So, I ate some cheese last week. This is a big deal.
I'll tell you why - ever since I can remember, I've abhorred the taste of cheese. I'd like to think I'm not a terribly picky eater, but this has always been a blind spot in my attempts to be open minded. When I was a small child I went starving at kids birthday parties. I'm the weirdo ordering veal in an Italian restaurant instead of pasta. I'm that jerknose who always wants to add an order of wings onto the bill when someone orders delivery because I literally can't bring myself to eat pizza. I don't know whether or not I choked on a piece of cheddar as a baby, or a slab of gruyere killed my sensei or something, but something must've caused me to develop this taste aversion. The mere smell of cheese turns my stomach, even in things like a really creamy ranch dressing. In first year university I'd thought someone had left a cheese pizza to rot in the front lobby of my dorm because the smell of cheese was so rank - turns out, it had just been vomit. This is how I experience cheese.
Thus, it was a big deal when I accidentally scarfed some cheddar last week and didn't immediately retch. Better yet, after the cheese-eating wasn't an unpleasant experience, the entirety of reality didn't cease to exist, meaning that my hatred of fermented milk may not actually be a universal constant that would cause the universe to implode if it ceased to be.
What happened was this. I went to a restaurant. I ordered a sandwich for lunch. I got through half of it, alternating my opinion bite-to-bite between "this is delicious!" and "what's that weird kinda gross taste?" However, I was unrelentingly starving and my scarfing kept going apace until I'd finished my meal.
Turns out my sandwich had some mostly inoffensive cheddar melted into it. Suddenly, I was filled with self-doubt. How could I like cheese? Or, since I'd alternated between feeling neutral-to-this-is-weird-and-kinda-gross during my sandwich experience, how could I even at the very least find it completely and utterly inoffensive? This is a defining part of my character. What next? If I can like cheese, what's next? I'll start wearing baseball caps with their brims unbroken? I'll start voting Conservative? I'll suddenly like clubbing? What about opium? Maybe I like that, huh? CHAOS. Up was down, left was right, dogs and cats living together - I was having a crisis.
After my worldview started crumbling, I went into denial. Some bites were gross, right? What if there just wasn't a lot of the infernal cow-paste on the sandwich, and that little bit of grossness was when the actual flavour of the cheesy anathema burst past the much better taste of roasted vegetables and chicken. Maybe the natural order still exists! Maybe there is a god!
But. Every time I go to the Pie Plate with Erin, she gets a pizza. And it looks actually good. I'm a huge fan of flatbread, and it really does look good. And if maybe I could like it, if I could get over this hatred that has burned inside my tastebuds since time immemorial... maybe. Maybe. I could do anything.
If by anything I mean maybe share a pizza sometime. I've yet to take that plunge and actively eat the stuff knowingly but it's a step in the... and I hate to say it... right direction. Hm. We shall see.