I brought my lunch to work the other day. I put a can of tuna in the bread bag with the last two pieces of bread.
This was how I use to carry my lunch to school.
My mom would make us peanut butter and jelly, some chips or cookies and piece of fruit. She would use left over bread bags as out lunch bag. I kind of recall maybe having a “Bigfoot and Wildboy” lunchbox or maybe it was a super friends lunchbox (with Zan and Jana and Gleek not Wendy and Marvin) in 2nd or 3rd grade. But by 4th and 5th grade, most of my lunches were packed in Wonderbread bags.
I remember being mortified at the fact that while other kids had the typical brown paper bags I was carrying a big semi-see through red, yellow and blue polka dotted bag weighed down at the bottom with an apple. This always bothered me because the length of the bag was about half my height so usually I would be dragging it. The other thought that always got me was, the fact that we would use the old bread bags to put on our feet in rainy or snowy weather. The bags would make our boots slide on easier as well as keep our feet dry. I don’t recall if my lunches ever had a feet smell to them but the thought sometimes made me lose my appetite.
While sitting in the cafeteria I would sit and watch other kids display their cool bags or “Dukes of Hazard” lunchboxes. They would display (yes display is what it felt like at the time) such awesome lunches. Snack Pak pudding snacks. Tiny bags of chips from the actual manufacturers. Store bought sandwiches. Cans of soda. Man I would kill for that.
I would try to empty the contents of the bag (which would be crushed by lunchtime by the weight of the fruit) as quickly as I could so the other kids would not see the bag itself. Spread out on the table would be the PB& J in a sandwich bag, the piece of fruit, and usually a sandwich bag of chips or crackers (unless my dad made lunch then the chips would just be thrown in the bread bag loose) a piece of paper, a penny and a nickel. I would take the 6 cents and buy milk.
Of course the trading would commence. No one ever wanted to trade with me. Seriously why would you trade a chocolate pudding cup for pretzel crumbs? Of course there was always the ribbing that I never would have anything good to trade; that my lunch stunk. They would joke that I shouldn’t eat it all because whatever was left over I had to give to my younger brother so he would have lunch (this of course was not the case).
As the other kids would flaunt their candy bars and prepackaged goods, they would say things like “I bet you wish you had pudding.” or “Ooooh, look I got a Hershey bar.” ,I would reach for the piece of paper that was with my lunch. I would open it and it would read:
Have a nice day at school.
I love you.
I would smile and look at the kids at the table and I would say, “Sure you got chocolate pudding but my mom loves me.” And that would shut them up. Until the next day.