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Monday, April 04, 2005

Hide The Salami

At first glance, anyone reading this might assume there is some sex involved in this story. Sorry to disappoint. The salami was really a fish stick. But "Hiding The Fish Stick" just sounds gross. I thought about going with "True Dining Confessions" as the title for this post, but I thought too many people would think this was about cheating on a diet. Since I know lots of people judge books and posts by their covers and titles, I thought going for sexual innuendo was my best option. Okay, rambling will end and story will begin.

When you're a kid and some adult throws some food your way, and the look of that food reminds you of dog crap, what are you to do? Hide it, that's what. I came from the Clean Plate Society. That means, whatever my mother set in front of me to eat had to be gone, otherwise I was not getting out of my chair, ever.

Anyone see Mommy Dearest? Yeah, well, that chick makes my mom look like a real sweetheart. I remember one time she had the audacity to feed me broccoli! Thankfully for me, we had come home from a picnic earlier that day and our big styrofoam cooler was still within my arm's reach. When she turned her eyes toward someone else, I slid the lid of that cooler off and quickly and quietly placed my broccoli inside.

When she looked back, she did a double take and commented on what a good girl I was for finishing my veggies. I smiled at that dumb woman. She pointed to my plate as the good example. The other kids didn't catch me, otherwise they certainly would have told as she lectured them about eating well like me.

I guess I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, because soon after I got away with murder of hiding the broccoli, I tried it with other stuff. The unfortunate part is that there was never another time when a styrofoam cooler was at my disposal.

I lifted my plate and shoved my pork chop underneath. I was too dumb to notice that my plate was whompyjawed and raised pretty high from the table, unfortunately, my mom noticed.

Even after I got caught, I still tried hiding random dinner items. I tried using my pockets, which usually weren't found out until laundry day. I tried stuffing my mouth and then heading toward the bathroom to spit it out in the toilet, sometimes forgetting to flush. I spit into my napkin on occasion, hell I tried everything and almost always got caught.

This week I realized the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. I was dusting off my birdhouse collection. All of which are much too cute to actually put outside for the birds. I picked up the "Beach Bungalow" and heard something rattling inside. This birdhouse is the one closest to Lane 2's spot at the table. I peeked into the little hole. I turned the little house upside down and out it fell. A fish stick.

"Sis! Come here."
"Don't what me! You see this nasty fish stick?"
"Ewww, yes."
"Do you know where I might have found such an old nasty fish stick?"
Looks at floor, "Um, no."
"Are you lying?"
Tears well up, "Yes."
"Okay, no crying over a spilled fish stick. Why did you put it in my birdhouse?"
"Because it was nasty."
"What was wrong with the garbage?"
"I knew if I put it in the garbage I wouldn't get dessert."
"Smart move kid!"
"Okay, I don't want you to ever do that again. You understand me?"
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"Okay. So this is your subtle way of saying you don't like fish sticks huh?"
"I hate 'em. They make me gag."
"So why didn't you just tell me that? You know putting food in places like that can cause bugs to come live here and that really would be gross."
"I didn't mean it Mom. I just couldn't eat it and you never give us dessert if we don't eat dinner."

In her eyes, I was the meanest mom in the whole wide world. She had no idea that some kids actually get their asses beat for hiding food in various places. She had no idea that some kids are forced to eat every morsel on their plate or they can't get up from the table. She had no idea that some kids don't have dessert every night.

"My rules are pretty easy to follow. I give you your plate and you put on what you plan to eat. Do I ever force you to eat stuff? Do I ever give you too much? Do I ever intentionally make stuff you guys don't like?"
"So why take food you aren't going to eat? Why hide fish sticks? And when did you do this?"
"A really long time ago."

I dismissed the child from the lecture to call my mom.

"Oh, hell Lois. Give the kid a break! Compared to all the food you hid, that's nothing."
"I know mom but that's not the point. I can't even remember the last time I made fish sticks. That nasty little stick, that probably isn't really fish, has been sitting in my birdhouse for who knows how long."
"Your kids are so well behaved. You really should go easier on her."
"Excuse me? Are you not the same woman who made me 'eat it and like it' causing me to gag, cry and beg for mercy?"
"Please, Lois! You remember the mashed potatoes you put into your overalls? Well when she does that to you, then you can be mad. Until then, give the kid a break!"

The transformation was over. Sweet Granny Oakley is back. This shit is so not fair! I hate when she takes the kids' side! Next time we go to her new apartment, I am going to have my kids touch the white walls with dirty hands, leave their muddy shoes on as they walk onto her Champaign colored carpet and I am going to make sure I bring a box of fish sticks for dinner so Lane 2 can feel free to stuff 'em where ever she likes.