Saturday, January 19, 2013

School Lunches

This is just funny. I'm reading through slowly and enjoying the heck out of every word of Anne Lamott's book on the writing life titled, Bird By Bird.

Here is a passage about school lunches and how they mirror the writing life:

It only looked like a bunch of kids eating lunch. It was really about opening our insides in front of everyone. Just like writing is. It was a precursor of the showers in 7th and 8th grade gym, where everyone could see your everything or your lack of everything, and smell the inside smells of your body, and the whole time you just knew your were going to catch something. The contents of your lunch said whether or not you and your family were Okay. Some bag lunches, like some people, were Okay, and some weren't. There was a code, a right and acceptable way. It was that simple.

Now, isn't that insightful?

She makes a point here that addresses freedom in writing. "Kill the perfectionistic way of thinking" is how I comprehend her message. "Don't be afraid to write a s _ _ tty first draft."

So here is my stab at School Lunches:

Never thought to write about school lunches. I have a premonition. I actually pondered school lunches before I read Anne Lamott's take on them, just the day before.

My daughter's friend slept over on a school night. She furnished a scrolly black and white tote with a complimentary water bottle in black and white plaid. How cute! Does it make the lunch taste better? What if there were nothing to eat? What would it matter how cute the lunch box? All it would be is an empty package.

Then there are my kids. I reuse and recycle. Not so good about reducing, but oh well...nobody's perfect.

My kids' lunch bags are the plastic Ingle's grocery bags...very utilitarian.

We get down to both ends of a store bought loaf of bread. I think of them as know, like "Keepers of the Host."  No one wants the ends as a sandwich. Sometimes I'll use one of those slivered ends as a half of a peanut butter and jelly. Then to add insult to injury, I'll shove the oldest daughter's sandwich (She can handle it. She must be prepared to face the real world,) into that long tubal plastic bread bag to save on one fold and close single. It's complete with overage of plastic and a twisty-tie. "Geez, Mom! How embarrassing." I can hear her now.

Then I go to rummaging through the Tupperware, Ziploc, or Silverlite. Choose your plastic. Did you know that some lids are numbered and match to a correlated container? I search for a "2." Well, got 5 lids... no "2." Oh, here is a "3" bowl and a "3" lid. Danika and Katie can share. Throw those sliced cucumbers in there.  I see on facebook later, a photo. Spa-like cucumbers on the Student Body President's eyes. "Hey, I recognize that peeling. Those are my cucumbers!"

Orange food is a necessity for a healthy diet. Sliced organic carrots accompany the cucumbers.

Well, today is Friday. Catholics eat tuna. I'm setting out to fulfill my main mission in life which is to humiliate my kids. Danika is like, "We open the container and everyone can smell it. The whole table is like, what is that smell?! It smells like, fart." Egg sandwiches aren't much better.

Juice boxes. 8 for $4.98. Hmmmm. Let's muliply that out. Eight might last a day. Two boxes will end up squashed near the sofa and the straw wrappers unoffensively hide beneath a cushion. "Ixnay on the juice boxes, this year, girls. You're drinking water!"

Something salty and crunchy: Doritoes or Cheetoes

Something sweet: "Little Debbie"

Fruit: Slice the apples for Katie & Bea (they wear braces.)

Oranges: The zest always takes me back to the groves in Florida.

By the way, what is orange juice without pulp? I don't get it.

Isn't that like fake orange juice? Like Sunny Delight? Who drinks that anyway? Rob describes it as a bottled sore throat.

Yea, gotta have a bit of pulp in your OJ.

Like life and writing. It needs a bit of texture.

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