Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I was The Cheese.

Last night I went back to my old apartment (which, now that it's empty, made me feel strangely melancholy - everything that had given that apartment personality - my personality, I guess - was gone - just a lot of bare white walls and blah beige carpet) to pack up the rest of the stuff that didn't get moved over on the first day - mainly cleaning supplies and food from the fridge.

About halfway through I got lazy and just started stuffing things in big black trashbags and carting them to my car. When I got back to my new kitchen, I started unloading the food from the bags and putting them into the fridge. I've had the same package of string cheese for about four months - I really don't like string cheese, but it's supposedly a healthy snack, and I try to fool myself into believing that I actually like it from time to time. Cheese takes forever to go bad, so I can't bring myself to throw it away. Waste not, want not and all that jazz. So I placed the cheese on the top shelf and continued putting kitchen items away.

I went to throw away the trashbags and felt something small in the bottom of one of them - one solitary string cheese had escaped its packaging.

The cheese stands alone.

I actually said it out loud (yes, sometimes I talk to myself) and then of course, I had to sing it. "The cheese stands alone...the cheese stands alone...hi-ho the dairy-oh, the cheese stands alone." It got me to thinking - what kind of sick twisted song is "The Farmer in the Dell"?

I can remember being in preschool, standing in a big circle of kids where one has been designated as the farmer - he chooses his wife, his various animals, kids, etc. - and then there's always one sucker. One kid left at the end who is The Cheese. The Cheese is then circled maliciously (or that's how it seems in my memory) while little screeching voices sing "The Cheese stands alone...The Cheese stands alone..."

And guess who was usually The Cheese when I was a kid? That's right, folks. Moi. I was The Cheese. I suppose it mainly had to do with the fact that I was usually the new kid, the one who hadn't been on play-dates with the others, etc., but it still smarted. The Farmer was always the cutest boy, The Wife was the prettiest girl, and The Cheese? Well. It didn't take a fourth grader to figure that out.

This is where it starts - it's just before the official name-calling, hair pulling, all-out bullying of elementary school and middle school. It's the precursor to the meanness of childhood. We learn early.

I'm not saying we should outlaw "The Farmer in the Dell." I still remember it, and it's a catchy tune. But maybe we should make sure that it's not always the same kid who ends up being The Cheese.

That or it could make a pretty good horror movie - "The Children of the Dell." All kids with white blonde hair and blue eyes and background music made up of those same children singing scary Latin music . And The Cheese, back for revenge.

Song I'm digging today: "Extraordinary" by Mandy Moore

Ok, so I need to preface my song choice with this - Mandy Moore, as a rule, gets on my nerves. She isn't a great actress (she does this whole squinty eyed pouty lipped thing in every movie that drives me nuts - someone somewhere has told her this is sexy, but I think they have confused "sexy" with "twitchy"). I don't think she's the greatest singer.

But I loved this CD. It was an attempt by her (or her label) to make her appeal to fans of Shawn Colvin, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, etc., and honestly - it worked for me. I'm almost 100% sure it's because this entire album was co-written by folks like The Weepies and Rachael Yamagata, but the songs really do suit Moore's voice and odd intonations. It's my guilty pleasure CD.

This song just makes me happy - it's so darn catchy, and I can't help but sing along every time it pops up on my mp3 playlist. It just feels like a sunny autumn day.

Best line: "The wind is playing in the trees/Kicking up confetti leaves..."


Anonymous said...

This whole blog is hilarious! I'm sorry you were the cheese, but maybe you're looking at it all wrong. Cheese makes EVERYTHING better. You weren't the string cheese. You were the cheddar cheese. Now, doesn't that make you feel better. Everyone loved you so much that they wanted to be sure you were one of the three people who were included in the game. ; ) As for Mandy Moore... I have no words... I'm completely dumbfounded.

Jane said...

Oooooh you crack me up! Maybe the title of your blog should be "Read with a good cup of coffee; you will start your day with laughter."

Okay, so that's a really long title, but I always know I am going to like whatever you have to say. :)

Bridge said...

This post about cheese brought to mind a certain time when you and I were playing in chat rooms....do you remember....

Amanda said...

I like brie! Oh, the memories, Bridgett.

Anne @ The City Sage said...

Have heard SO MANY awesome things about this CD. Going to try to illegally download it now.

And yes, I agree that there is inherent shame in being the cheese. It's in the same vein as never being 'goosed' for duck duck goose. always being a duck, never chosen to be a goose.

P.S. There are several weeks-old sticks of string cheese at the bottom of my veggie crisper.