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Wow! It’s Wednesday! And I Shall Read By the Light of This Cheese…

frenchcheeseSo I promised to support my writing exchange partner by reading her National Novel Writing Month pages as she writes them and giving her positive feedback. At least I thought I was supporting her, but as it turns out, I was volunteering for a particular kind of obsessive book thrall. The kind that moves you to actually you know … do things. IRL things. Because you read it in a book. And I’m only on Chapter 4.

Let me back up. I can’t tell you the plot of the novel, because it’s not mine to tell. But the first bit of it is set in France. And the narrator does such a good job of describing France, that I could now tell to you what the congested highways are like on the way from the French airport. And also what a French snack of jam and cheese tastes like. And what it feels like to be a smart, white teenager in em-effin France. And you know this novel actually makes me want to sit in rush hour traffic in France, and snack on jam and cheese, and be a teenager in em-effin France. Even the jet lag seemed pretty effin romantic.

Seriously, I’m loving this book. I could practically hear French music playing as I read it. Then I heard Betty crying. She had woken up from her nap and it was time for me to come back to California. That’s when this particular kind of book thrall hit me. I decided to go get some fancy cheese. In fact I decided to strap Betty in the Baby Bjorn and walk to Ralph’s and get the fanciest cheese they had.

But then I got to the living room and realized it was dark already, and though I used to be a champion night walker, I just didn’t want to walk in the dark with a kid.

Fine, I said to myself. I’ll strap Betty into the car seat and drive to Whole Foods, then I’ll strap her into the Baby Bjorn and go buy the fanciest cheese they have.

Now this was quite a mission, since lately Betty has decided that she hates both her car seat and the dark. The Whole Foods is fairly close, but by the time I got there it felt like I had been in the car forever with her screaming her Trail-of-Tears level displeasure the entire way.

My nerves were frayed, but my heart was determined. I would have my fancy cheese. Oh yes, I would have my fancy cheese.

After picking up some chicken per my MIL’s request, we made our way to the cheese counter and found ourselves overwhelmed with a large array of fancy cheeses, many of them French. I picked one that was on sale for $11.99, b/c I wanted to see what a cheese that cost that much on discount would taste like. Then I asked the lady behind the counter to suggest a goat cheese and a salted cheese. She pointed out her favorite goat cheese, then offered me a slice of a new salted cheese that they had just gotten in. She handed it to me on a napkin, but somehow I thought I was just supposed to take the cheese, but then the cheese wasn’t strong enough to be finger-pinched and the majority of the sample fell to the floor. Embarrassing, but the bit I did have was delicious, so I picked up a triangular block of it.

Then we hit the small meats department and picked out some peppered salami. After that we hit the olive bar, got some crackers, too, and went home. And now as I’m writing this, I’m looking forward to making a plate of cheese and olives and salami to snack on along with a glass of wine. Late night snacking is ill-advised, since I’m trying to lose this baby weight. But like I said, I’m in a particular kind of book thrall.

Hey, it could be worse. One time when I was in the clutches of this kind of book thrall, during the opening chapters of The Beach, I emailed my sister on my phone (yes, you could do that already in Japan back in 1999) and told her where we were going after her college graduation. And that’s how we ended up Thailand less than 4 days after she threw her cap in the air — wait a minute,  how much do you think it would cost to fly to Paris for a couple of weeks…

Seriously though, has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been inspired to try something new or visit someplace, b/c you read about (and fell in love with) it in a book? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any cheese suggestions, do bring them on.