Charlie has issues with cheese smells. He likes to eat cheese, frequently suggesting that a good ol’ piece of American or mild cheddar be slapped onto his cold cut sandwich. He’ll even force himself to bear the sour pungent aroma of a good block of parm so he can enjoy a light sprinkle of it over his pasta. “It’s the smell I don’t like, not the taste!” he always says.
Charlie draws the line at blue cheese, however. He gets all caught up in the meaning of “blue.”
CHARLIE: I thought it was called blue cheese because eating it would make you feel blue.
(He says this while watching me cut into a wedge of blue cheese. The butter knife slowly sinks down into the cheese hunk and then I break the chunk up into smaller odd-shaped pieces, scattering them here and there over my field of greens.)
CASSIE: No, it’s because of the mold in the cheese.
(I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the reaction on Char’s face at my mention of mold. I held back my grin, but I couldn’t help the taunting lift of my eyebrows.)
CASSIE: A lot of cheeses get moldy when they are at their most ripe, when they are the most tasty.
CHARLIE: And that could make you blue because THAT IS SOOO DISGUSTING! I could go blue from holding my breath so I don’t have to smell this awful stench! Blue cheese is now officially the worst cheese there is, worse than Parmesan, which always smells like puke.
(Charlie is now convulsing in a series of fake gagging and retching motions and sounds, an act he performs with some regularity at chez Bollinger.)
CASSIE: “The more stinky the cheese, the better,” is what a lot of people say…
CHARLIE: Who thought of cheese?
CASSIE: I’m not sure. The French probably…Fromage. I just love that word, fromage.
(I begin to speak in a pretend French accent as I continue to prepare my blue cheese and walnut salad. Charlie is embarrassed at my pretense.)
CHARLIE: I’m done with this conversation.
CASSIE: Okay. Go take your shower now. And Charlie?
CASSIE: Don’t forget to wash your cheesy feet!
CHARLIE: Ewwww. Mom, you are so gross.
As Charlie flees from our little cheese chat with his exclamations of disgust, I also happen to catch the “Bollinger Boy Smirk” wash over his face (that singular look that is part smile -part eyebrow roll-part genuine laugh/smirk), a look I know and love. I smile to myself as I bite into my stinky and delicious blue cheese salad. I just made a little joke…and he couldn’t help himself. He laughed!