I get to pack one now, but I hated it then.

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Write of Passage

It was yellow. Shaped like a school bus. Snoopy decorated the top panel. Mama bought a blue one for my brother, and a yellow one for me.

It was last year’s lunchbox and Mama wouldn’t buy me a new one for the new year. “There’s NOTHING wrong with it!!!”

Except there is. It’s last year’s lunchbox. I’m going to be the only kid in my class with this lame-assed lunchbox. Everyone else is going to have a metal lunchbox with The Bionic Woman or Wonder Woman or Star Wars.

I don’t like yellow. I don’t like Peanuts enough to have a lunchbox with them on it anymore.

She says nobody notices stuff like that. Mama has no clue.

I tried to break it. Peeled the characters off the front so at least it’ll be PLAIN yellow instead of Peanuts Characters. I stomped on the handle until it cracked enough for me to say “Look Mama! It’s broken and it’ll pinch my hand!” Think I got a new lunchbox?

Newp. Daddy took the plastic handle out and knotted some nylon rope into place.

I packed my own lunch. There for a long time I made Lipton’s Cream of Chicken instant soup (with hot water from the tap) and two slices of bread for soppin.

I tried the soup as an adult. I’m not sure what was worse – the pseudo-chicken flavor, the salt (oh my dear lawd the salt) or the rancid breath.

I’d like to take the time right now to apologize to my former classmates if I got all up in yo’ grill with that breath.

I quickly learned that if you stir the jelly into the peanut butter, they both spread more easily. But I didn’t like sandwiches all that much. Most of the time I bought my lunch. Pizza and french fries with milk.

And now you know where The Crazy started.

The cafeteria reeked of steamy hot dirty dishwater and food. I remember being overwhelmed by the noise of three billion kids crammed into one room to eat.

In high school, Amy (a classmate) remembered that lunch box and asked me about it. I lied and denied. She had one just like it, and it made her feel better that “one of the big kids” had a lunchbox like hers. As an adult, I can appreciate the sentiment. As a high-schooler, my soul flamed anew with the reminder.

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This is Challenge #2: Lunch Box

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