Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Air Sandwich

The Renaissance Woman's mom gave her a copy of The Jane Austen Book Club, and when she got home RW gave it to me, and I promptly devoured it. Yum. "If I could eat this novel, I would," says Alice Sebold on the cover, and I can't think of anything better to say than that. I'd heard of the book here and there but I guess I was waiting for it to fall into my lap, and now it has.

I kept finding quotable bits and doing small mental jigs at the deadpan loveliness of them. Here's one early one:

"Sylvia opened her lunch bag to find that her mother had packed two pieces of bread with nothing between them. It was hard to think of new things to pack in a lunch day after day after day. Her mother had cracked under the pressure."

For the whole past year I've been wanting to write a post about the Promethian effort involved in concocting lunch every day, now that Mermaid Girl is no longer at her vegetarian-lunch-included preschool. About how I stay up late night after night, putting off the inevitable moment when I will have to drag out the loaf of bread and make one more fireplacing peanut-butter sandwich. About the boringness, the thanklessness, the hopelessness of coming up with anything new or original or even the least bit interesting to toss into the everpresent Hello Kitty lunchbox.

And Karen Joy Fowler has summed up the whole tragedy in three neat sentences.

I don't know whether to read the book again for sheer delight or whap myself over the head with it until I fall unconscious.


Anonymous ppolarbear said...

I've seen it in stores, and never quite bought it....now I will.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I must. own. this. book.

Seriously. Four weeks into the school year, and we have all had it with toasted cheese sandwiches (cold -- how appetizing) and (even better) ketchup sandwiches. He won't even try peanut butter sandwiches, which I suppose is just as well, since he takes peanut butter crackers for snack every single day.

If you solve the problem of the vegetarian lunch box for Teh Picky Eater, oh pretty pretty please blog about it, won't you?

6:01 AM  
Blogger GuusjeM said...

I HATE packing a lunch- and the sad thing about working in a school is that at age 54 I'm still packing a freaking lunch every day. My dream job would involve eating lunch out EVERY day.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

That is funny!

12:15 PM  
Blogger liz said...

It is an excellent book. And the air sandwich is brilliant.

Are you ovo-lacto? 'Cause if so, hard-boiled eggs can be made by the dozen, stored in the fridge until needed, and went sent to school, stay okay without refridgeration for a few hours. My mom used to get inspiration from Bread and Jam for Frances. Frances's friends have excellent lunches and Frances just wants her bread and jam.

1:38 PM  
Blogger That Girl said...

Ill put the book on my list!
I know there is a website about this very problem - listing fun lunches for vegetarians - i know ive seem it.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

Okay, I so want to read the book now :)

4:23 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

Good line even if it does bring back some bad memories. . . two years ago I had a lunch packing crack up similar to this and the husband now makes the lunches. Serves the boys right because he only packs crackers, pretzels and grapes. If they complain, it's their job to make the lunch. They don't complain.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Pamelamama said...

www.veganlunchbox.com (check the archives -- new inspiration for lunch packing abounds!)

can I borrow your book?

7:59 PM  

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