The day I realized that my lunch box was bigger than my purse. And, I regret to admit that it was not only bigger, but also heavier than my purse. If you must know, I was carrying a standard size Longchamp bag that day, okay? You get the picture.
This would not have been so bad if I had been attending my first day of kindergarten, where the kids all carry empty backpacks. Or, if I was setting sail on an escape raft from Cuba Syria somewhere presumably lovely but full of “hangry” politicians and religious zealots.
No, alas, I was going to work. It was 9 AM. I would probably be leaving by 6 PM.
I had garnered quite the reputation for my lunchbox at work. It quickly became akin to the Mary Poppins carpetbag. But for sugar and carbohydrates. As I would enter my clinic, you could regularly find my co-workers transforming into spoiled lunch box squatters. They’d follow me into my office and ask, “What’d you bring us today??” I created high-maintenance little food monsters and it was all my fault.
Now, backstory: bringing baked goods to share with whoever was in my company had been a perennial habit of mine. Regardless of the setting: work, parties, class, friend’s homes, just because; it was always my first instinct. It was my thing. But I never realized it was a “thing.” I just did it. And, it didn’t take many months of serving up my best baked goods to the Squatters for them to formulate and share their unanimous opinion: “You do realize your future children are going to be fat and get juvenile diabetes, right?”
So, what is this large lunch box about and why has it inspired me? It’s basic and uncomplicated.
- I love to eat.
- I hate feeling hungry, and I plan to avoid it.
- The screen saver of my mind is planning the nutritional intricacies of my next meal
- I assume everyone else in my life identifies these facts as fundamental and motivating. So, I am just helping.
I know what you are thinking: “What self-respecting woman isn’t looking forward to her next foodgasm? What makes you think you have a different perspective on eating chocolate chip cookie dough directly out of the package? You’re probably just another basic white girl with an annoying food blog. Your name is probably Whitney. Your dog’s full name is Pumpkin Spice Latte. You just wanna dance.
I don’t disagree: the reflex to publicize our every waking decision and thought on social media is obnoxious. It’s self-fulfilling and purely image-driven. I put in a moderate-sized effort not to participate. And, I resisted for as long as I could to join the league of food bloggers, despite encouragement from the Squatters. Why? Because I am just another food-obsessed white girl who loves to bake, cook and eat. Who wants to read about that?
What finally led me break my vow and start this blog was my frustration with the current culture of food blogs. The word that comes to mind is ‘inauthenticity.’ It’s all: coifed chefs with less than 15% body fat and their “cute but chaotic families;” a “crazy busy life” but enough time to take perfect photos of perfect-looking food with perfect fresh ingredients; pristine graphic design coupling the self-deprecating cook with a magnificent organic dinner for twelve. It’s inspiration, but not really because it feels completely unattainable in your own life.
Yes, I generalize. And, yes, I sound like a miserable cynic. But, this is my beef with today’s food blogs. They always left me perturbed and never wanting to participate in the public forum of food discussion. It all felt manufactured and fake. Until… wait for it… NOW.
This is where My Lunchbox is Bigger Than My Purse was born. Now, I can’t speak to the actual authenticity of other food bloggers and their love for food. What I can speak to is my mission for this blog: a place I plan to talk freely about using expired milk in recipes (and not telling the dinner guests); eating a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich over the sink; throwing out handfuls of fresh herbs from the garden because who wants to fuck around with making trays of cilantro ice cubes?
And, because food and compulsively feeding others makes for a large following of friends and opportunists, I will probably feature some of the other characters in my life, too.
It’s the ugly, unflattering, uncool side of food OCD. Written by a woman (and her inner fat girl) whose lunchbox IS in fact bigger than her purse. And she will continue carrying luggage-sized lunch boxes, even when her blogging privileges are revoked and/or when blogging is no longer a thing.
— Hadley Homemaker
(Oh, right, and I picked a really cutesy and charming food blog penname to drive home my point.)