Nancy Roman

Cutting The Cheese

One of my favorite expressions is “light-hearted”.

I love all that “light-hearted” conveys: happiness that lifts the heart; the weightlessness of joy.

I am light-hearted. I am easily pleased and I don’t worry much. I look for the best in people, and I’m quick to see the humor in everything. It’s what I like best about myself.

My husband is a very serious person. Because he takes so much to heart, he is not light-hearted. He is heavy-hearted. He worries. He analyzes. Then he worries some more.

A few years ago, my husband had a health scare. He recovered completely, and on his final visit to the surgeon, the surgeon gave some personal advice. “Try to enjoy life more. Be more spontaneous,” the doctor said.

It’s been seven years, and although he’s basically a happy person, my husband is still a serious happy person.

And this past year he has experienced another health crisis. Everything has turned out just fine, but the ordeal reminded my husband of his surgeon’s advice.

He has made a determined effort to have more fun. To be spontaneous and light-hearted.

A few days ago I came home from work and he was in the kitchen putting together a little appetizer:  olives and cheese and crackers.

Very spontaneous – especially adding olives.

My husband was particularly pleased with his little snack.

“Did you notice how I cut the cheese?” he asked.

Naturally I snickered a little. It is a proven fact that an adolescent sense of humor never quite goes away.

But I didn’t really see anything special with the cheese.

“Look,” he said. “It’s not all cut up perfectly square like I usually do.”

(Well, that’s certainly true… his cubing is nothing short of obsessive. See It’s Dicey“.)

“I cut the cheese [snicker] free-form,” he explained.

And looking closely, I ascertained that the pieces of cheese were indeed not all perfectly square. Some were slightly trapezoid.

“That’s very spontaneous of you,” I said encouragingly.

“It’s whimsical,” he agreed.


Well, we all have to start someplace.


  1. Starting with whimsical cheese shapes is as good as place as any I think.


  2. Now THAT’s funny! Thanks for the early morning laugh…..(and snicker!).


  3. Baby steps, right? 🙂


  4. Fart jokes will never cease being funny.


  5. Whimsical? As in fanciful, odd, out of the ordinary, weird, peculiar, quaint, fantastic, unusual, capricious, amusing, playful?

    I think he’s quaint. As in charming, old-fashioned, unusual.

    He’s a CATCH. Lucky you.


    • Sometimes it’s not quite as charming in real life. “Whimsical” though, charmed me.


  6. He sounds wonderfully quirky, just like you, only different! May he stay healthy and happy and lighter hearted.


  7. The olives aren’t evenly placed. This is probably a huge step for him.


    • Oh, they probably were perfectly placed – this is just my whimsical interpretation.


  8. Barney

    I was your husband. 2 serious health scares, worried about everything. Somehow light hit dawn, and I learned, or it was beat into me by the universe, that life’s just too damn short. (yup, it’s a cliche, but still true). Woke up one morning, cut the metaphorical chees in less than perfect squares, and lo, the world didn’t end. It was a beginning…

    Thanks for sharing!


  9. Talk to me...I'm your Mother

    I don’t think of myself as serious, but I’ll cop to “intense”. Fun post!


    • “Intense” is a perfect word for my husband. He’s not insane, just intense.


  10. Hello Nancy,

    Your blog is one of my favorites to follow! I noticed that your picture is also quite whimsicial this time. Do you use an IPad for your sketches? Just curious.



    • I draw freehand, and then I scan the drawing and use (like free photoshop) to add background colors, framing, special effects. Glad you like my blog!


  11. I wonder if they could package “whimsical cheese – perfect for acts of spontaneity.” I would certainly buy whimsical cheese.


  12. Adorable. It sounds like your husband has a charming sense of humor, with just a touch of mischief in it. I think there’s hope for him. 🙂


  13. I think we may be married to the same person. Except my husband would have searched for written instructions on cutting the cheese (snicker free), preferably with illustrations. Then he would have made several calls to cheese shops for advice on the best technique for whimsical cheese cutting. He would clearly run out of time for the olives. I don’t have a tattoo, but if I did, it would be of the Yin and the Yang. Maybe made out of cheese…


    • Oh yes, he would definitely make a few phone calls. But NO instructions! My guess he had time for the olives because he’d been at it for an hour.


  14. I think that’s wonderful that he is at least attempting to be whimsical! We could all use a bit more whimsy in our lives!


  15. I laughed out loud when I read “Did you notice how I cut the cheese?” And then I felt an immediate sense of shame for my very adolescent sense of humor. Which was then replaced with absolute relief and vindication that I was not alone there.


  16. I’m relieved that he’s not too serious to snicker over “cut the cheese.”


    • I have to confess…the snicker was all mine.


  17. “slightly trapezoid” — LOVE it!!


  18. hee hee this is a delightfully whimsical post! It sounds like you two are definitely a good match. I sweat the small stuff, but am usually calm in a crisis, and I love to see the humor in just about everything! It’s never hard to find on this blog 🙂


  19. I AM DYING laughing right now. First off…I’m with you with that adolescent mind thing. Stuck at 14 forever. The term, cut the cheese. OH the giggles. Our friends, Leo and Rineke used to come to see us about 2X a year for about 2 decades. Their wit is as silly as ours. Well, they were getting ready to go to a party and I told her that it was imperative that she ask each person she met at this party if they cut the cheese. Why? Because it is a huge honor to be the person to cut the cheese at a party. She didn’t fall for it. Darn. Okay, your husband and the perfect squares…Cracking up.


  20. I left out that Leo and Rineke were from Holland….important point.


  21. cutely funny!!


  22. Tell you husband, “Bravo” for starting somewhere… I’m basically a serious, happy person, so I can relate!


  23. Dor

    This one makes me snicker spontaneously. Actually, I am of the happy serious variety so can identify with your husband and wish I were more like you.


  24. “One small change for cheese, one giant step for Hubby!” I have faith he will continue to grow artistically in his food preparation and actually start to crack himself up!!


  25. Unscripted cheese-cutting is a very good start.



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