Who Cut the Cheese?
By Lauren Green
Illustration by Jennifer Hart
I knew I liked her minutes into our first conversation. For starters, her hair wasn’t perfect. Wisps of flyaways were escaping from her bun, like mine often do. Second, when she went to the counter to buy her coffee, she left her purse on the table with me. Now that’s trust.
But what ultimately sealed the deal for me was her interest in who cut the cheese.
This was our first meeting. I had no guarantee the relationship would stick. We’ve all met people who should be our perfect match. On paper, at least. Same background. Same-age kids. Same interests. But for whatever reason, a connection never takes hold. Then there are those who don’t align with us one bit. Different religion. Different profession. Different party affiliation. Magically, it works. It’s the kind of mystery that keeps the world interesting and unpredictable, and I love it.
Circling back to that coffee date, I’m guessing that by now you, too, may be wondering who cut the cheese. Toward the end of our conversation outside the cafe, my new acquaintance mentioned popping into the adjacent market. She wanted to check up on a friend who had relocated from a sister store. Her friend worked in the cheese section. I didn’t make the effort to follow up with her on how she knew the cheese lady. Or how long they had known each other. But imagining her friend in there cutting the cheese made me giggle.
Fast-forward to a few days later.
I was in line waiting to order (another) coffee at a different cafe. The customer just ahead noticed me eyeing the two cakes he held in his hands. He laughed and assured me they weren’t for him. He went on to explain that he was on his way to share them with local business clients. Then came his question: Where do you work? Without waiting for a reply, he smiled goodbye through his mask (I think) and went on his way.
… 2020 has provided all of us with steady practice at coexisting with the unknown … I aim to share on this page what we do know: Our shared Southlake experiences as told through stories about us, stories from the insiders, the outsiders and everyone in between.
After purchasing my coffee, I considered his question. I work at home. The laundry, the meal-planning, the yardwork, the toilet-scrubbing: It’s unpaid work, and none of it is particularly glamorous, but it’s a great gig. However, now, with my kids away at college, these day-to-day tasks have decreased substantially. For the first time in a long time, I don’t have as many daily job requirements. And let me shout this part from the rafters: This is liberating. But it does leave me feeling slightly untethered.
Which, in a roundabout way, brings me here to this page. I’m not always a cover-to-cover reader of the local magazines that regularly appear in my mailbox, but I do recall many of writer Kathryn Hopper’s essays that were featured in this very publication. (Best wishes on your relo, Kathryn!) Her observations were usually funny, often relatable and always authentic.
And now, after an inquiry, an email and a coffee date, here I am picking up where Kathryn left off after her move to the East Coast. It’s a space where I can engage with my Southlake community in 700 words, give or take a few. I am grateful, motivated and, to be completely honest, a little anxious.
Because, as with most changes — jobs or otherwise — uncertainty lurks in the shadows just behind the excitement. Fortunately, 2020 has provided all of us with steady practice at coexisting with the unknown. So, with fear in check, I aim to share on this page what we do know: Our shared Southlake experiences as told through stories about us, stories from the insiders, the outsiders and everyone in between. Even the cheese cutters. Think of it as a grazing board, in a sense, featuring the unique individuals living in the community smorgasbord we call Southlake.
So, who cut the cheese that day? I have no idea. But I hope my friend found her. I love the thought of a crosstown friendship that survived a job change. It inspires hope. Hope that especially now, in the spirit of the upcoming holiday season and new year, we may continue to find each other in ways that connect us.
Even if you happen to be behind the counter, cutting the cheese.
Lauren Green, a native of Kentucky, has lived in Southlake with her husband and two children for 13 years. In addition to her work at home, she’s also an active volunteer in the community.