Monday, June 9, 2008

The 1% Solution

My grandmother is the only person I know who buys 1% milk. She may be the only person in the entire world who buys the 1% for all I know. I do not recall ever seeing another soul opening the cooler to the 1%. I have never seen anyone at a check out with the stuff. I have never witnessed it in any friend’s refrigerator – not that I often search through acquaintances’ kitchens, unless, of course, I suspect they are harboring good beer. I have no idea what advantages the 1% milk holds over its more popular whole, skim, and 2% brethren. There must not be many. I am not even sure what the percentage refers to. 1% of what? I want to say it has something to do with fat or cream content, but I cannot say with any authority. It may just as well refer to some insidious secret ingredients – medical wastes, rat feces, vitamin D – as any known dairy product. I guess I’m not really up to snuff on my milk knowledge. I don’t really like milk. It’s gross, a beverage with absolutely no quenching capacity. It’s the only thing people drink which still needs washed down with another beverage. It’s opaque. It comes from underneath cows. I really do not like milk, which is odd since I love so many other dairy products. I have an abiding passion for many of the things milk becomes – cheeses, creams, yogurt, mustaches – but no real love for the pure stuff itself.

My grandmother on the other hand must have a long-standing affair with milk. I’ve never actually witnessed her drinking milk, but I have seen the empty cartons. At least twice a week I am sent to the store to by half a gallon of 1% milk. Why she settled on 1% as her milk of choice is beyond me. Why my grandmother scorns the more conventional milks is a question I have long pondered, but never asked. Maybe it is doctor’s orders. Perhaps, she just likes being different – not really much like my grandmother, but everyone has to have his or her little quirk. She may honestly like the stuff. She may be onto a milk secret no everyone else has yet to discover. 1% milk may be the tastiest milk out there. It might be so good you don’t need to add chocolate to make it remotely palatable. My grandmother may be on the cutting edge of milk drinking. In the future, 2% may have sissy cap colors like pink and yellow while 1% wears the manly blue mantle. All I know is that I get strange looks at the counter when I bring up the 1%. I can see it in every checkout girl’s eyes, “Oh, so YOU’RE the one.”

No. I am not the one who drinks the 1%. I am only the one who buys it. And, no, I have no idea why.