When I think of the surely darling children I’m going to have one day (sans the van – cool soccer mom reputation to maintain here, and yes – I DO shell out extra cash for the quality Hi-C juice boxes at practice), I can’t help but already feel for these unfortunate children with whom no one will want to trade lunches.
At best, I can put together an appallingly delicious sandwich – I mean it. That thing will blow away any previous sandwich standards, especially when the works slap you squarely into tomorrow. Tomato, lettuce, pickles, turkey, and TWO cheeses will fight a dirty and epic battle to conquer your taste buds. Place your bets now, folks.
Ok, so I know you’re thinking that you can get that sandwich anywhere. And probably with a few chips thrown in on the side, or some homemade potato salad. No doubt a pickle slice.
But, guys. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.
I toast the bread. I TOAST the BREAD!
At worst? Well, fellow blog readers, I am ashamed to tell you that more than once a month, I open the refrigerator to find a year-old jar of peppers, three mismatching beers left behind from a game night I hosted a year ago, and what I can only assume at one time was a piece of fruit that has slowly disintegrated in the crisper drawer. On a positive note, I won’t have to add raisins to my grocery list. Ba-dumm-tumm-dshhhh. Just kidding. I don’t have a grocery list.
Ironically, on the scale of things, my best and worst are only marginally separated.
If you’re single, it’s completely acceptable to live off of sandwiches in your 20s. It’s not like I’m going to come home on my lunch hour and happily slave away in my “Commander in Chef” apron to prepare a roast that I will then slowly devour in a month’s time thanks to those new freezer bags that now offer 25 percent less freezer burn. About time, am I right? Besides the obvious glitch in that plan being that no one under the age of 75 likes roast anyways.
I fear for the day some poor guy slaps a shiny ring on my hand without even questioning why we never eat at my apartment.
Because then. ONLY THEN. A day to mark the end of an era. Sink or swim. Ride or die. Cook or be divorced after years of unhappy silence upon coming home to find an assortment of meats and toppings slapped hastily between two pieces of (perfectly toasted) white bread.
“But…we had sandwiches for lunch,” he’ll say as I hear his stomach literally whimper, acidic tears dripping from its shrunken encasement.
“I thought they were so good, that we’d have them again for dinner,” I’ll say, smiling brightly, for I have a surprise for him. A special dessert of the likes only I can manage. Not just any sandwich. ICE CREAM sandwiches. Hy-Vee special: two boxes for $7.50. Helloooooo, Wife of the Year.
At least, that’s how it goes in my mind.
Every Christmas at work, our department has a Thieving Santa party. Our first time around the table last year, I picked out a nice set of decorative plates for dip, alongside a blinged out spreader. Everyone fawned over them and at the time, I chuckled alongside them with seemingly utter delight while quietly having a panic attack thinking, “Now I have to make DIP?!”
When my inner temper tantrum – and the trading - subsided, I looked down rather reluctantly to find I held a crock-pot in my hands. Which, OF COURSE, no one wanted because everyone on the face of the Earth already has a crock-pot. Winner, winner, aaaaahhh, crap, I’m gonna have to make dinner.
“How lucky for you; now you’ll be able to cook easy meals for the whole family!” said the masses, eagerly sharing simple recipes hearty enough for a group of 8+. Except that it’s just me and my cat. And what’s “cooking?”
It’s still in the box.
I have the cookbooks and the painstakingly handwritten family recipes handed down throughout the generations. I have a recipe holder in the shape of my favorite thing in the world – shoes. I have a spatula and a handful of forks. But, at the end of the day, I have absolutely no ambition to cook.
So, my cookbooks take up much needed space, my recipe holder sits restlessly atop my microwave longing for the day it’ll grip instructions for homemade lasagna, and my kitchen is just a means to get to my dining room, which is a means to get to the television.
And on the days when I’m too tired to make even the simplest of sandwiches?
Thank God for Jimmy Johns.