Last night I went to class hungry. That was the request of the teacher, to come to class with a "an empty belly." I have some sort of fear of hunger. Not that I've ever really gone hungry for too long. It's more a fear that is unfounded and silly for someone growing up where huge varieties, that can fill every taste, are available all the time. Still, I made a plan.
I didn't know if a meal would be served or a small snack, but I picked up a burrito on the way to class. I had wanted to try a little taco stand that was supposed to be good and authentic. I figured if I didn't eat it in class, I would have it after.
We were given class time to write about hunger. The lovely guest teacher then passed out her incredible chocolate chip cookies she had baked for us that morning. They looked beautiful and smelled divine. Everyone took one except me. When one disposable plastic gladware tub was quickly emptied, another one was passed around. I had a brief moment of desire and let it pass. I could focus on the class and be filled with inspiration and ideas. I felt better knowing I had something I could feel good about eating waiting for me. While a burrito is not a chocolate chip cookie, it felt at least a little special that I didn't have to cook that night.
I waited until I got home to eat. Then it hit me. That old lousy feeling of being different, being left out and not able to participate in life in the same way. It wasn't the cookies though that really brought it on. It was my fellow students writing. The second writing exercise of the night had us writing about a food we crave. I wrote about comfort foods. I wrote badly. My fellow students wrote beautiful bits of craving special alcoholic drinks or items they shared with their family. The scenes of enjoyment were vivid and alive. Their writing showed lives filled with love and laughter that the food was a part of and not a substitute for.
I slowly ate my burrito thinking about how many people have asked me what do I do when I can't eat the food at a party or have to pass on things offered because I know they will make me ill. I always try to be gracious and not make others feel badly. I also try to promise myself that I will have something similar, made with ingredients I can feel good about soon. I'll plan to bake my own cookies or pick something up from Babycakes or a whole foods restaurant like Souen.
I made a cup of tea realizing I didn't want sweets. (odd for me.) I need to call a friend, make a date, have more fun with others in my life and I must make that happen in a bigger way.