Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Laying It Down

I was cutting the crusts off the bread for my kid’s sandwiches when my friend Michael looked at me and said,

“That is so wasteful. Look at all the bread you have to throw away!”

Our families were away together at the beach and Michael and I had returned to the beach house to make lunches for everyone.

This was three months ago.

Since then, every single morning when I make school lunches, I remember this comment and seethe.

Day after day, I mutter my unspoken retort,

“It’s just as much of a waste if they throw their sandwiches away uneaten!”

I'll at least admit that it has occurred to me that I’m being ridiculously silly about it.

So when our families went to dinner together last night, I told Michael it had been bothering me.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “I only meant that children in general are wasteful with their picky eating habits. I didn’t mean it as a personal judgment.”
“It probably says more about me than it does about you, Michael,” I told him, “that I’ve been hanging on to it all this time.”

Michael looked at his plate then back at me with a sheepish look.

“Well,” he said, “remember when we went camping?”
“Three years ago?!!”
“Yeah, well. You were surprised that our family didn’t shop at the Farmer’s Market and you said that every time you walked into a regular grocery store and saw ‘the endless aisles of cardboard boxes,’ you asked yourself ‘where is the food in here?’ ”

My husband laughed out loud recognizing the quote as something both of us have said. Many times.

“I’m sure I did say that,” I confessed.
“Well, I’ve been meaning to tell you something,” Michael said. “The food? ...is in the boxes.”

We stared each other down for thirty seconds and then burst out laughing.