We bit the bullet and went to Costco last week and you know what? When you're throwing out half the food you bought there three days later because the fruit is moldy and the cheesecake tastes worse than sugared cotton balls, what's the point of paying a $100 membership fee for access to a bunch of rotten food? Certainly a person can buy only so much discount lawn furniture.
Hauling $25 worth of cheesecake to the garbage today, though, allowed me to reflect on the mindset of deprivation with which I was raised. My father would have made me keep the cheesecake no matter how many of my expectations it failed to meet, he would have clogged his heart with a fresh slice every day until it was gone. I once accidentally burnt a batch of cookies and he stopped me from scraping them into the garbage, saying, "That's good food you're throwing away!" -- black oatmeal cookies -- BLACK -- and to prove his point he stood over the sink and ate every last one. And probably enjoyed them. Food in our house was good only if it was cheap and sweet, not if it actually satisfied any nutritional needs your body might have.
Internet-trolling Dumpster divers, I welcome you to my discarded cheesecake. My conscience tells me I should maybe at least have composted it but there's no way to do that where I live, the condo association having a strict policy against leaving boxes of rotting food in the bushes. And what with us living so far afield, the nearest population of street scavengers is up in Santa Barbara where the police actively discourage the distribution of anything that would even temporarily clog a sidewalk with vagrants, runaway skater kids, or migrant workers.
What a weird world we live in.