Although each year officially begins on January first, for me, each year began when the new school year began. For me, it was like having a new beginning. Last year’s mistakes and wasted moments were gone and I had new crayons, new pencils new shoes, a new teacher and a new lunch box.
I had a red plaid lunch box when I was In second grade, and that was the year that I learned to peek at my lunch before I let my peers look into it. One’s social standing depended on the contents of one’s lunch box.
There was enough pressure being the new student at school without toting a plaid lunch box when the other students had cartoon characters on theirs. After the students saw what my mother packed for lunch, I was doomed. Mom had to stick to a budget, and as she grew up during the Great Depression, my sandwiches could be interesting. And my peers made the most of it. It became the entertainment for them to check out the contents of my lunch.
One of the lunches was cold hot dogs. If we had leftover hot dogs, it went cold turkey into buttered buns. For some reason, the other students thought that was a funny sandwich. But it got worse. Baked beans sandwiches showed up regularly, and someone was always waiting all afternoon for the backfire. Another one that garnered a lot of unsavory comments was the prune sandwich. I relished the rare days when I had money for a hoagie (sub) or spaghetti and meatballs.
So, what do you remember about school lunches? Any favorite or detested sandwich?