Happy National Cheese Lovers Day!

by Chrissa Hardy

Today is a very special day indeed. For cheese lovers worldwide, this annual celebration is like Thanksgiving plus Christmas plus the Super Bowl minus any food regrets. Oh yes, my friends, Jan. 20 is National Cheese Lovers Day. And while we have just been given the green light to stuff our faces with brie as far as the eye can see, I have to wonder — as we are all goddesses of gouda — isn't every day Cheese Lovers Day?

I mean, personally, my every meal is approached with graceful restraint... until cheese comes into play. Then I tuck my napkin into my shirt and shovel that gorgonzola into my gullet like my plane is going down. Must be why my doctor keeps telling me to cool it on the camembert or I'm doomed to forever suffer with cholesterol problems. Whatevs. YOLO, amirite?

My point is, life without cheese is really no life at all. So let's all throw our hands up and thank the cheese god who created the moon (or something like that, right?), and party like havarti. Today we can all let our freaky cheese flags fly. And tomorrow we can eat exactly the same way, because let's be real, every day is National Cheese Lovers Day.

Still not convinced? Here's proof.

1. Because pizza is always the goal

When we were kids, gooey, cheesy pizza was used as an incentive for everything. Oh, you want a pizza party for your entire class? Read the most books. Get the highest grade. Participate all the time. Be nice to the substitute. We were trained to strive for pizza. As adults, we can reward ourselves with it whenever the hell we want. And we do.

2. Because there's a cheese for every budget

To enjoy the flavor of cheese, you can spend as little as $1 on a pack of "cheese food" slices, or you can spend $15 on one small, rich block of cheesy goodness. There is a cheese for every occasion and at any price point. It is truly the food that connects us as human beings.

3. Because it's the only way salads and sandwiches taste good

Before you try to tell me that sandwiches with double meat and/or mayo and avocado and salads with nuts and tangy dressing taste just fine without cheese, allow me to agree with you. They taste just fine. But what are we, nuclear apocalypse survivors lowering our standards in a desperate search for sustenance? No, not yet anyway. Until that day comes, I prefer to have all my meals taste a little better than just fine. And for the sake of your overall happiness, I suggest you do the same... by adding cheese.

4. Because mac and cheese has taken all kinds of beautiful forms

There's mac and cheese pizza. Mac and cheese whoopie pies have become a thing. There are bacon mac and cheese donuts. I KNOW. It's a wonderful time to be alive.

5. Because cheese snacks are the best snacks

If I ever meet the person who invented string cheese, I may or may not feel compelled to give them a loud sloppy smooch of gratitude. I'd even kiss the person who created cheese cubes, because those are also pretty fantastic AND convenient.

6. Because even fancy parties have it

Even the wealthiest, most powerful people have cheese platters at their parties. What does that tell you about success? That it involves cheese.

7. Because melted cheese is a magical meal healer

You could put a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce on a plate and as long as it has a thick layer of warm, melted cheese, I'm certain that even the Grinch would devour it in a heartbeat.

8. Because it pairs so perfectly with alcohol

There are so many delightful pairings with cheese and alcohol. Beer and cheese, wine and cheese — it's all gold. The two best things in the world came together and said, "Hey, let's do this."

9. Because Liz Lemon finally freed us from the guilt of eating night cheese

No more shame! No more self-loathing! No more attempting light steps across creaky floorboards in the darkness just to reach the fridge for a late-night cheese bite. We can eat our night cheese while wearing our slankets on the couch and even sing about it, should we so desire. Thank you, Liz Lemon. You have put an end to cheese shaming.

10. Because cheese

Guys, come one. Cheese is always worth celebrating. Always.

Image: Dennis The Prescott/Instagram; Joyosity/Flickr; Giphy (10)