( Photo credit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/31-lunch-boxes-from-the-1970s-that-are-worth-a-lot-of-money Sure wish I’d have saved mine…and yes, I would have sold Bobby out for that moolah!)
“Are you sure you want that lunch box?”
My mother lifts her eye brows and picks up an ugly red and black checkered lunch box.
“How about this one?” She pleads.
“No. I want Bobby Sherman.”
“Don’t you think you’re a little young for Bobby Sherman?”
I cross my arms, poke my bottom lip out, and tap my foot. She shakes her head and rolls her eyes at my sister who in turn just shrugs her shoulders and asks what the big deal is. After all, she is twelve and starting Jr. High so she’s over lunch boxes and into brown bagging it. Mama relents, and I hang onto my lunch box. Things I toss into the cart have a way of magically disappearing before we get to the Kmart checkout register. Next Mama insists I need a new book bag. They are all ugly. I don’t want one. Finally, Mama chooses an ugly green manly looking satchel. We argue about it and Mama says if I want the Bobby Sherman lunch box I’d take the book bag she picked out. I figure it didn’t matter because I’m not going to carry it anyway. I might only been going into second grade, but I know a target for jokes when I see one.
The night before the first day of school, I place my lunch box on the marble countertop and pull out the thermos. I tell Mama I want Kool -Aid in my thermos though I know I’ll get milk. I ask for peanut butter and jelly though I know I’d get bologna with mustard, and I hate mustard. But if I get to carry them around with Bobby Sherman smiling up at me, I can suck it up.
The next morning I am more excited about my lunchbox than I am about my new clothes. I rush through my wheat puffs without adding too much sugar like I usually do. I don’t even brush my teeth, or hair for that matter. I grab my lunchbox and zip down the long gravel drive to wait for the school bus. My sister strolls down a few minutes later and throws the ugly green satchel at me.
“What’d you bring me that for?” I scowl at her.
“Because you need it.”
“Hmmph. No, I don’t.” I kick the soapstone dust with my shiny black Mary Janes, coating them a dull shade of gray.
“Why you gotta’ ruin everything?” I complain. She smirks and then pokes me in the arm just as the yellow appears at the top of the hill. I hold my lunch box in front of me so it will be the first thing my friends see when I get on.
All of my girlfriends ooh and aah over my lunch box. They argue over who I’m going to sit with. We talk about how cute Bobby is and fight over which one of us is going to marry him. We even sing “Easy Come, Easy Go’, while my sister and her friends laugh at us.
When we get to the bus exchange I switch to the elementary bus. As soon as I get on the bus, an older girl, a sixth grader, pulls me onto her seat. She tells me I am lucky to have a mom who’d let me have a Bobby Sherman lunch box.
I soon find me and Bobby Sherman aren’t just the hit of the school bus girls but with all the girls in the school. I am the only one with a Bobby Sherman lunch box, and every girl, regardless of her age, is in love with Bobby.
I get invites from various girls to several lunch tables. I sit with my cousin and best friends. Sure enough Mama packs me milk which isn’t very cold and tastes almost sour. I pull the bologna off the mustardy bread and wipe it off with a napkin so I can eat it. I munch on my apple and a few lemon cookies. No matter what’s for lunch, I decide Bobby Sherman makes it better. I fold the rest of my cookies in the aluminum foil and later stash them in my book bag.
While Bobby Sherman gets a prize seat on the kitchen counter, I stuff the manly book bag into the back of my bedroom closet. I claim I lost it. A few weeks later Mama finds it…lucky me, the entire side has been chewed up by a mouse in search of those lemon cookies.
So not only do I get rid of the ugly manly satchel, but my Bobby Sherman lunch box grants me entrance to the big girl circles and is a free passport to the back of the school bus. Yes, Bobby Sherman brings a girl respect!