This is my earliest memory of a food binge.
I was was walking home from a “Brownie” scout meeting at age 6. It was my turn to bring the snack and mom bought 2 bags of Pecan Sandies which did not go over too well so I had to bring the second bag home un-opened. Gosh how times have changed. My Brownie meeting was held was across the street from my school in a church on Wagoner Road. It was just two blocks from my home in Northfield Illinois and in an upper middle class area. Here I was at six years old allowed to walk home by myself in 1961. Those halcyon days are gone for good I know now. Those times were the days when you could be gone all day playing with neighborhood friends and you would know to come home for dinner when your mother would ring the “dinner bell”. How much freedom we had in those days and I’m sure my mother had walked with me several times so she knew I knew my way home. At least I hope she did.
I was in first grade which did not start off so well for me. My age fell on the line that was an odd cuttoff so at age 5/6 I was in first grade and the youngest in class. I remember my mom carrying me into first grade kicking and screaming saying to her “I won’t go, I don’t wanna go, I won’t do it!” My mother is very deaf from her bout with spinal mennengitis at age two. Her mother made sure she would never be treated any differently so she had her learn to read lips instead of sign language. She ignored my pleas and they placed me at a desk by a window. A big mistake.
So back to the Pecan Sandies. Here I had a full bag, who’s to know they were not all eaten by the kids in Brownie scouts. I opened the bag and walked very slowly home eating cookie after cookie in that delicious state where everything is out of your focus except for the savoring of each cookie. I ate each cookie as quickly as I could after the initial bites of pleasure blended into the same sensation. Why didn’t I stop when I’d had a “normal” serving. The process of eating was just comforting, comforting from what? What was eating at me at this sweet age??? Sugar was working it’s magic in my body creating an early sugar addict. It was like I was in a trance where all my fears had gone away and I was in heaven with each bite. This was a trance like feeling of love, safety, security and I was so full by the time I got to our yard so I stashed the unfinished cookie bag in the bushes where no one could find it. I walked through the secret entrance to our two acre yard by the swing set, slide and sandbox and in the back door of our house and blended into the family of six who lived on the “rich” side of Dickens Road.
I had found my best and most loyal friend, sugar.