Considering I was the only member of my first grade class who failed to join The Clean Plate Club, I’ve come along way. Think of it as one of those "eating clubs" at Princeton or Yale for a First Grader. I didn’t have much of an appetite back then, but boy have I made up for that early embarrassment. I simply could not get through each portion of institutional food on my divided plastic cafeteria tray. The only thing I can remember eating every bite of was cherry cobbler. Toward the end of the school year, I began to realize I had the only colored paper plate on the bulletin board with not a single star glued to it. Some of my classmates’ plates where double layered in stars. They are probably signed up with Jenny Craig now.
The last day of school, as we cleaned out our desks, Miss Miller called each student up to claim their starry plates of cafeteria honor. I gulped and slumped. Finally, mine was the only one left and she quietly came to me and asked if I’d like mine anyway. I shook my head “no”, unable to vocalize. The pink paper plate with my name on it was tossed in the trash. The school bell rang and first grade was over.
I’m rather proud of it now. I wanted quality not quantity, and still do.
Now, if no one is looking, I might get caught licking my plate.