Tomorrow is a breakfast for co-workers birthdays and I puzzle over what to buy. Not bake, not fry, not prepare; buy.
I failed Home Ec in Jr. High. Never wanted to take it, didn't ask for it, fought against it, lost, had to take it. I wanted to take shop. I wanted to cut wood, use the machines my grandfather used when he built things, I wanted to breath sawdust and wood stain that I could only get hints of as I walked near the shop room.
When I told my friends I came up with from elementary school, that I wanted to take shop, not Home Ec, the girls laughed, the boys made fun of me, one girl, older, said "To get into that shop door, I had to "do" the shop teacher." Do what? I was only in 7th grade, I didn't know what she was talking about. Do his chores, shine his shoes, wash his car, sweep the shop floor, clean the machines? I was willing to do those things. She laughed as she walked away calling me a "fresh fish" as if that meant anything to me either.
I was taught to respect my elders, never argue with adults, and do what I was told but this time, I spoke up. It was the 60's for goodness sakes, I should be able to take shop and ask for the change in elective without doing the shop teacher's laundry.
I lost. I had to take home ec, had to learn how to set a table, which spoon when where, which fork to use for salad, how to properly eat soup, how to place a knife on the plate and how to properly cut meat. COME ON!! All of us had been eating since we had teeth and my Mamaw told me, "God made fingers before he made forks!" at a picnic. I learned how to separate laundry, load a washing machine, fold towels and sheets. Something I had as a chore at my house since I was in first grade! I was the person in my home that did the ironing, had to sit on a stool to reach the ironing board because when times were tight at our house, my mom took in laundry for extra money.
First cooking class where we actually had to make something from scratch that the teacher taught us, I made my Papaw's biscuits and gravy. Shock, someone knew how to make something the teacher didn't teach! I was sent to the principals office.
Time to do laundry for the class, I stuffed everything into one tub and put twice as much soap. I went to the principal's office.
Time to turn in our folders with pictures glued onto the pages showing our dream home, room by room, I was stumpped. We didn't have those things in our house, I had no idea where to get them, I drew pictures of trees, told her was I was going to be a monkey when I grew up. I went to the principal's office.
Needless to say, this went on for the entire year until it came down to I gave in on some things. I joined the drill team, Mamaw made my uniform, not quite the red the other girls had but we didn't have the money for the uniform. I joined the FHA, Future Homemakers of America, although.... I was failing Home Ec.
I never learned to cut a right angle on a 2x4, I never learned to build bird house or a mail box. I also didn't pass Home Ec and had to take it the next year, same teacher, same walking with a book on my head, learning how to wash my face and again, how to separate cloths before they were washed. What a waste of time but I passed this time, with a D. Back then we acutally had a "D" for a grade if we were close to failing but they didn't want us in their class another year. My report card was funny. Science, B, Math, B, English, A, PE, A, Home Ec, a resounding "D"! I actually had to meet with the principal before I was given a D!
Tomorrow, I am BUYING a breakfast item, not cooking but all the talk about cooking by the WOMEN in my office took me back to the 60's at the end of 7th grade when I discovered, to my horror, what "doing" ths shop teacher meant and that I had more gumption that I realized. Although I only hurt myself by having to take Home Ec twice, that school year, I started to find my own voice.