As far back as I can remember as a very young man, about 8 years old, I had a begun a relationship with Food. My Mom would cook dinner when she got home from teaching school. Understand, being from New Orleans, LA, the home of Famous Food and Drink, was somewhat of a curse. Typically, every meal consisted of some type of protein, either Chicken, Shrimp or Oysters, which were typically battered and fried or even cooked in a Roux, that’s French for very Rich Gravy, the best Macaroni & Cheese or Creamed Potatoes, a vegetable like Corn on the Cob or some type of other vegetable, which typically was fried too, like Okra. The best part of the meal was served first and last; yes – it’s da “BREAD” – wit da “BUTTER” – LOL. Anyone from New Orleans, or us Cajuns say “NAWLINS” know that we can eat anything between two slices of Bread or on a Po-Boy, which was also made famous in New Orleans. More about that later!! The typical dinner was always served on a pretty large plate. After dinner, dessert was served. This was always my favorite part of every meal. Mom always had Homemade Ice Cream in the freezer, some type of Cake or Cookies in the pantry, or an Egg Custard Pie from our local bakery named McKenzie’s. Between the ages or 8-12 were some of the most difficult for me. I had a nickname that I hated to this day!! My nickname back then was “FAT PAT”. I hated when kids would call me PAT. To this day, I ask my friends in a very nice way to either call me Patrick or my nickname now, “BEAR”, which is absolutely endearing to me. The kids in my neighborhood were always nice in a crazy kind of way. When it was one on one, I never got teased or bullied about my weight. Back then, people whom were of the large size were not known as being FAT, but everyone including the adults, would say, he is such a “HUSKY” young man. Call it what you want, it hurt like hell. When the kids would tease me, I would shrug it off in front of everyone, but down deep, I just felt like the urge to eat more. I was battling a bit of depression because I was always being teased about my weight and size. We would play games at school like Red Rover, Red Rover send someone over. Well, my name was never called to many times come over . When it was my turn, I was typically too out of breath to even enjoy the game. I always came in last anyway. Every time we had PE or “Physical Education”, I was so miserable. I always finished dead last in any event. It was so embarrassing. So I would come home from school or the local playground, Gerard Vikings in Metairie, LA, and go in my room and cry buckets of tears. I kept this from my Mom and her roommate. Sometimes mom could tell I was not really my jovial self, so she would suggest another snack favorite. A great treat was to take a ride to the local Snowball Stand. Oh my God, I felt amazing. I could get a Nectar Flavored or Chocolate Snowball with Condensed Cream. I felt no pain any longer. Food was my friend and that snowball melted in my mouth. The simple things in life that can take the blues away.
More about this deadly sin soon – God Bless – Bear