Equality for school lunches! (and knitting..)

Mkay, so – this blog is having a good influence on me… I can freaking knit!! Well..sort of. Casting on/off invloves me lobbing the wool et al at my mother while pulling my petulant five year old face..but garter stitch? Check Me Out

..I am not going to post a photo because I am lazy and I want to wait until my second ball of wool comes tomorrow.. but I do think I deserve one, or five, of these:

Did you used to get those in school? I was a bright kid, but growing up I was anxious and awkward. I began skipping geography lessons because I had a habit of choking every.single.lesson. Of course I was sitting next to the effortlessly beautiful, popular (thin!) girl…

I used to take water into all my lessons, obsessively, but for some odd reason geography was the only one i’d nearly die in. Anyway, I was never really a sticker-getting student. My handwriting was terrible, my spelling poor and my concentration span usually would include the lesson plan..but I’d have doodles of stars/dogs/zombies all over my work.

I am also chronically left handed, most people know this leads to an total inability to use fountain pens without destroy the nibs and having an uncanny ability to smudge work across every single page. I always wanted to be the class swat though..but because I wasn’t really made for it I used to steal stickers from other kids hjumpers when they were left in the cloackroom during the summer months.

I often wondered if my parents ever realized my supposed achievement were direcltly related to the weather. If feel a little bad for my school-age stealing..but it wasdn’t as bad as my ingrained sens of fairness which extened to the ‘Lunch Box Drama’.. I used to be stupidly jelous of other peoples lunches. I’d have a damp ham or sweaty cheese sandwhich, a brusied apple and on a good day a penguin bar.

I wanted to live in the homes of people who had fluffy white bread rolls and exocitic biscutis like Mini milkways or BN’s. (remeber them?..I can still hum the theme tune) So.Good. (In hindsight the faces are scary but still..) One day I had reached my fill of comparing my craptastic lunch to the exciting ones of other people..I had squash in a flask that my Brother had gobbed in and my friends had cartons of ribena..or in some cases, Coca cola or Lemonade.

The Green monster came out in me, but, being the slightly creative, kooky kid I was I took a notebook to school and listed all the names of all the kids in my class. Then I’d give them a happy or sad face next to thier name indicating if thier lunch was good or ‘bad’. Once I had the information I spent a few days plotting my next move. I did not just feel for my own injustice but also for my other struggling school friends who looks on enviously on at the Peanut butter and Jam sandwiches some kids unknowingly gobbled before lurching off to play Cops and Robbers.

Oh, if only they knew how much we all wanted to be them!

It came to me in the middle of the night, as all the best ideas do. I was going to right all the wrongs!

In our school the games we played at break time depended on which dinner ladies were manning the playground. Wednesday was hailed as the ‘best’ day because the dinner lady was espeically lax so the more violent games could be played without too much fear of getting caught.

This particular dinner lady also worked in the libary and used the time on her lunchtime duty to hide behind a tree and smoke..because of this she was popular with some of the older cool kids and so, even if she caught us punching ten bells of hell out of each other her fan group would hold up her old-lady waddle toward us because they literally hung from her legs.

So, it was a Wednesday and I fuzzed smudged and doodled my way through a specially taxing spelling test not even caring that Billy and Emma got stickers and I did not. Break time finally came. Everyone filed out..a thin, steady line of children which expanded and broke off in the open air. I approached the cloack room on tip-toes..my Nija skills already honed from my sticker-nicking stage.

Everyone was instructed to keep their lunches stored under thier coats, hung in a room near the playground and toilets. I was quick and efficent..picked on lunchbox from my good list and one from the bad and taking them into the girls toilet cubicle with my heart hammering in my chest. It was such a buzz and I decicded who ‘deserved’ what..

I felt a little Godlike.

I have never grinned that much through maths, ever. By the time the actualk lunch bell rang I looked as if someone had put itching powder in my dull grey pleated school skirt. Unfortunately the anticipation is better than the event..and for most of my childhood escapades I was somewhat upset when i -wasn’t- caught, I’d be a crappy criminal because I like the praise and grudging admiration of my pre-planned dastardly actions. So..the climax was a tad underwhelming. I didn’t really realize that the normal kids did not spend ALL their time staring at the lunch of others..

So, while Sanjay was shocked his normal health-conscious mother had given him chocolate spread and a Twix rather than his normal salad and a pear I bet he went home and thanked her, much to her confusion..rather than my anticipated of boundless joy and devotion forever aimed at me, their selfless lunchbox savior..

I do admit I have not utterly grown out of this packed lunch obsession.

I blogged a while ago about setting fire to the kitchen while boiling eggs and am still making my mother and the boyfriend daily lunches for work. Last night I was miserable, utterly dejected..and the main reason was my Mum asked for boring, plain Pate in her sandwhich rather than one of my more ‘jazzy’ and ‘exciting’ experiential creations.

The only reason I regret deleting Facebook is because i’d sort of like to see how all those kids who got stickers..and the kids who used to watch me choke in geography..actually turned out. Are they happy? Is there a direct link between sticker attianment and lunchbox contents and future gains?! I do not really know how my post about my new found knitting talent turned into a sociological query about stickers/packed lunches…Meh.

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  1. #1 by nicole the exbulimic on January 19, 2012 - 1:00 am

    when i ended my bulimia, i threw away all of the old school awards. wanting to shed my life of excess, i thought, “who cares if i won the sit and reach test every year since fifth grade? (and i still hold the record at my high school for that, wink wink, haha), who cares about honour societies?”

    bla bla bla. but you know what i did keep? the sticker book. 🙂 and my school lunches were most likely the ones from which you’d steal. they were fabulous. *thank you, mommy!

    i still owe you an email and it will be quite some time. so bogged down professionally, but just want you to know that i’m reading your blog and love it! mwah! x

  2. #2 by Snaffle on January 19, 2012 - 2:09 am

    I am grinning so much at the idea of kiddie-you being the Robin Hood of packed lunches. 😀 I bet Sanjay would have thanked you if he’d known 😛 I too suffered from lunchbox envy – I would try to get people to swap with me, but no-one was prepared to exchange their chicken tikka slices for a bruised apple. 😦 I think they make lunchbox plastic with some kind of secret formula that makes all food smell and taste like overripe bananas… blergh. Also, stickers doth not a successful adult make… I got loads of them and look how I turned out. 😀 xxx

  3. #3 by Dandelion Girl (@aDandelionGirl) on January 19, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    This makes me smile… I was a trading queen at my school, because my mother sometimes would be… well… we’ll just say sometimes I wound up with only Hostess snacks in my lunchbox… which made other kids SO envious, but after a week of Little Debbie and Hostess you crave erm real food?

    So sporadically I would be able to trade so much.

    I never got stickers either… until I went into treatment (hahaha) — because I was always in these bloody gifted programs where “exceptional” was the norm… and normal was… well… not.

    (p.s. you reminded me of the year my friend Alyssa and I stole lunch trays — so thank you, because that was the best)

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