The Lunch Deception

I always had to bring my lunch to school. The cost of school lunches was too costly for our family budget. I went to a private school and I guess my parents figured that if they were already paying for my education, they didn’t need to also pay for my lunch.

A lot of kids in my school also brought their lunches but it was the ones who bought lunch that I envied. My school was part of a local university and the lunches were brought in from the cafeteria on campus, just a few blocks away. Long table were set up with chaffing dishes. Students would walk down the line with a plate, just like at a buffet. Those hot, delicious smelling lunches made my simple ones from home seem so…uninteresting.

I devised a plan to “forget” my lunch one day so that I would have to buy it. I got into the car that fateful morning with my school bag carefully positioned by my side furthest from my mom. It felt flat and empty against my leg. And then she asked. She asked if I had my lunch and I…lied. That’s how much I wanted to buy lunch at school. I wanted it enough to lie to my mom. I’m embarrassed to admit even now.

But I’m pretty sure she was wise to dishonesty. She said nothing else and off we went.

Later at school, during roll call, we were to indicate whether or not we were buying lunch. I continued the charade and told my teacher than I had “forgotten” my lunch that morning. And that was it. I was buying lunch that day. Or rather, I was eating lunch from the campus cafeteria on the promise that the funds would be paid the next day.

At this point in a story like this I should either be telling you how awful I felt about lying and that I couldn’t even taste my lunch, that it felt like cardboard in my mouth. Or, that karma stepped in and as the smells of lunch wafted down the hallway I knew I had picked the wrong day to be sneaky; turkey hot dogs and vegetable medley.

Oddly enough, I don’t remember much about my ill gotten lunch. I don’t remember what was on the menu that day. I don’t remember whether or not I liked it. I remember more about the lunch deception than the actual lunch.

My mom was not happy with me but I think she understood why I did what I did. We ended up coming to an agreement about lunches. I would take my lunch on a regular basis but a couple times of year, I would be allowed to purchase my lunch.

I wish I could tell you that I never lied about anything again, but that itself, would be a lie.

Today’s post is my answer to a writing challenge at {W}rite-of-Passage, “The Lunch Box”

photo credit: Clip Art from Microsoft Office Online


Filed under writing prompt

4 responses to “The Lunch Deception

  1. I never once bought lunch the whole time I was in high school. The cafeteria was scary and I was afraid of being poisoned. I have no idea what I ate–probably the normal sack of apples, sandwiches, and SnackWells.

    But I do know I had some of the most fun times sitting in the grass outside our building or in the hallway of the third floor, eating and talking and giggling with friends. I don’t have a lot of happy high-school memories, but those lunchtimes rank pretty high on the list.

  2. I was allowed to buy lunch about once a month in elementary. It was such a thrill to bring home the monthly menu and choose which day.

    If we forgot our lunches, we got a PBJ sandwich and milk. they called it a “blue plate” or something like that. It was humiliating.

  3. I didn’t like sandwiches growing up, so when I took my lunch, I either had rolled up pieces of lunch meat, which I dipped in a blob of mustard, or a pop-top can of tuna, which I just ate straight from the can with a fork. I remember getting teased on the bus because my lunchbox smelled like tuna at the end of the day. I was a weird kid.

  4. I remember doing something similar, not in regards to lunch, but lying to get something that I THOUGHT that I wanted. Can’t remember what I wanted so badly, but I remember the lying, and the spanking that my dad gave me that night.

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