Attack of the Cheesewoman

My wife Staci made me go to a wedding last weekend.

Staci makes me go to everything.

If it weren’t for her, I’d be happy.  Like Howard Hughes, I’d be high on morphine rocking back and forth in the closet of a Las Vegas hotel room, but I’d be happy.

My resentment is what makes me buy her birthday cakes shaped like Menorahs with “to Stan” written across the top.

Then a family wedding rolls around, and she gets her vengeance.  She makes me attend.

The weddings themselves are survivable.  Survivable because in church, people talk less.  I can just sit there in silence and memorize the Canadian provinces, west to east, which is what I’m doing when I close my eyes in church.

But the receptions that follow are hell in a cheesebasket.  Hell because they include the vicious troika of dancing, relatives and speeches.  Cheesebasket because that is what I was staring at in the double-row buffet line as the large woman across from me tried to clasp a cheese cube with the only pair of tongs available.

And so I waited.


Because the woman could only clamp one cube of cheese at a time.

It was clear her woeful display was no doubt due to the way she was holding the tongs.  They were pressed between her fingers and palm.  It was as though she were the only member of the species to not receive the “opposable thumb” memo.

I should add that none of this was remotely fair.  I had skipped my table’s trip to the buffet and waited for every other table to have their trip to the buffet, so I could go absolutely last.  When there would be no people.   And no chance of conversation.

But no.  The same cruel irony that rendered the musically-gifted Beethoven deaf and the telescopically-gifted Galileo blind delivered unto the misanthropically-gifted Stephan the being known as Cheesewoman.

Seconds ticked by like hours.  It was all I could do to keep from helping.

And by “helping,” I mean grabbing a handful of cheese cubes and throwing them at her.

I thought about leaving cheese-less, but cheese is the one thing Staci had asked me to get for her when I got up to go to the buffet line.  Oh, the cruel master of vengeance that is Staci, gleefully sending me into Dante’s eighth circle of hell for some cheese.

And then Cheesewoman spoke.   And I slipped into Dante’s ninth circle.

At least I assumed it was Cheesewoman speaking.  It was hard to see her face over Mount Cheesamanjaro.

“My husband always has me get some for him,” she said, smiling.

I thought about not responding.  Divine retribution for her gluttonous one-woman Cheesapalooza.

But I did, marking my first kind act of June.  (Actually, my second, if you consider the fact that I refrained from tossing cheese at her.)

“Mine, too,” I replied.

And then she stopped smiling.

And I realized what she was thinking.

Stephan was gay.

Gay because “mine, too” meant I was getting cheese for my husband.

So I clarified my remark.

“For my wife.  I meant, for my wife.”

“Oh,” she said, “I wasn’t gonna say anything.  Because in this area, you never know.”

It was said with an unmistakable condescension and disdain, and coming from the Cheese Wizard, it was more than I could take.

So I said one more thing.

“I meant my husband.”

Her eyes narrowed.

“Her name is Stan.”

47 thoughts on “Attack of the Cheesewoman

  1. That lady didn’t deserve cheese. Cheese is a privelage, not a right. And because you are from SF, you might be gay? Wow, I would have thrown cheese at her wide bottom and ran like hell.

  2. Everybody knows she was getting the cheese for her own fat ass, right? She just said it was for her “husband” so as to not look completely pathetic.

  3. If you had taken the Cheese Wizard over to Staci and introduced her to “Stan”, that would have been classic! And serve Staci right for making you go to the wedding!

  4. Hedgewitch: don’t you mean ‘OUT of hell’ ? d:

    Pastis: I would ask to be invited to the next wedding you have to go to, but I imagine my presence couldn’t possibly help the misanthrope at the major social function. But at least I’d appreciate the mood you were in, unlike anyone else there (:

  5. Big fan. Mt.Cheesmanjaro! That’s hilarious. I’m pretty sure I’ve met this woman before or maybe it was her second cousin twice removed.(Twice we tried to remove her from the cheese platter!

  6. Just take cheese with your fingers. Or pick up a fork and take cheese that way. It’s not like your wife is going to care if it has fork holes in the cubes or know if you took them with your fingers.

  7. I have 4 weddings and receptions to go to this summer. One is already enough for me. I wonder if you’ll feel the same way at your children’s weddings.

  8. Weddings are indeed evil, egomaniacal events. One ought to put a time limit, like any sport. Ideally, you can take time outs where no one can bother you for 5 minutes. The only positive is the free food and open bar. Any wedding with a cash bar is not worth attending.

  9. Social functions are the worst. I’m glad there are misanthropes in this forum who despise social functions. My husband’s family who have never met me usually have this conversation –

    Idiot Second Cousin : “OH How are you Kim”?

    Me: “I’m not Kim. I’m Joni, the wife of the past five years. Kim & Aaron have been divorced for many years”.

    ISC: “OH, so you aren’t the Jehevoh’s Witness wife”?

    Me: “No, I’m the pagan/atheist/devil worshipper/puppy killer/cat strangler who is gonna eat all the cheese and drink all the wine”.

    ISC: “Oh, your kid is the one who keeps whacking the older kids with sticks”.

    Me: “She is two, they are seven and three times her size. Tell your kids to stop acting like pansies and suck it up”. Then I walk away.

  10. Man, there is nothing worse than a wedding. I’d rather go to a funeral. At least those “take.”

  11. For a misanthrope, you’re rather patient. I would have started grabbing cheese with my fingers. I don’t shy away from human interaction, but I have no patience for ignorance. The fact that she couldn’t even work a pair of tongs should have warned you that conversation with this woman need go no further than a smile and a nod.

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  13. If you would have introduced her to Stan, would she have just thought that she was an incredible looking drag queen? People can be that stupid.

  14. It’s interesting to read the travails of another misanthrope. It’s not that I hate people so much…just being around them in large packs.

    You were being too polite. You should have grabbed handfuls of cheese and run.

  15. The eighth circle of hell was basically for liars such as flatterers, fortune tellers and yes, lawyers.

    The ninth circle of hell was for betrayers. Who did you betray?

  16. I’m going to do all I can to make sure “hell in a cheesebasket” becomes America’s next favorite catch phrase.

  17. Hahaha! You should have thrown the cheese. 🙂 I’ll bet wifey got a kick out of that story.

  18. What is it with weddings and cheese. I say that instead of cheese and cake, let’s make zucchini the tradition. Smaller buffet lines and we can get out of the reception more quickly and do something we actually like. Like shopping for ridculously inappropriate birthday cakes…

  19. So would this be a case for or against gay marriage? On the plus, two gay men would have a better shindig with better cheese access, however it would also mean that there are more weddings/receptions to go to.

    (foxtrot… it would be worse at his kid’ wedding… he would be paying for the cheese woman’s cheese.)

    I am glad that you take an interest in my country’s geography, however I do believe that with only 10 provinces it is kind of unambitious task, at least add the three territories to mix things up a little

  20. Foxtrot, to answer your question: many parents cry at their children’s weddings, because they found out how much that cheese tray costed that is being wolfed down by the “wide wife”.

  21. After that did her head explode out of confusion and discomfort? Was the cheese that flew out of her head FA-LAMING? 🙂

  22. 1) I ❤ you. I wish I had your balls. Her reaction tickles me.
    2) I saw "And by “helping,” I mean grabbing a handful of cheese cubes and throwing them at her." First, and I almost wish you had, but I like your response much better. I wonder what your wife said when you told her?

  23. You should have pretended to show her how to hold the tongs, then steal them to pick up all the cheese you needed. THEN run like hell.

  24. You should have pretended to show her how to actually hold the tongs, then steal it to pick up all the cheese you need. THEN run like hell.

  25. I was at a wedding too. And I met this androgynous-looking dude at the reception. He just stared and stared. I could tell he wanted to throw cheese down the front of my low-cut blouse. Pervert!

    And then he said he was getting cheese for his husband.

  26. Pastis, you sly dog, you’ve done it again.

    This was brilliant. Just brilliant. Now back to lawyering for me… *sigh*

  27. at least with a buffet you didn’t have to gamble on the age old “chicken or fish” pre-ordered meal…

  28. I can understand Cheesewoman’s concern – two men getting married might negatively impact her ability to take all the cheese from the cheesebasket at weddings. After all, everyone knows that gays have fabulous wedding buffets with gorgeous little nibbley things and Japanese finger foods.
    She shouldn’t worry though, she probably doesn’t get invited to those kinds of weddings anyway.

  29. I’ve just had a revelation. The old light bulb over the head, if you will.

    Stephan’s wife name is Staci.
    Scott Adams owns a restaurant called “Staci’s”.

    Stephan Pastis married to Scott Adams.

    Just a thought….

    (Yes, I’m pretty sure Mr. Adams spells the restaurant differently.)

  30. Please tell me she was fat, and looked like Harvey Korman dressed as Mother Marcus…complete with blue flowery dress and matching flowery-bird hat. Because that’s how I am picturing this feckless moron. And I hate weddings, too…except for gay weddings – those are actually fun.

  31. there are three kinds of misanthropes in the world. the kind that would have thrown the cheese at that lady without a second thought, the kind that would say as little as possible to avoid human interaction, and you. You could take that as a compliment or an insult. (By the way, I am in the second group)

  32. Thanks for the story and laugh. It made me think of my days at law school (UOP McGeorge) where the various bar review courses would have these promotions for us to buy their review course and would try to entice us with beer and cheese cubes. I drank a bunch of their beer, eat their cheese cubes, and got a course for free by being the guy to turn the video tape on and off. Thanks for making me think about those days again.

  33. Mental cookies for not being homophobic like SOME people. *cough cough* cheesewoman *cough cough*

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