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. 🙂