• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Why I Can Not Enjoy Strawberries.

When I was a toddler, my mother once took me with her to a pick-your-own strawberry farm. She plunked me down in the rough dirt between two rows of scratchy plants and left me. I cried out for fear of abandonment, and she came back to me with annoyance, "Shush, eat those." She pointed to warm red strawberries on the scratchy plants and left. Even at three years old I was surprised that you could just eat food from a farm, forage like an animal in a field, but I did as she told me to do. I had no choice but to go along with yet another of the uncomfortable situations that she put me into. The strawberries were delicious and I was beginning to really enjoy them when I heard yelling, a huge commotion, then "And take that baby with you, thief." Apparently in the commotion my mother had run off without me. My heart sank but I was not surprised. She scooped me up, ignored my strawberry juice-stained, sticky hands and off we went. Seventy years latter my stomach still roils at the sight of strawberries. Not for me that delicious, succulent fruit. :-(

Kleptomaniacs steal things that they do not really need and that have little value. The internet says "Kleptomania is a rare but serious mental health disorder that can cause much emotional pain..." Bushwa. My own perception of my mother's kleptomania is that she enjoyed it very much. Even getting caught was an adventure that never had consequences for her, just thrills.


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