Here is an excerpt from my autobiography, “Memoirs of a Black Rose.” This is from chapter 35.
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Kathleen and I had sort of an unwritten rule that we don’t get each other gifts for holidays. I’m not sure how this all came about, but at some point years ago we decided not to spend money on each other and it just stayed that way. Both of us are notorious for finding loopholes in rules that provide an advantage, so we often get gifts for the “family” instead of each other. This year was no exception. We always send the kids gifts, usually with a $50 maximum price tag. This year we sent then each a crisp $50 bill in a card. In exchange, the Schaar family sent us William Sonoma’s “3 Months of Cheese.”
Andrew and I had recently started having “Cheese Parties” at our house. Since we don’t drink wine (or alcohol) at all, we can’t call them “Wine and Cheese” parties. Our cheese parties were always done with just the two of us. Our friends don’t seem to want to get involved because there is no wine to pair it with. These parties consisted of 3-5 different cheese varieties neither one of us had ever tried before, along with some new type of crackers or olives. We would bring the cheese to room temperature, and then try it plain and toasted on a cracker in the oven for a few minutes. We rated the cheeses on a scale from one to ten, and kept track of the results in a Google spreadsheet document online. The next time we wanted to have another cheese party, while at the store we consulted the Google document on our phones to determine which new cheese to try.
The Schaars gift of “3 Months of Cheese” provided us with home delivery from some of the dairy farms throughout the United States, such as Utah, Vermont and California. Out of curiosity, I looked up the price of this subscription, and was astounded to discover it exceeded any reasonable amount one should spend for a gift. Andrew talked me out of trying to one-up Kathleen and instead, I simply thanked her for the lovely gift. We thoroughly enjoyed our three months of cheese!