Only Child Residual Issues

One surprising little factoid about me: I am an only child. Most people are shocked when they learn this, and usually make a remark like, “You don’t act like an only child.” What I take that to mean is that I don’t act like a selfish, spoiled brat, which is the stereotypical only child M.O. I take that as a compliment, because I assume that’s how they mean it.

It’s true, I didn’t pick up many of the traits one would associate with only children. But, I didn’t walk away unscathed from my lack of siblings. The older I get, the more I notice that I have extreme hoarder tendencies. One of the biggest categories of my hoardage is food. I think it all centers around the fact that I never had to share when I was growing up, and dammit, if I buy dark chocolate Almond Bark from Trader Joe’s, my kids better keep their grubby little hands off it.

I have stashes of “my” food all over the kitchen. It’s not in super secret places. It’s mainly in the back of the fridge, behind other stuff. So it just takes a little bit of effort to uncover my stuff. Usually, however, no one bothers to go that far. At work, I have drawers full of snacks, probably enough to last for a couple months. I recently moved desks and I found two separate large bags of raw almonds from the bulk food store that I didn’t know I had. I have more Crystal Light flavor packets than I will ever drink.

And I honestly think this all stems back to the fact that I had no competition as a child when it came to snacks. If a bag of Doritos entered the house, I was fairly certain that I could leave the house, go to school, come back, and no one would have eaten all the Doritos while I was gone. Anymore, I don’t have that same assurance. And my love for snacks has not diminished over the years; if anything, it has increased.

So yeah, I might not have become a navel-gazing, self-absorbed brat, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t four boxes of Bottle Cap candy in the kitchen cabinets that are off-limits to my kids.

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