the celery lie


I was 8, and it was circle time at my school.  We were gathered at the front of the classroom, all of us sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor.  The teacher asked us to raise our hand if we were allergic to anything.  I don’t remember how many hands went up, but there were enough that I felt kind of left out.   So, though I wasn’t allergic to anything, I raised my hand.

Of all the kids who raised their hands, the teacher called on me.

I said I was allergic to celery.

She asked me what happened when I ate celery.   I said it made me sneeze.  And then, to seem more convincing,  I made a face like I was smelling something rancid.  She didn’t buy it; not for one second.  I still remember the look on her face and how ashamed I felt.

I made chicken noodle soup yesterday, and as I was chopping up the celery I thought about the fake-allergy moment.  There hasn’t been a time when I’ve eaten celery that I haven’t thought about that lie.

Fortunately, unless it’s mixed in with something, I don’t eat celery very often.  🙂


19 thoughts on “the celery lie

  1. I guess it is a lie, but it is so hard for children to feel left out when teachers ask those questions! When I was student teaching, we were talking about names. We figured out the longest name and the shortest and nicknames. One of the boys was Jeff and he said that was his nickname because his whole first name was Jeffrey. His friend Kent just couldn’t be left out and chimed in that his real first name was Kentrey! That is one of my favorite memories of my Belmont 3rd graders! 🙂

  2. It was definitely the teacher’s fault for leading you on… 🙂
    I still remember a lie I told my teacher in 4th grade…, so they are surely learning lessons.
    I, on the other hand, love celery. Great shots!

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