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Posts Tagged ‘Truth or Dare’

“Do it now, Meredith!”

“MEREDITH! DO IT NOW! YOU’RE SO STUPID!”

“All of us ate it, Meredith, now you have to. DO IT.”

I stood in that dimly lit kitchen at approximately 4:15 a.m., holding a small plastic cup containing my inevitable disgusting fate: peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and brown mustard. Oh and Soy Sauce.

“TAKE THE FRICKING SPOON AND EAT IT YOU BITCH.”

They all stood around me like vultures about to seize my flesh in their gaping, teenage mouths, shrieking obscenities, insults, and reminders that I was the only girl who hadn’t promised to eat whatever concoction was created for the worst Truth or Dare game of my life.

I was easily the prettiest girl there. I had long, straight, sun-streaked hair, fair skin, and a slender teenage body, toned from swimming, dancing, and acting out Broadway musicals in my room. I had started grooming my thick, dark brown eyebrows and wore eyeliner that often shaded my under eyes making them smokey and mysterious. I was just young enough to get away with playing Truth or Dare until the morning hours at a slumber party; just old enough to understand the potential repercussions of admitting too much truth and taking on too serious of a dare.

“DO IT YOU LITTLE BRAT!”

The girls kept shouting out me, the girls that I had just confessed my deepest secrets to; who I crushed on, how many boys’ hands I had held and lips I had kissed, how I really felt about my body. They were all turning against me, all 8 or 9 of these girls, chubby, greasy faced, frizzy haired meanies who were probably tormented at their own schools.

My mother was friends with the mother of the host of this party. Earlier that night, I’m sure we dined on pizza and coke, watched a scary movie, and started our friendly game of Truth or Dare just after midnight. Some of the girls were gross: pimples about to burst on shiny faces, braces poking out from chapped lips, glances of foreign and revolting private parts underneath the big t-shirts of the girls who refused to wear underthings because they said it made them feel better. These were the girls that sat in the back of the class. The ones with the strange smell and the bizarre laugh. The ones that would grow up to either be a cafeteria lunch lady, a janitor’s wife, or in spend most of their lives in prison.

I stood there staring down the cup of disgusting, defiant and near tears, as I simply said, “No.”

The host of the party, one of the girls refusing to wear underwear, grabbed it from me and stuck it in my face.

“You’re going to eat this whole thing!”

Maniacal laughter echoed in the kitchen. I started to cry. They knew that eating this goop was my greatest weakness because the thought of vomiting still makes me emotional to this day.

I spent almost the entire 8th year of my life sick in bed after my parents separated. Anxiety was the official cause of my stomach ailment. 16 some years later, I still remember reaching for the metal bowl to get sick, following sobs and low moans from pain, embarrassment, and the loss of the nutrition that my body so desperately needed. The thought of gagging and getting sick in front of these girls was destroying me.

And since my begging didn’t get me anywhere fast, I decided to just go ahead, dip my spoon in the mixture, and take a very small taste. As I placed the tip of the spoon to my mouth, the girls protested, demanding that I slurp up more.

I don’t remember how the spoon got into my mouth, but it did. And I gagged. And I let the tears fall down my young face in front of all those laughing girls who had probably felt like they had finally gotten payback for all the name calling and torture they had received in their young lifetimes. And I ran to the bathroom to get sick, and cry, a sight I’m sure most, if not all of those teenage harpies enjoyed.

I didn’t learn any real life lesson from this experience, nothing about trust, or self-confidence, or standing up for myself. I let the spoon pass into my mouth. I let the mixture linger on my tongue; I eventually tried to swallow it so that these girls would just shut up and leave me alone. If I close my eyes, I can just hear their voices, yelling and demanding, and the contents of that cup: heaps of brown mustard tucked into folds of flowing Hershey’s chocolate, piled on top of lumps of crunchy peanut butter and sprinkled with soy sauce.

And in reality, sometimes, I find myself swallowing things that I should never do, only to try and silence the nay-sayers or appease the masses in my life. I am bullied and I bully myself frequently. I let myself consume thoughts nastier than that stupid Dare in that kitchen all those years ago; one of the many real games of Truth or Dare I’ve ever allowed myself to play.

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