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March 22, 2014

Let them eat cake

I'm not a teacher, but I work in a school.  Today Rick, a junior high teacher, celebrated his birthday.  My office is on the other side of the school, but I was in the teachers' lounge dropping something in one of the teacher's mailboxes when Rick was offering people the remaining pieces of his birthday cake.  Ice cream cake.  Thanks.  I helped myself to a sliver.  Awesome timing.  Even better cake.  I learned against the counter and chatted with some teachers while I ate.  It appeared everyone had already enjoyed their cake.  Rick got up and left the lounge.  Melting ice cream cake.  It called to me.  I swear.  Not wanting to see it go to waste, I cut myself another sliver.  One full, lone piece remained.  As I repositioned myself against the counter, Rick reentered the lounge.  Another staff member following him in.  Expecting cake.  I heard her ask what the occasion was.  He admitted it was his birthday.  One of the teachers who just witnessed my gluttony, informed Rick that only a single serving remained.  I swallowed another bite.  Rick whispered something about two people being in the office, and how he had to offer dessert to both of them.  I wished I could disappear.  Someone suggested one plate, 2 spoons.  Freezer brain happens to all the wrong people at all the wrong times.  I longed for such an intense case of freezer brain that I would collapse and inadvertently redirect the focus off of who is eating a treat in the teachers' lounge and who might need medical attention in the teachers' lounge.  Slivers of ice cream cake don't stricken people with freezer brain, even if necessary to save face.  Although I'm usually quick with a joke, I failed to say something to transform this awkward situation into a humorous one.  After all, who can hold a plate of half eaten ice cream and make a joke while other people have none?  Not me.  Perhaps I take dessert too seriously, but I couldn't make this into a joke while I was licking the ice cream off my lips.  Wait, what was that?  Were the teachers whispering?  Did I sense a look?  A nod?  Too much ice cream in a mouth can interfere with the ability to form comical remarks, so can guilt and self consciousness.  I refrained from licking my paper bowl in front of the co worker who now carried the soft pile of ice cream to her office - perhaps to share with the woman who had no cake. 

I've only worked at this school a year and a half.  I don't have the teacher bond.  We're friendly.  Some of them are getting to know me, which is hard since I sit far away from the school portion of the building.  My job doesn't require me to interact with them too often.  Gail, who is one of my favorites, and did share a laugh last week when the gym teacher, Dott, refused to eat her lunch because Gail had unknowingly sat in Dott's favorite chair in the lounge.  I caught myself mid chortle, and wondered whether or not I should be laughing as hard as I was.  What was worse:  the fact that Dott cared what seat she parked her caboose in or that she was admitting to her toddler like frustration to other adults?  Or was it worse that I had more cake when other people were denied?  To be honest, I'm sure it didn't help matters that most of the teachers are dieting and competing in a 'Biggest Loser' competition while I am blessed with a crazy high metabolism.  To the naked eye, or shall we call it the starved eye, it appeared that a thin woman wandered into the lounge and helped herself to two pieces of birthday treat.  It reality, it was just 2 slivers but I'm guessing dieting women don't see it that way.  In my defense, the teacher crowd was enjoying a healthy sized portion of cake when my 2 slivers barely equaled one piece.

Yesterday I struggled all afternoon because the lunch I packed was insufficient for my hearty appetite.  Didn't have that issue today though.  Two tiny pieces of cake plus one dose of guilt and my preoccupation with food disappeared. 

Probably should cut my blogging time down for tonight, since I need some time to update my resume.  Although  . . . if I quit my job, I'll always fear that every birthday celebration at that school will have a reference to my ice cream cake pig-out.  Simple math though.  Two slivers = 1 whole, or less really.  You'd think teachers would get that.   

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