Dry, crumby, floppy, flavorless.

How could anyone find any delight in consuming such a substance? I am most likely one of the only inhabitants on the planet who abhors bread. No, I am not allergic. No, I am not on a diet. The taste and texture cause a visceral reaction where I literally cringe in my skin. Even the thought of bread conjures up haunting images of well-intentioned Italian waiters delivering baskets that must be quickly removed by my sister. And at lunch, my friends think it’s funny to rub bread on me, but it’s not funny. It freaks me out.

I was six years old the last time I ate bread. I do not remember many events from that age, so the fact that I recall this incident proves how major it was. My babysitter prepared me a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. I had never eaten bread before, but I was not completely opposed to the idea of trying it. Therefore, I bit into the repulsive sandwich. I immediately leaped from my chair and dashed to the sink. I then threw my entire head under the faucet in an effort to cleanse my victimized mouth of the unsavory injury.

My distaste for bread has resulted in awkward situations with people who are unaware of my unusual repulsion. As a shy child, I remember turning down playdates simply because I was embarrassed to request a specially-prepared lunch. However, when faced with this obstacle, I never succumbed to eating bread. Even now, there are countless dinner episodes in which friends and family offer me money in exchange for a nibble of a roll, but I always reject any type of dough— even if it’s green.

Refusing bread is a microcosm of how I know what I want and am not afraid to advocate for it. Like the time I narrowly missed the qualifications to move up to a more challenging English class, but had worked so hard that I convinced my teacher to bend the rules. Or my sophomore year, when I used every second on the lacrosse field to showcase my abilities, resulting in a spot on the varsity team. Being a successful and thriving student at the University of Richmond is my current goal, and, just like avoiding bread, my determination to do so is unwavering.