Why can’t adults have cool lunch boxes?

So I was thinking about lunch boxes the other day. Remember lunch boxes? Some had a special compartment for a container, others were totes cool with the latest cool image (hellooo Miss Barbie) while others lack sufficient gazing cafeteria cred. Remember at lunch you’d prop that lunch box up so your opposing eater would have to stare longingly at your super sweet box? I do. I remember how lunch boxes defined you as a person. The girlie girls would have the latest teen throb, the “alternative” kid would have StarWars or The Beatles, the hip kids had the latest t.v. shows on theirs. Either way – every kid had them. And they were cool as shit.

Update: Apparently there is one adult who is cool enough to carry a lunch box (though not without some fun comments from other staff)… and his lunchbox pic?

But that’s not why I was thinking about lunch boxes. I was thinking how when you’re a kid, you mom packs (supposedly) the perfect lunch. Not only does everything fit in a way that resembles Tetris, but there were components to your lunch. The main character being the sandwich: normals days yielded a PB&J, unlucky days a stinky tuna sandwich. There would be a fruit or vegetable – baby carrots, or an apple, some chips to keep the kid quiet, string cheese for protein, and a cookie or two. So, what ever happened to those balanced lunches?

Nowadays, I shove whatever main meal I have into my mouth: the pad thai from the food cart, leftover dinners, Subway. There’s no apple, no string cheese – nothing to refocus my attention on after the main dish is starting to poke around my belly. And I think it’s because at some point in our lives, we were told that having awesomely decorated lunch boxes was uncool and suddenly, the need to have smaller portions of more things was replaced by one dish, in the convenience of a throw-away container.

So as I was carefully planning my experimental Monday lunch that requires I eat something every 3-4 hours in the 200 calorie range, I noticed that my lunch was starting to resemble that of my yesteryear lunch, back when I had a cool lunch boxes to pack it all in. Yet all I had was a hodgepodge of tupperware for my 3 different snacks – totes uncool. If I were to have a lunch box today, I’d want one with Calvin & Hobbes on it or bears. Something that when it’s 11:30 am and my stomach is rumbling will make me smile and remember that the carefully packed cookie is just 30 minutes away…in a cool ass lunch box.

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