Welcome to week 3 of my mini-meme
Kay's Seven Deadly Sins Meme
(still not an artist)
(Again special thanks to those of you playing and those of you reading. If you want to find out about how to play, Read This.)
Our next Sin is: Gluttony.
This is actually a “sin” I fall victim to a bit more often than I would like to admit.
When I think of gluttony, I think of excess. Gorging yourself on something… food, booze, sleep, World of Warcraft, mochas, TV, Skittles, Free Cell, …
All of these things are good in moderation, in fact a lot of things out there in this wide wide world are good in moderation, but should one go overboard and start eating, drinking, participating, whatever, on these things full throttle to the exclusion of either more healthy things or common sense, well, that is gluttony.
My biggest gluttony trap is food. Its true. I can overeat with the best of them and I have this annoying habit of not being able to have just one (slice of pie, piece of coffee cake, cookie, bowl of popcorn, bowl of cereal, packet of candy corn, handful of crackers…
Cookies are perhaps the worst. I buy a package thinking that I will make it last for a few weeks… an occasional cookie as a treat, as a reward for getting the laundry done or the story written or the bedroom all tidied up… and instead I end up eating the whole package in practically one sitting.
What’s the big deal you might ask/ Well, besides the obvious “unhealthy’ aspect to dinners of cookies, gluttony is really a sin about control; about letting an appetite or desire become so overwhelming that it dictates actions and leads us down a destructive path.
In essence, we give our self power to something else… and that can be dangerous.
Okay, story time. The following is one of those ‘most embarrassing moments” kind of stories, but unlike the time I flashed a woman on the train or sang all off key in choir, or fell down the stairs back in high school… this story is both embarrassing and not at all funny. In fact, thinking about it makes me cringe and seriously consider changing this week’s sin.
But, we learn through experiences and maybe by reliving this one I will find the inner strength to ignore yet another bag of cookies.
It was 9th grade, I was 13 and had just made the leap from teeny tiny private school to big scary public school. After what seemed like eating lunch by myself forever I had actually managed to glom onto a group of girls who all seemed very sophisticated and worldly to little shy me. (Yes, back then, I was shy… I still am quite a bit.)
One of the things this group of girl did was gather outside a classroom during morning break. The classroom in question was where the Spanish club would sell candy year round as a sort of fundraiser. They must have made some serious bank feeding the sugar starved masses of students… and I was definitely part of that crowd. Every morning I would buy a pack of Skittles. The one bag would last me the rest of the day… in my mind it was the perfect way to spend 50 cents.
It was no secret that I had what I jokingly called a Skittle-Addiction, and my friends teased me usually without rancor but one morning one of the girls in the group decided to teach me a lesson. I will call her Nancy.
I emerged from the “Candy Room” with my bag of Skittles and took up my spot toward the back of the group ready to hang out, talk, giggle, and watch the boys as was a pretty normal part of the group’s morning routine. Nancy came up behind me and in one quick movement she snatched the bag of Skittles out of my hand.
What followed was humiliating. She taunted me with my bag of candy shifting it back and forth from one hand to the other. She said some typically cruel teenager things and most of the group laughed… even I laughed a little because what else was there to do?
Then she told me she was going to keep the candy and that I needed to get over my candy addiction… she said she was doing it for my own good. Well this bothered me on a few levels, one was obviously that she was being a condescending brat, but also I didn’t have much money, I didn’t get to buy lunch like everyone else and I had to be frugal. My daily bag of Skittles was (in my opinion anyway) my one vice. Also, it just seemed mighty unfair of her to do this to me. I stopped laughing.
In fact I demanded she give it back to me. She, perhaps noticing that she was in a position of power now, decided that I would need to work for it. She told me I had to go stand at the end of the hallway for thirty seconds and if I moved off of my spot she would keep and eat them but if I obeyed her, I would get the candy back. At first several of the girls thought she was joking… but she was insistent and kept pointing at the designated spot with authority.
The woman I am today would most definitely react differently. But at the time I was young and stupid and afraid of losing my “friends”. I also really really wanted my stupid candy.
So I went, and I stood on the damn spot while she counted.
At “Thirty” she laughed and tossed me the Skittles. I caught them (small miracle) and went to class.
I am ashamed to say that I cried.
I was mortified… and angry… but not really at her. Sure, she was the catalyst for what had happened but I felt that I had betrayed myself by giving into her like that. I had let myself be bullied because I wanted the candy and because I just didn’t know what else to do.
Even now, I feel ashamed.
I would love to say that after that I learned my lesson of gluttony and that I don’t let my desires and my appetites rule my actions but like everyone I make mistakes as I walk through life and there are countless empty containers of cookies that can attest that I do comfort myself with food more often than I should.
I don’t know what happened to Nancy… I do know that I left that group of girls not too long after that and to this day only keep in reserved distant contact with a few of them. I know I am probably the only one who remembers the incident.
Writing this has had a few affects… 1. I really want to go buy a pack of Skittles and 2. I am not going to because really I don’t need them.
Instead I am going to do a few crunches and go to bed.
OK…. Now it’s your turn!