Ok. I’ve always assumed I’ve had a pretty normal and happy childhood, but hanging out with Aj and Saurabh have made me second guess this.  For one thing, I thought everyone ,during their childhood, had moments when they ate so much that they’d throw up. Saurabh and Aj said never.

Now, I have remind you, dear readers, that my family was one of those low income families. I thought  the government cheese we’d eat at our friends’ homes was wonderful (my parents declined government handouts). And so, when my parents would take us to a buffet for dinner, they’d encourage us to pack as much food into our GI tracts as we could. And there were unlimited desserts. Desserts!

Little Jennifer and I would  stuff all the food we could, then wobble roly-poly out and barf in the parking lot. I remember my dad sighing about what a waste it was, that if we were just going to upchuck our dinners then there was no point in paying for it in the first place.

The buffet was also the first place where I learned about the philosophy of practical amorality

Dad: Buffet for two adults, and two kids. This one is 5, and the other one is 3.

Me (pulling at his hand): Dad, dad dad dad. I’m 6!

Dad swats me away.

Me: Dad! DAD! I’m not 5. I’m 6.

Dad: No, you’re 5.

Me (devastated my own dad didn’t know my age): No, I’m 6! remember? I’m 6!

Dad : You’re 5! She’s 5. (bends down and whispers to me) We pay less if I say you’re 5. I know you’re 6. (winks at me conspiratorially)

I was terrified we’d get caught. This continued until I was 15 when Dad tried to get a cheaper fishing pass for me. It didn’t work- I think the acne and awkward lankiness gave me away.  Dad was disappointed. “It’s not like you’re going to catch any more fish than if you were 12 yrs old.”

Thinking back, this buffet was quite a place for me. If my life was turned into a show like the Wonder Years, King’s Table buffet would be one of main sets. Is that normal? Can anyone relate?






Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 4:52 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. While I don’t remember any upchucking, my mom definitely did the “He’s only X years old” thing with me. I was always younger except for the first time I flew to Florida to visit my grandmother by myself.

    I was technically too young to fly alone, so my parents lied about my age. Worried I would give my true age away, they even threw an extra birthday party for me five months too early to trick my tiny little brain into believing I was older.

    So after boarding my flight, once all the pre-flight business is taken care of and we’re safely in the air, one of the stewardesses comes and sits next to me to see how I’m doing and chat me up a bit (I was super cute in my bow tie and vest, after all). She asks me how old I am and I instantly reply “7 . . . though I’m actually 6 but my parents had an extra birthday party for me so I would be older.” Luckily, they let me fly the rest of the way instead of kicking me off the flight.

    • Hahaha. You were too bright to be fully tricked. They might have done better with just telling you their scheme.

  2. And I totally remember that bow tie and vest ensemble! Adorable.

  3. this is a hilarious post. it’s kind of a wonder you and jennifer didn’t become economists.

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