The real reason why I was taught to pack a lunch

Most people think that those who pack lunches are those who are healthy, know better, want to save money, etc. In general, these people are looked on in a positive light.

There’s a secret though. Those who pack lunches, every single morning, Monday through Friday… they wish they were going out for lunch. They wish they didn’t have to wake up the extra 10-15 minutes each morning and pack a lunch. They’re tired of friggin’ home-made turkey sandwiches every day. They’re tired of their “adult” lunch boxes. They’re friggin’ exhausted of those damn little lunch box freezer packs.

So on that special day that comes only once in a while… They decide to not pack lunch (gasp) and tempt fate by going out for lunch.

They plan on going at 1pm because they work on a college campus, and they hate getting stampeded by 18 yr olds that still need a crossing guard because they’re seeing double from last night’s kegger, and for some reason — they ALL eat at noon. Programmed quite well by high school lunch hour.

Their plan for 1pm gets scrapped at noon, because an impromptu meeting gets scheduled for 1:30pm. Quickly, they attempt to leave campus for a nice, quiet Indian lunch buffet. They get stampeded by hundreds of hungover 18 yr olds that are still on high school lunch time, in a frenzy for food that wasn’t packed at home by mommy.

They never leave campus. 20 minutes in to the crossing-guard-regulated-stampede, they scratch the quiet Indian buffet and decide to turn back and attempt to eat at one of the campus dining options. Yes, I did just point out there is a CROSSING GUARD on a COLLEGE CAMPUS. Yes, I know; I haven’t used a crossing guard since the 5th grade either.

Anyhow. Because half of lunch was spent traveling the wrong way in the midst of a stampede, they can’t go to the nicest of the campus dining options because they don’t have enough time. They pick something out that looks similar to the Panera “Pick 2” deal. When the sandwich comes out of the refrigerator, pre-made, with lettuce, tomatoes, swiss cheese, and cold turkey on it, they begin to miss their home made turkey sandwich that would NEVER EVER have lettuce, tomatoes, and swiss cheese on it. At this point, they’re glad it’s a pick two. And then they open the soup container. And they wish it was a pick zero. It’s too late at that point, so they spend $5.99 on a sandwich and cup of soup that they absolutely refuse to eat because it would be morally wrong to eat the “I-wish-I-picked-zero” deal.

Shed 2 tears because they haven’t eaten in 5 hours and they miss their adult lunch boxes so bad they’re seeing it in their mind’s eye.

They pull it together. It’s now past 1pm, the hungover 18 yr olds have retreated back indoors because recess time is over, and they can actually make it off of campus. They get in the SUV and head for quick, fast food.

They discover their gas light is on because they sat at a cross-walk watching a crossing guard help “adults” cross the street for 20 minutes.

They go get gas. Re-group. Head for fast food.

In this particular scenario, they only have 2 options: McDonald’s and Taco Hell.

They choose Taco Hell because they’re going out for a burger at dinner tonight. They get in the drive-thru line. Sit there for over 5 minutes and get frustrated. They pull out of the drive-thru line, and go park. After parking, they go inside and order two, all bean Double Deckers, with sour cream. They start to relax because they’re finally going to eat and the AC feels great. Get food and sit down. They unwrap their food and discover that there is no sour cream on their Double Deckers, but lettuce and tomatoes instead. They wrap it back up because they’re going to throw away the second lunch of today. Unwrap it again because they feel AWFUL for throwing away food again. Debate for 30 seconds. Wrap it back up another time because they’re pretending they got an important message on their phone and they have to leave right away. They walk away hurriedly, while knowing they’re just pretending and they’re going to throw away those Double Deckers the first chance they get. Waste more lunch money.

At this point, the usual pack-lunch-at-home-people would be on the edge of madness because of the waste of money, gas, time, and food in the past hour. But because they STILL have not eaten yet, they’re past the edge of madness and instead, they’re fully saturated in the true madness zone because they STILL have not eaten yet.

They leave Taco Hell and head to McDonald’s. They order a plain cheeseburger and ruin their appetite for a burger at dinner. They don’t give a shit though.

They vow pack their adult lunch box with home-made turkey sandwiches every day until the day they die.

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