Monday, October 25, 2010

Grilled Cheese Shame Spiral

It's fall and time for comfort foods that follow the rhythm of the season.
Apple crisp, sweet potatoes, hearty soups.

Or not.
My hankering is for grilled cheese. Not whole wheat bread with Tillamook.
I want to embrace fall with highly processed food. American cheese.

My grocery store's cheese selection was clearly too high-minded and healthy for this craving.*
*Please know I am not exaggerating about the cheese selection. I haven't had to investigate alternative cheeses for several years. 
Production has obviously been stepped up.

Time to get down and dirty. I know who can sell me what I need.
The liquor store. 

I have to ask for it with other refrigerated food behind the counter.

shame spiral rating is at 5, because I'm grocery shopping at liquor store

He tells me the cheese has an expiration date of two weeks ago.

shame spiral rating is at 6, because this is why I shouldn't be grocery shopping at liquor store
He'll give me the cheese, if I want it. I didn't even feign indecision for the people in line behind me.I feel giddy that I will get this American cheese for free.  Don't hate.**

shame spiral rating = 8. I am not only going to eat this expired cheese but I feel like I just won the American cheese lottery
**I am not super squeamish. But this isn't even real food. I'm pretty sure that the expiration date is just for show. 

How was it? Effing delicious.

I ate three grilled cheese sandwiches that day and finished the pack soon thereafter. (Did you realize you don't even have to dirty a knife? It's all sliced for you).

And I don't think there were any ill effects.

Except that it took me two weeks to think of my next drawing post (and it's about grilled cheese).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Changing the Filter

When I walked to the park the other day, here's what caught my attention in this scene, in order of appearance:

After sitting there for awhile, it occurred to me that I didn't even look at or acknowledge her baby. 
Without thinking, I applied filters to the scene, like this:

* * * 

I love family, I love the idea of marriage and children. 
I'm single, in my 40s and I don't have children. 
Not having those in my life, I can see now that I've learned to apply filters. Too painful otherwise.
These filters are like lenses. 
I think back 10 years ago, when I was more interested in detachment and self-protection.

One thing I love about getting older is caring less about being cool. But as I consciously become more open and less cool, I notice some losses from trying to be cool.  An easy one? When I was younger I wouldn't do the electric slide at weddings -- too lame. Now I'm taking a hip-hop dance class that I adore. But I'm the only one who still doesn't know how to do the cool-down. 
It's the electric slide. 

* * *

The same day I noticed the baby blocker filters at the park, I made an effort to not avoid baby and family scenes. I watched a dad teasing his baby adoringly. My heart tugged.

But I was okay. Next I waited in line behind a father holding his child, being ever so tender.

While he was sweetly attentive to his baby, I made sure I didn't apply the jaded detached filter of cool. But my eyes watered. When I got to my car, I sat and cried. 

But I was still okay.
Even though I felt sad, it was a genuine, direct sadness based on the heart of the matter (possibly still wanting to mother). I was being a better listener to myself.