Thirty seconds or so later, she emerged. Trailing behind her was a woman in her early to mid-fifties, graying hair, skinny, she had that look of someone who has worked behind supermarket deli counters her entire life.
The teenager turned to her. “What do you think about Swiss cheese?”
The older woman scrunched up her nose. “Swiss is awful. I don’t know why anyone likes it.”
Was I really being ganged up on?
God. I just wanted a stupid block of Swiss cheese.
I like Swiss cheese!
I like the mellow zip it has. I eat a lot of it. I eat it shredded on my eggs, but you already know that. I also eat it on all sorts of other stuff. Sometimes I just take slices of turkey roast, put a thick slice of Tillamook Swiss on top, nuke it in the microwave, and call it dinner. Sometimes I just nibble on a piece while I drink wine.
And isn’t that okay?
Even if the entire rest of the world thinks Swiss cheese is awful, isn’t it okay if I love it? Is it okay that I have my own preferences? I’d like to think so.
The teenage girl didn’t.
“See? I told you. Swiss is gross,” she immediately said now that she had her army of one backing her up. “You’ve gotta let me…”
I cut her off with a toothy smile set against a silent snarl.
The older woman behind the counter knew what it meant. She immediately disappeared back into the open doorway from which she emerged. It was just me and the teenager again.
“I. WANT. SWISS. CHEESE.” I think my teeth were unintentionally clenched as I said it.
The little blonde gal looked up at me with confusion. She apparently was used to people changing their minds based on her overly-strong recommendations. Maybe. Or maybe she was already a pro at getting guys to do anything she demanded. Watch out college boys. She’s gonna be a handful. Either way, she got the hint.
She cut me off a half pound block of Swiss and wrapped it up. As she handed it to me, she said, “I’m sure Swiss is good on some things.”
I smiled. And glared. And smiled. And glared.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” she said.
I didn’t know if I should. I didn’t know if I could. I did anyway. “I’ll take half a pound of the parmesan garlic ham.”
She walked over and pointed to the ham I was looking at to confirm my selection. I nodded.
“You probably don’t wanna get that,” she said.