Picture this: it’s 1990. The year Nelson Mandela was released from prison and Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister. I was an undersized fourth grader in suburban New Jersey who was dying to see Ghost and who thought Murphy Brown was just the coolest. It was also the year I made my first confession.
(You’re probably wondering what on earth this story has to do with cheese, which is a completely valid question. But don’t worry, I’m getting there.)
As a devout miniature Roman Catholic, I had rehearsed. I was prepared. I knew exactly what I would confess and had already calculated the odds on my likely penance. But things didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned. The priest hearing my confession was visiting from a different parish. He wasn’t the priest I knew and was expecting — and he had an accent. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “I was mean to my little sister and lied to my mother about it.”
Him: “Do you love cheeses?”
Me: “Yes, I love all kinds of cheese, especially brie.”
Him: “I said, ‘Do you love Jesus’?”
I stammered through the rest of it, never fully recovering from my major faux pas. I left the church in tears because I knew things had gone horribly awry. My parents, of course, thought it was hysterical. They already knew I was a weird kid; I didn’t like chocolate and I loved bloomy rinds.
In hindsight, the priest’s question about cheese seems like a pretty glaring non-sequitur. But at the time, I was thrilled to be able to talk about cheese, even volunteering my favorite.
Fast forward more than 20 years. With this blog, I’ve finally found a more appropriate forum than church to talk about cheese.
(Oh, and that lovely Christmas photo above — I thought you might need a visual image of me as a fourth grader. And just for the record: I did not choose that dress myself. That little nugget next to me is my sister, Alex. She’s now close to 6 feet tall while I only gained another three inches. I really got the short end of the stick in the gene pool, pun intended.)