Painfully Shy (9)

Waaay back in the day, when I was a wee tyke, I used to be very, very, very, very, very shy. So shy, that sometimes, I couldn’t eat around other people. I don’t know what my problem was, but I would just freak out and almost get sick at the thought of having to eat around people outside my family. It was weird.

When I was in first grade, I hated lunchtime. UGHHH. I wanted to disappear when the bell rang for lunch. Everyone would be so excited and run to the back of our classroom to grab their lunchboxes for lunch. Me? I’d run back too, pretending I was SO thrilled, but really, I was dying on the inside. I wanted so badly to just stay behind and hide under a desk or something. But of course, I couldn’t do that.  So, my teacher (a nun) would truck us down to the cafeteria and we’d all scramble over to our section for our 20 minutes of “freedom” from class.

Everyone would tear into their lunchboxes to see what their moms or dads packed for them. And I’d do the same. I’d pull out all of my goodies and lay them out in front of me. I can still smell the stench of bologna riiiight now. My mom would always make me a sandwich of some kind. Bologna. Salami. Ham (my fav!!) And then there’d be a little baggie filled with some grapes or perhaps a small can of fruit cocktail (mmm). My thermos would have some apple juice or something of that nature. (I was addicted to juice as a kid. *lol*) Yes, I was soooooo NOT excited to eat. I’d nibble on everything, pretending that I wasn’t scared to death on the inside. I’d talk to my friends and try to pass the time away. Twenty minutes is nothing, but it seemed like hours! Finally, the bell would ring and we could go outside to play! YES! I could finally escape from the torture. Recess was MY freedom.

One day, when we came back in from recess, our teacher decided to inspect our lunchboxes. I have no idea why. She hadn’t ever done that before. That day, I didn’t eat my sandwich. It was bologna. Can we just say, “EW”? Never liked bologna. Do people know what that’s made of?! I was a little kid, but I knew bologna was disgusting and was not fit for human consumption.

My teacher made her way to my desk and I slowly opened my box.

“You didn’t eat your sandwich. Why not?”

“I wasn’t hungry”, I said, trying not to cry. How embarrassing!! I was on the spot. Everyone was looking at me. Do you know what I hated more than lunchtime? Being the center of attention! UGH!

I remember wanting the floor to open up and swallow me at that moment. (Mind you, I was six. Yes, my imagination was quite vivid at that age.) *lol*

“Well, let’s go to the office. Maybe you’ll eat there.”

I think I started tearing up for sure at that point. Mortified doesn’t even describe how I felt. Some of my friends looked sad, as I made my way out of the classroom. Thinking about this story now, I knew the teacher only wanted me to eat lunch because, well, I was a little kid. She knew I’d be hungry before the day was done. She was just trying to be responsible. And I’m sure she didn’t want to hear from my parents, who would surely question why I didn’t eat lunch when I got home. I get it…now. But then? Oh! She was the spawn of Satan!! *LOL*  Yes, I just called a nun the spawn of Satan. See what I did there? Yeah. Ok, moving on. 🙂

Long story short: I went to the office. I sat there, attempting to eat the gross sandwich. I nibbled on it, but I just didn’t want to eat it. And now I was in the office where our mean old principal, Sister Albina, kept hovering over me, trying to convince me to eat. It was awful. And it gets worse.

Then, for some reason, they moved me into the music room. I sat at one of the large tables, where Brother Tom (he was cool) was prepping his notes for MY class to come in for our music lesson. He was very nice. I told him I didn’t want to eat. He said I should try so I wouldn’t be hungry later. I tried, but no go. After about five minutes, my class came in. Some of the boys laughed at me, teasing me that I wouldn’t eat. UGH, more embarrassment. And because I was SO embarrassed at that point, I literally got sick. Yup. Ralphed on the floor. In front of my classmates. *hangs head in shame*

Worse. Day. Ever.

I don’t know what happened after that. I think I blacked out. *lol* No, I really don’t know what happened after that. I know I went to the bathroom to clean up. I think I went back to my classroom to sit with my teacher. I don’t know. I think I’ve been trying to block that day out for most of my life.

Moral of the Story: Don’t try to force food on your kid. I’m just saying. It could backfire. Badly. :-/

More stories…happier stories…to come!



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