I had been seeing Mike for almost a month. Our first date was a free movie in the park. And for our second through fourth dates, Mike took me to his favorite street cart. The lamb was good, as they say, but the conversation was even better.
So, I decided to return the favor by sharing some of my favorite cuisine with him. I ordered some rennet and citric acid online, deciding on a sour labneh cheese to complement his obvious love for Middle Eastern food. Upon starting, I realized that the unpasteurized milk dealer had issued a recall for the batch of milk I’d bought, but I wasn’t going to let a small hitch like that affect my plans. Mike deserved a custom-made brick of cheese deserving of his kindness and good looks. So I charged on, coagulating, curding, and salting my heart out.
Mike finally got to my apartment only an hour late—the cheese had been sitting out for a while, so he was greeted by first by its potent smell and then by me. “Before we do anything else,” I told him as I took off his shoes, “I want you to try this.” I plucked a Pringle out of the can, slathered it with the runny white substance, and handed it to him. It took a little coaxing, but he finally took a bite… and then immediately spat it out, like I’d fed him something rotten or something.
When I urged him to take just one fingerful more, explaining that maybe Pringles were a bad pairing, he proceeded to retch uncontrollably. Talk about chivalry being dead!
Obviously, I was devastated. How many blogs had I read that said, “men love handmade things”?? Definitely at least two blogs! As he blew chunks in my bathroom sink, I began to wonder if Mike was the man I’d thought he was. Maybe I was just blinded by his handsomeness and adorably thrifty lifestyle and missed the important thing: he couldn’t handle a real woman who made real cheese.
At any rate, his untoward rejection of my affection made me question everything. Was it the Pringles? Was he overcome by the blood, sweat and tears that went into the process? Or was it simply male commitment-phobia manifesting itself at the sight of my beautiful seeping pile of sour cheese? Perhaps I’ll never know.
He’s still in there puking. In the meantime, I’ll be preparing an apology-wheel of Parmesan, salting it with my tears.