“My Momma made my lunch for me today. It’s in a big white bag with “Keith” written on it. It’s a tuna fish sandwich, potato chips, and cookies. I’d say that’s pretty lucky; I have lots of friends who would give anything to have their Mom make their lunch again.” – Uncle Keith*
This paragraph rolled through my facebook feed today. It made me cry.
It also took me on a romp through some very wonderful memories…
There were two groups of kids when it came to school lunches – Packers and Buyers. As a wee lass, i remember feeling quite special because my mother loved me enough to pack my lunch for school every day. A sandwich, fruit cocktail in Tupperware, and a Little Debbie Snack Cake were pretty standard fare.
School lunches were available, and the majority of students bought whatever was offered – “Pizza, corn, jello” on Fridays as the highlight of the week. It cost $0.10 more if you wanted ice cream, and some of the lucky kids got ice cream, but that was a pretty extravagant item in our world.
Before leaving the classroom, the teachers would line us up by the blackboard – Packers first, then Packers who needed to just buy milk, and then Buyers. i was a bit cocky every day knowing that my lunch had been prepared for me, and was neatly packaged in my groovy lunch box.
i had this lunchbox. i shit you not…
Shopping for a new lunch box was part of the ‘back-to-school’ ritual! It couldn’t be taken lightly – you were judged by what was on your lunchbox. Carrying that really cool “school bus” lunchbox might be ok in 2nd grade, but you’d be called a baby by the start of your 3rd grade year.
i tended to be somewhat conservative with my choices, going with bright designs rather than cartoon characters, or television shows. i do remember being tempted by a sweet “Partridge Family” box, but opted for something less likely to get me verbally abused.
By the time i was about 10 years old, the lunch box thing wasn’t cool, but it was still preferable to pack a lunch and i ditched the lunchbox for a brown bag. Still felt damn special, though. Eventually, i got fussier about what was going in that bag, and started packing my own lunches.
Thanks to Uncle Keith, i had a happy wander down memory lane today. With a simultaneous ache of missing my mother… It would be wonderful to have her make me a bologna and cheese sandwich on white bread, some syrupy fruit cocktail and a Little Debbie Nutty Bar again…
*Some of my older blogmates may remember Uncle Keith from a few years back. As the founder of his own religion, Keitholicism, and leader of The Riot Squad, he always brought insights and smiles.