I want the ham too~!

original school 1836 - Copy

I was in a boarding school from an early age on. It was a private, Catholic school, a famous school for privileged kids. I was good in sports and had a full scholarship from an early age on.

I arrived the first time in boarding school when I was 7 years old, ready to start second grade. I remember the day I arrived. I had an old suitcase that had been given to me. I had baskets with my personal belongings and carried other things in old fruit crates.

I shared my room with 5 other girls. We all had a nightstand and a cupboard for clothes and personal belongings in the hallway.

I was immediately intimidated, felt small and little. Our old station wagon was parked in between limousines; chauffeurs in uniform were taking a break and were waiting in the parking lot. I was young, but I knew that we stood out. The most of the kids in this school were from rich and wealthy families…we were neither.

I wasn’t sure about it all. I knew I was different, wanted to be more like them. I wasn’t jealous, but I felt envy. I looked at the cars, the clothes, the parents and wanted so badly to be just like them.

They had so much I didn’t have. Real Levis Jeans and real tennis shoes, their allowance book showed triple digits, while mine only showed a few bucks. Some even had fur coats and hats and their cupboard was full with things, I had never seen.

I would be the outsider, that was a given and a no-brainer. I would never fit in; I would not be accepted as one of them. I felt like a donkey beside race horses.

Grandma filled my cupboard full with canning jars, different marmalades and jams, canned fruits and vegetables. There was homemade liverwurst in a jar, right beside smoked sausages and prosciutto. Every kid had a basked with their name in the refrigerator and mine was full.

The next morning, when we sat down for breakfast, I wasn’t really sure what to do. We all got two rolls and some butter; there was hot tea and coffee on the tables. The girls unpacked their store-bought lunch meat and I was in awe. It was real deli meat; the slices were separated with little papers in between. They had glass jars with expensive store-bought marmalades. Everything they had was tiny, all my jars were huge. I was hungry and went to the fridge myself and unloaded my basket on the table.

My Grandma made the best summer sausage and I had a whole ring. I cut into it and started slicing, when I noticed the silence around me.

Everybody was staring at me and my breakfast. I felt small and little “now they all will know that I am just a farm kid”.

I knew they would make fun of me and I prepared myself for it. The girl beside me talked first. “What is that?” she asked and I told her about the sausage. Another girl pointed to the gigantic jar of mixed berry jelly and I continued with my explanations. “What else do you have?” they asked and I showed them the prosciutto and the homemade liverwurst.

“Can I try” some asked and I shared with everybody on my table. They didn’t laugh about me, as I thought they would and the first two weeks went by rather quickly and it was time to drive home.

It was on a Friday and we all were excited. The limousines were waiting outside and we all were just waiting for the school bell, so we could run out.

Our farm was 3 hours away and I had the schedule of the buses and trains I had to use. “Why aren’t you being picked up” they asked and I explained. “You are allowed to drive all by yourself?” they asked in disbelieve and I wondered about that.

I spend 11 years in this boarding school, until the day I graduated. Many of the girls I had envied at my first day were my friends. I had traded and bartered myself through all these years in school.

My Grandma’s goodies were known by many. I drove home with “orders” what to bring and my Grandma’s eyes were sparkling when I gave her our requests. She met many of her customers, I spend weekends with them in their mansions and they couldn’t wait to come home with me for one weekend. I didn’t envy them anymore, but they often envied me.

The rich kids, the ones I thought had it all, wanted things I had. I learned my lesson young.

Jealousy in a relationship and jealousy in general, is just a feeling that we humans get, when we feel unsure about ourselves. When we question, if we are “good” enough, when we compare ourselves to others, that’s when the egg hatches and the green-eyed monster comes to life.

Be proud of who you are, feel self worthy and they nagging little voice inside will disappear. I never heard it again, I slew the monster very young ~!

green eyed monster

Green-Eyed Monster

Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship? 

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10 thoughts on “I want the ham too~!

  1. I didn’t go to a fancy school, just a suburban Catholic boys school but I learned early on that being myself was all I needed to do and what i felt most comfortable being. I don’t think I ever envied anything as much as the confidence others had to be outgoing. Later in life and as a teacher I did what I did believing I was ok at what i did, kids came to class, some days learned something but always we tried to make learning interesting and challenging.
    As I said once before to yuo I love reading about other people’s lives, what made them the people they are. Thanks so much for this tale I had a feeling when it began and went to the boarding school that what you had to offer would be well sought after….

  2. I was thinking when you started the story that you were going to wind up very popular. Because no one is too rich or too proud to know that home-made goodies beat out even the most expensive store bought ones! What I wouldn’t do for those jams and preserves today. I’ve never quite mastered them myself, so I look for farm stands that sell them. Yum!!

    • Well, I still can and preserve the same way my Grandma did. I even can sausage the way I have been taught. Who knows, maybe, if you are a good girl, I might send you some :-).

      BTW I need a green walnut for my favorite plum recipe. You don’t happen to have a walnut tree do you?

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