A teaching colleague of mine is on a 15 day detox juice fast. Not quite sure where she got the idea that not eating food while simultaneously dealing with 23 five-year-olds wouldn’t turn a person into a raving lunatic, but a couple of days into now and she isn’t just hungry, she’s hangry. I have a feeling that when she gets to day 11, I will walk past her room, see children running for their lives, and hear a demonic voice say, “Get me a cracker.” [Note: you must say “Get me a cracker” in a very low, evil, throaty voice for that to be effective. So do it. I’ll wait.]
I, on the other hand, was in a particularly excellent mood. I had enjoyed my most favorite of all school lunches: warm square pizza, corn, and peaches. I have a borderline obsession with school cafeteria food. It has nearly single handedly ruined my half-marathon training, not to mention that it has turned my muffin top into a busted can of biscuits. But I have almost no willpower at all against a corn dog or chili and peanut butter sandwiches.
My adoration of school lunches isn’t new. I can remember being really hungry as a kid around 10 a.m., in the days before school administrators gave a crap about Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. We had no mid-morning snack. My stomach would begin to growl wildly as the scent of school lunch wafted down the hall. Then, like now, even if I packed my lunch, the smell of Whatever It Is They Are Cooking lured me in, and I was a buyer.
If I had to choose between a steak at a five-star restaurant and a school cafeteria grilled cheese sandwich, give me two sandwiches, please. I have tried to duplicate their grilled cheeses [if you say it fast, it sounds like “grilled Jesus.” Do it. I’ll wait.] at home, to no avail. It may be because I’m using actual cheese and butter, not yellow processed slices and butter flavored oil, but whatever the case, I am always disappointed.
Wednesdays are cookie days at my school. One of the lunch ladies makes homemade cookies on Wednesday mornings, and they are a particular favorite amongst the teachers. A now retired, well-loved teacher was famous for taking one, then sneaking a second, then three more, from the tray in the teacher’s lounge. She then would return after we all left and put the remaining cookies in a bag to take home. No one ever said a word.
No, there will be no juice fasts for me. You will find me each day in line with my paper milk carton and tiny wrapped straw, waiting patiently for my happiness. I will never go hangry. At least not while I can eat a little piece of heaven for $2.50 a day.