thirty truths: 16

Truth #16: Something about lunch boxes gets to me.

I’m pretty sure it started with Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost (which I’ve written about before and probably will again) and the primitive bucket Elnora Comstock carried to school through the woods. She was poor and her father was dead and her mother was mean and the other kids teased her about everything, including the bucket, but I never felt sorry for her, on the contrary I envied her the contents, which always seemed so delicious (all I remember now is a spice cake… but I’ve been remembering it for decades). It was the first book I read where food played any kind of important role.

My version was a square, tinny box with a red handle and the Flintstones painted on both sides. It smelled of milk and mustard and when I opened it, even though I lived in an ordinary bungalow in a GM town, I was—for the duration of lunch—wild and beautiful, auburn haired Elnora in her handmade dresses, clever and resourceful in her tiny cabin in the Limberlost swamp… rising above the unkindness of the ‘town’ kids, succeeding just when everyone thought she would fail.

Lunch is still my favourite meal.

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