Day School Lunching

Over the summer, during a weekend trip to my parents' house, I noticed something familiar in the toy basket my mom puts out for Gabbie. It's red, plastic handle was sticking up over the top of the basket. My lunch box from elementary school - a red model with Care Bears on the front. I think I got it in the first grade; I can remember getting it from the shelf in the closet above where we hung our coats, and those were the first grade closets, so it must be. It had a matching thermos, long since missing, and I loved it.

It's strange I remember it so well, because it's likely that it was rarely used. I went to a small, parochial school and we had excellent hot lunch cooked by some of the older ladies that attended the attached church. But I definitely have strong memories tied to it. Like the time I had yogurt in my lunch box and couldn't finish it all. It was a Yoplait, so I just stuck the metal top back on top and threw it in my box and then into my book bag. Yet, I was completely surprised when I got home and everything was covered in a thick layer of strawberry yogurt.

At the time I was in elementary school, Ziplock bags were made in my home town, and since my dad worked for the company (as did most of the dads and moms in town), we got the bags for cheap. Taking care of the earth wasn't as much as a priority as it is these days, but I can still remember one day when a teacher praised one of my fellow second graders for rinsing out her bag, and carefully folding it and putting it back in her lunch box so that it could be re-used the next day. I think it was more of a praise for not wasting something that could be reused so as to save money rather than to save the earth, but I made an effort to save my bags after that. I even made a big production out of it, wanting to be singled out for doing something good as well, but I never got the same kind of praise.

I rarely had the latest, hottest toys or clothes back then. My parents are the king and queen of frugal, so we got things that were useful and used them until their usefullness had ended, but I had that Care Bear lunch box at the height of Care Bear popularity. When they stopped being popular, I begged my mom for a different box, but no dice. I took to carefully drawing the cartoon character du jour on a brown paper bag and taking that instead on the rare occassions I packed a lunch, usually on fish sticks day. And never on spaghetti day. Spaghetti day was the bomb!


I'm participating in {W}rite-of-Passage - taking the challenge to write well.


mamikaze said...
December 14, 2009 at 4:02 PM

I think spaghetti day may have been a universally good lunch in those days!

Summer said...
December 14, 2009 at 6:11 PM

We hated spaghetti day. It was all about the salad bar day at my school. :)

Cassie said...
December 15, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Our school was all about pizza day. I really wish I could find a slice of pizza that compares to the rectangular pepperoni and cheese slices we had in elementary school, but I just haven't had any luck. I can still remember how it tasted!

Liz@thisfullhouse said...
December 15, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Spaghetti Day is STILL the bomb!

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