manner. She mentioned her own teenager who, just like our Bear, ate all kinds of cheese—slices, cubes, blocks—but never in Mickey Mouse form.

To her credit, she stopped short of asserting her teenager wouldn’t be caught dead with a bag of this stuff, but guilt-receptive parental unit that I am, the vibe was there and duly picked up: I was babying my son, embarrassing him, and he’d probably never get a date or hold down a decent job, and would grow up to become some crazed sniper in a bell tower, all because I made him eat cheese shaped like Mickey Mouse when he would’ve preferred it shaped like air guitars.*

As there was a long line behind us, I thought the better of getting into an equally long explanation of my son’s autism and other issues; how because of that alone, and not the shape of his cheese, it was not outside the realm of possibility that he’d still be living with us at age forty anyway; and why Mickey Mouse cheese really is easier for him than that string stuff that has to be peeled open, and is designed for people with super fine motor skills, none of whom live in my house.

You might say I was feeling a little cheesed off.

*He does, however, prefer vegetables shaped like air guitars.


Phyllis J. Towzey said...

Oh, people are so nosey and judgmental, lol. Besides, who says kids are the only ones who would like mickey-shaped cheese that doesn't have to be individually unwrapped? Actually, it sounds really good to me. And it's FUN for all ages. Personally, I think one is never to old for Mickey-shaped cheese snacks. Or for sandwiches cut into holiday shapes with a cookie cutter. Or lollipops. Or Mickey Mouse ice cream bars . . . I could go on and on. :)

Karen Lingefelt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Lingefelt said...

I'm also amused when the cashier picks up my purchase to take a closer look at it, and asks something like, "I've never tried this before, is it any good?"

Sheesh. Does she really think I'd keep buying it if it wasn't?

Phyllis J. Towzey said...

Yes! That's so funny. I'm always tempted to say, "Nah, I just buy it for my dog." Hey, you might get a reaction if you said "Nah, I just buy it for my Bear . . . "

Old Goat said...

Mickey Mouse Cheese! You can't go wrong with a cheese endorsed by a mouse..............can you? And how do we suppose Minnie Mouse feels about that cheese? Too much room for literary abuse here!