Thursday, September 20, 2012

Elementary Cafeterias Smell Like...Fear?

I had lunch with the spawn earlier today and wow ...
Being in an elementary school cafeteria again ... not only did it take me back (to a place and time I never wanted to return to--a place that, in my mind, smells of bologna and bad breath and sneakers worn with no socks), it was a real eye-opener about that part of my kids' day.

For one, that lunch lady is MEAN. Like, dragon lady material. I feel bad for my kids. Seriously. There are several "lunch monitors," I guess they're called, but this one... she makes ME want to get up and throw my trash away when she points her finger at my table. She says "move," and you better already be moving. The CIA should consider bringing her on. Interrogations would go a lot quicker.

You should've seen the kids' faces once they got called out for misbehaving or talking too loud. They were all "Sorry, ma'am, yes ma'am, please don't kill me ma'am." You could totally smell the fear.

Okay, two, there's a kid in my daughter's class who talked my head off about Pokemon YouTube videos the entire time--even when I tried to cut in and say "um, hang on, I should probably talk to my daughter. You know, the one I'm here to see and who keeps trying to get a word in edgewise but you don't breathe between sentences." Even then, he just kept right on talking. He's a gem.

Also-I think my ears are still bleeding with the amount of times he said "guess what?" (I never, ever guessed right in case you're wondering.)

Three, there are cliques even in FIRST GRADE!!

I'm eating with my son. We're sitting about halfway down the mostly empty table as most kids are still in line. I ask him, "So where do you normally sit?" And he points down the end of the table where five or six kids are clustered together while the remaining few are spread out sporatically, eating alone.

I say, jokingly, "Is that where the cool kids sit?" and serious as a heart attack, he nods. "Yep."

I do NOT remember there being a "cool kids" area at the lunch table in first grade. But maybe I'm just old and my brain is already forgetting things.

I also saw the boy from my daughter's class who, when she tried to show him around as a new student, made the comment that he "already knew where everything was," and are they "allowed to punch fourth graders at this school?"
Yes, I thought about tripping him. Or giving him a special, friendship note to take home to his mommy.
But I didn't.
You'd have been proud.
I only death-ray glared at him from down the table and promised my daughter I'd be coming for lunch a lot more often.

All in all, the amount of drama and "he's dating her" scenarios my daughter informed me of during those thirty minutes is either hilarious or sad--I can't figure out which. Both, I think. And I sure don't remember it being that way for me. Not in elementary school.
There was no drama because nobody of the opposite sex SPOKE to one another. You could sit by the person all day on the story-time rug, for months on end, and NEVER, EVER speak. That's how you knew you liked each other.
Now, not only do they speak, kids walk right up to each other and say "want to be my girlfriend/boyfriend?" and if the person doesn't answer, the asker will follow their crush around, repeating the question all day long. Persistence pays off, I guess? <-- These are the stories I hear from my daughter.

I have to say, elementary school is not the same as it was in my day.
Ohmygosh- that sounded TOTALLY old when I typed that. Geez! What about you guys? Was the drama level higher or lower in the stone ages?


  1. Buhahahahaha!! This post was AWESOME!!!!

    OMG!! The memories of elementary school are flooding back in. We definitely had cliques in the wee grades! And we totes had dating drama! In the smaller grades you dated via notes passed back and forth saying, "Will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend" with a yes or no box to check.

    Then at around the 4th grade, we started just asking, "Will you go out with me?" And if they said, "Yes" you were boyfriend & girlfriend. And they gave you a special card in your box on Valentines day.

    But here's where the drama came in. There was no official breaking up! I had one boyfriend and he overheard another guy asking me if I'd go out with him. Of course I said no because I was a respectable young woman, but my BF didn't hear that part and just asked out someone else! O.o No breaking up with me, no asking me what happened. He just moved on! So, I went back to the other boy and asked if he still wanted to go out with me. He said he did, so I told him Yes. Which ended up working out better for me because he was more popular of the two and I ended up liking him much better. Plus, he ran faster with the football at recess, which was hot. ;)

  2. I just totally got sidetracked by reading Angeline's response, which is awesome. :) I was going to say that there was drama in my school too growing up. Oh yeah, dating started around 4th grade. I was a total nerd then and didn't get to be asked out but I saw bunches of other kids "going out". Hand holding was popular back then. and note passing. ah, the memories.