Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hot Dog Day

When I was a child, I attended Skyline Elementary School in Prospect Park.  Now, before you go all Jersey on me, this was a subdivision of Baldwin, PA, if memory serves.  Well, it was near Baldwin, anyway.  The school is now (or was the last time I knew) a nursing home or something or other.

I have a ton of memories from going to school there.  One that recently came up in a side conversation I had: Hot Dog Tuesdays.

See, back in those days (and I'm not even old enough to say "Back in those days!"), I guess hot dogs were a special "treat." They were so special, we had to order them on the previous Thursday.  Then, we would eat our order the following Tuesday.

I was in Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades when I attended that school. How is a 6-8 year old supposed to know how many hot dogs he is going to want the NEXT week!?  Heck, I never knew how may I wanted when my Mom was making them for lunch on Saturday!  So, of course, my friends and I would each order 6 or 8 of them.  Well, we'd TRY to.  "No, no. There's a limit," we were told.   "You can only order three."

Well, if they already knew how many we could order, why bother ASKING us!?  "Well, not everyone (an awkward pause) WANTS three hot dogs.  And, they are twenty-five cents a piece."  I later learned that "wants," when stressed in just the right way, actually meant "can afford."

Like it was yesterday, I can remember ordering two or three to start with, but by then end of the school year, I wasn't ordering any at all.  See, I'd order them without any idea as to how many I actually wanted to EAT the next week.  There many Tuesdays I would go to lunch and not eat any of them.  Why not? Because I didn't WANT hot dogs that day.  Sure, the week before I *thought* I wanted hot dogs the next week.  But, when it came time to actually eat them, I was not in a "hot dog" mood that day.

I'm pretty sure that's what started me on the path of "hating to wait" in line for things, particularly food.  I don't believe I've even made reservations anywhere to eat.  Make your reservations a week ahead of time!? How do I know that I'm going to want that kind of food in a week?  Okay, that's actually a bit much. If I made reservations somewhere, I'd be ready to eat there.  In fact, I'd probably make sure I didn't anything remotely close to whatever they served just I could create the craving for it.

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