I used to eat the same meal for lunch every day. My parents would make me the same meal until I asked for something different. This normally lasted a month or two before I switched to something new.
I would then get out of my routine and visit my grandparents. At 11:30 AM when I was supposed to have lunch, I would walk into the kitchen and sit down at the table and wait. My grandparents would walk in and ask what I was doing. I would say I’m waiting for lunch. I would expect them to hand me my peanut butter and jelly sandwich with my side of apple slices and cranberry juice mixed with sparkling water. I expected the brands to be consistent. The portions to be consistent. I expected it to be served on a plate in the correct way. Instead I would be handed whatever they put together. So I would eat two bites, decide I didn’t want it and get up and leave. Then complain about stomach pains the rest of the day.
I wasn’t a picky eater. It wasn’t because I didn’t like other foods. It was about the control. I had no control over most things in my life. I often felt like every decision was made for me and if I had to make a decision, it was always wrong. What I had for lunch was the one thing that was in control. I could try something new every time, but I wanted the routine. I wanted the consistent comfort of knowing exactly what would be placed in front of me and what it would taste like. I didn’t want anything unexpected or new or different. I wanted the same. I wanted one thing I could rely on in my day.
I wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off and more slightly peanut butter than jelly with a side of sliced red apples… never green. I wanted cranberry juice with sparkling water with much more sparkling water than cranberry juice served with a straw. I had a say in exactly what my lunch was going to be and my lunch was going to be reliable and comfortable; especially when my world was anything but.