Ever since I wrote the story about Darryl the bully and smashing him in the face with my lunchbox, I have been thinking about bullying. That was certainly not the only time in my life that I have been made fun of.
High school was fine for me, but not because I was “cool” (I was not). I just went to such a small school that bullying was never really a problem. Grade 8 sure was though. I was teased pretty mercilessly. Almost the entire year, and at the time I remember getting so upset about it. Though when I think back about it, it seems silly now.
The biggest thing I was teased about, was my salad.
I will explain.
My Nana makes the absolute best salad in the entire world. It includes the same ingredients as any old salad: lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Though she does also like to add entire cloves of garlic to the salad. I’m serious. She will chop cloves of garlic maybe in half so then you are just basically eating a clove of garlic. Maybe that’s why it was so good…
But what really made her salad absolute dynamite was her oil and vinegar dressing. It was just oil and vinegar. That’s it. But it was magical.
(she just used white vinegar though)
I cannot for the life of me duplicate her dressing, even now. It will never taste like hers. Maybe her secret ingredient was love, I do not know. But that dressing, I could drink a bottle of it on its own. It was just so amazing. I loved it so much.
So my mom knew that I loved my Nana’s salad, and when she packed my lunch for me, she would make the salad and try to duplicate the dressing. It was very thoughtful of her (even though her dressing still wasn’t quite my Nana’s, but no one’s is).
I loved the salad, and I appreciated her making it for me and packing my lunch. But the dressing turned into a problem. She would put the dressing on the salad, in a container, and then put the container in my lunchbox. And no matter what container she used, or how tight the lid was, the container would inevitably leak. It would leak through my lunchbox and into my school bag, and sometimes onto my jacket. I would just smell like vinegar all day long.
And what does white vinegar smell like?
White vinegar, my friends, smells like pre-pubescent body odour. It smells like BO.
So, I smelled like BO. And this fact was not lost on the kids I went to school with.
And of course I tried to explain myself. Because it was absolutely NOT BO.
But I know even now how ridiculous it sounds to blame your BO on your salad. Suuuuuuure it was my salad. Of course no one believed me.
At first everyone just started calling me “BO”, but I was so adamant that it was my salad, the name changed to just “Salad”.
I would try to tell my mom no. Pack me a different lunch. I don’t want the salad!
It was ridiculous. But I eventually convinced her to just go back to packing me peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
But the name stuck for the entire year. And I’ll never forget it. Good times. I’m lucky I don’t have a salad complex now, but I still love it!
Anyway, parents, just a lesson for you. Don’t pack your kids salad with a vinegar dressing for lunch. It is just a bad idea.