By Judy Berman
Loss is something we all have weathered, whether it’s a defeat in a game, keys you can’t find or the loss of a friend.
This story, however, is about more than a missing lunch.
There must come a time in every kid’s life when they ask: “Just what were they thinking?”
“They” being their parents. That moment came for me in fifth grade.
I was not a fussy eater. Mom never had to worry about leftovers. Our cocker spaniel, Rusty, scarfed up any unclaimed meat – even if it was only unsupervised for a minute or two. I cheerfully gobbled down the remaining potatoes and veggies.
But there was one thing I hated: egg-and-olive sandwiches. Separate, fine. Together, repulsive.
I don’t know what possessed my Mom. She packed one for me for lunch. I looked at it in disgust and reluctantly plucked the bag containing the sandwich off our kitchen table.
By lunchtime, it was nowhere to be found.
I opened my desk in class and gasped, “Where’s my lunch?” A fellow student told the teacher he’d seen my lunch earlier that morning. Everyone was puzzled by its disappearance.
We had no cafeteria. So I was sent to the principal’s office, where he shared some crackers and milk with me. He looked bemused like: “What the heck is going on here?”
When I got home, I told my Mom about my missing sandwich. She didn’t say anything, but, after that, I was packing my own lunch every day.
What happened to that lunch? I’m sure the statute of limitations has run out on this one. So here goes. I ditched my lunch – sandwich and all – in a trash can on Main Street across from Harvey Brothers’ grocery store on my way to school. The student who said he saw it in my desk meant well, but he was mistaken.
So, what else was lost?
My little white lies, fibs, tall tales and outright whoppers … finally caught up with me.
My “ah-ha” moment happened after a really minor incident. I realized my parents doubted even the smallest things I’d told them even when I WAS telling the truth.
I knew I’d gone too far. I decided I better clean up my act to regain their trust.
Now, nothing could persuade me to tell a lie. OK, I lie ALL the time on surveys where they want to know your age, weight, income and the location of all your valuables. (Valuables? Fuhgeddaboudit! Our 12-year-old TV is the newest thing we’ve got.)
I’d make one other exception. If a friend asked: “Do I look fat in this dress?” Well, if she did, I’d sooner take a bullet than tell the truth.
Trust me on this one: The truth is out there. But, sometimes, that’s not what we’re really looking for.
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Photo: Egg salad sandwich
Photo: Alley Grafitti – Lies – graffiti seen in a downtown alleyway in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada– May 18, 2008 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alley_Graffiti_-_Lies.jpg