Flashback Friday: A Note on Lunchables and Childhood Dreams

This week’s flashback Friday goes all the way back to my junior year at Oral Roberts University, where I was an RA at the time.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flashback 🙂

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The hallowed lunchable box

This update is dedicated to Samantha Roberts, one of the lovely ladies that resides on my floor.
She prompted this update through fulfilling a childhood dream.

When I was a child (back in the days when Pluto was a planet and I had long hair that was always in pigtails) and a student at a local private Christian school, I had the privilege of bringing a homemade sack lunch with me to school every day. It was a lunch filled with love, a sandwich, some chips, and who knows what else, all encapsulated in a brown bag that was either stapled or taped shut. I loved my sack lunches. They were so satisfying…so full of mom’s love (or Janine’s…depending on who made them…haha). But then there were always the kids that came to school with the lunches that were factory-made and probably not packed with as much love as my lunch. It could have been so much easier to just dismiss their lunches as a cop-out on their mother’s part to actually put effort into a real lunch. But it wasn’t that easy. You see, as children, we are constantly in comparison of each other, in an endless pursuit of our true identity. The kids that had the factory-made lunches seemed so much cooler than those who had the simple paper bags or the soft lunch coolers that always smelled of plastic. There just seemed to be something more attractive about the yellow cardboard packaging and the large letters that screamed of coolness.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am referring to lunchables…Yes, those delectable, factory made and sealed, highly processed, yet so appealing to the senses lunches that never really fill.

I admit, I wanted to be a cool kid. I tried the subtle hints at the grocery store to get mom to buy them for me, but to no avail. My hope for being cool through having lunchables was crashed, like a wave against the shore.

BUT! There was hope.

Mom took me out of school, away from all of those lunchable-eating kids that always felt so much cooler than me.

I then gained a new sense of cool-ness. I made my own lunch – filled with love, overflowing with flavor, and saturated with every good thing that comes from homemade lunch. lunch then became my most favorite activity. It even drowned out every memory of ever wanting lunchables… until two nights ago.

*Cue mood music*

It was a normal night. I had just woken up from sleeping for an hour and I was going around the floor, doing room check as a good RA should when IT happened.

*music gets more intense*

It looks so good!

I knocked on room 6**, keyed in, opened the door, and saw HER! Sam Roberts was sitting at her desk, using her laptop. Every light in the room was on. In my slightly groggy state, I said a hello. She responded with a extraordinarily chipper, “Hi.”
I didn’t think much of it, and started to shut the door. It then occurred to me that she was super chipper for being 1:37 in the morning, so I commented on it, to which she replied that she was eating a lunchable.

Alison, my roommate, and I ate them!

This statement was followed by a large smile of happiness and joy. I responded that I never had lunchables (cue flashbacks to sitting at the lunch table in kindergarten, watching the lunchable-eating kids). Sam then practically ran to the fridge, pulled out a lunchable and gave it to me. My face suddenly sprouted a ginormious smile, and my life was changed forever, due to the selfless actions of one girl. Thank you, Sam. You have changed my outlook on life.

We enjoyed every bite!

Today, Alison, my roommate, and I ate that lunchable and enjoyed every bit of it – from the initial opening of the package, to the first peeling of the individually sliced ham and cheese slices, to the process of stacking it all on top of a perfectly salted ritz cracker and finally eating the heavenly mixture.

If wheaties is for champions, lunchables is for cool kids (with a lot of exceptions).
Thank you, Oscar Mayer for your contribution towards my life.

Until my next profound revelation, this is Joy Bork, signing off.

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One of the best parts of this post was the aftermath of comments.  Here are my favorites:

From my mother:

DEEP FAMILY SECRETS AND REBUTTAL FROM MOM:
Sniff!!! I didn’t buy you lunchables because I didn’t want you to be “cool”. Don’t forget that many times it is the “cool” ones that compromise. Now that you are “cool” I hope you will still talk to us folks that eat healthier! Please don’t start a facebook group called, “The Cool Lunchables Clique”. Oh, and I also want to tell you a family secret. We are sending you to college on the money we saved by not buying Luncheables! Love you always and forever, Mom
PS You are cool in Jesus without Luncheables! 🙂 Write more updates. I miss them.

From my cousin Matt:

You know Joy…

I was too in 1st Grade one time… With my many cool Lunchable lunches… like Pizza… Pizza… and Pizza. They would have the flat pieces of bread, the sauce, the pepperoni, the little red stick to spread the sauce with, and a miniature piece of candy…

This was Heaven on Earth to me… So I thought!

Then one day as I was wondering of into my own world, while my Teacher, Mrs. Thorwall, was teaching us how to add single digit numbers, my tiny brain thought up an idea just as my stomach started to rumble… Make a pizza sandwich!!!! I thought I was as smart as the guy on the poster by Mrs. Thorwall’s desk with awesome hair that went in all directions…

Then, Lunchtime came, I was very happy that mom had still packed my pizza lunchable. I started to pull off the plastic sealing and took off the first piece of flat bread. I put everything on it and headed toward the next flat bread. While everyone at the table was bitting their fingernails, and the girls at the next table over were whispering to themselves about me being a little dare devil I was, I started to make the second pizza thing.

Just as I was about to put the two pieces together, another idea popped into my awesome brain: put the piece of candy in between the two pizzas! I eyeballed the little Butterfinger in its own little compartment. I reached for it, unwrapped it, and put it on the pizza. A loud gasp was heard throughout the lunchroom, and then complete silence. I smushed the two pizzas together, and took my first bite… *Chew… Chew… GULP!*

Everyone waited in anticipation…

I screamed, “THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER TASTED!”

Then a huge roar went over the crowd! And now I am thought of as a hero, legend, or a Cool Kid…

Or… They thought I was just gross… I don’t remember.

Anyways, just thought you would like to hear my story.

Love,
Matt

My friend Hannah:

This made me miss you incredibly. Its like you were in front of me talking and sharing your heart with me….your hurting, lunchable- neglected heart. Im sure the healing process has already begun. I’m proud.

Oh the simple joys of life.
What will you enjoy today?

  1. Since you are a “big kid now” and wear Pull Ups (oh, you are probably a really big girl now and are beyond Pull Ups), are you buying Lunchables with your own money? I bet you are eating better lunches than Luncheables now-a-days. So sorry I kept you from being cool, but maybe I’m not. I also kept you from eating a lot of highly processed food and I’m not sorry about that. I loved this blog note ’cause it made me laugh really hard. I needed that. Keep spreading the joy!

    Love,
    Mom

    Reply

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