April 30, 2015
I remember a time back in middle school (an auspicious beginning to a story for everyone, I’m sure.), when my siblings and I had made sandwiches for lunch because we had no leftovers from dinner the night before. I had made the perfect PB & J sandwich. Perfectly spread jelly, creamy peanut butter, the works. To summarize, I was sort of looking forward to it, especially since by lunch, I was very hungry.
So I sat down at my table with Steven- or was it Stephen? And a girl whose name escapes me and opened my lunch. There it was. My sandwich. Or that’s what I thought it was. Though I’m certain that at least one of my lunch buddies has since moved away, one thing that will never leave me is the memory of that sandwich.
Now before you go looking at me like I have three heads, I must explain the significance of this sandwich. It looked like any other sandwich, not terribly significant looking in one way or the other, so it wasn’t the look of it that is burned into my brain to this day. I did notice that there was no sign of peanut butter or jelly on the sides of this sandwich, and it was suspiciously thin and floppy, something I did not allow when making my own sandwiches. But whatever, I was hungry.
So I took my first bite. Inside the bread was something cool that tasted suspiciously like tomato sauce to me. I took one more bite for good measure, as if the jelly had somehow gone bad over night, or some other such horrible thing had happened. Still icky.
By now my lunch mates had noticed what was going on. My face must have looked gruesome, considering that I had just bitten into the demonic sister of the ketchup sandwich. I explained to them that the sandwich tasted weird, like tomato sauce. Before long, the top half of the sandwich was separated from the bottom, the frightful innards of the sandwich exposed.
Inside, a reddish brown substance was smeared haphazardly across the bread. It barely covered the edges of the sandwich, and didn’t even come within a half inch of the crust. Poor workmanship aside, it looked gross. Because of the taste, I almost suspected that it was tomato sauce that had expired, or perhaps it lacked food coloring. Whatever the manufacturer might put into the jar to make it look appetizing. Little brown specks were visible in the sauce. I thought they might be seeds of some sort. I was certain that the sandwich wasn’t poisonous, (It at least tasted fresh. It had that alone to its credit.) but damn. Who the hell could possibly think making this abomination of a sandwich was a good idea? What nitwit would want a sandwich to taste like tomato sauce? And not even good tomato sauce to boot.
Within my mind, there could only be one culprit. My brother. My sister was too smart to think a condiment could substitute as sandwich filling (she was at least five), though not much smarter. There was no one else to accuse, and my brother really hated peanut butter and jelly. Or at least he had professed he wasn’t in the mood for it. Though he did like barbecue sauce…
I’d like to say that I immediately stood up, walked to the trashcan, and made a slam dunk with that sandwich right into the abyss where it belonged, but most likely, what really happened was a profuse amount of whining and perhaps crying. I get hangry, what can I say?
When I got home, my suspicions were confirmed. The sandwiches had accidentally been switched when my mother put together lunches that morning. The suspicious sandwich filling had been barbecue sauce. The worst part? He had eaten the sandwich I had made for myself. I’m not entirely sure how psychology works, but I’m fairly certain that when you make something for yourself, really desire to benefit from that thing, then find out that another person’s actions have not only deprived you of that thing, but given you a really crappy replacement for it too (just having it stolen would have been less upsetting), you have a right to be mad. Especially when they take no responsibility for making a completely inedible sandwich. The most chewing I did that day was on my brother’s ear. I wish I had told him to make me a sandwich (in typical feminist terms), but if I did, he definitely refused to do it. Now excuse me while I go kick that boy in the mouth. Don’t worry, my foot tastes much better than that sandwich.