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Shopping For a New Lunchbox

By Tina Mercado

Over winter break, my friends Charlene, Elisa, and I went up to New York to visit our other friends, Jasmin and Archana. Not wanting to let any perishable items go to waste in the fridge, I packed myself a turkey sandwich for the car ride, and kept it cold in my insulated lunch box.

Well, as luck would have it, I managed to leave my lunch box at Jas’s place in NYC. Since my loss, I have been carrying my lunch to work in a cloth Urban Outfitters bag. This is clearly unacceptable, and thus, I need to buy a replacement. Luckily, I didn’t have to wander too far and wide in my search … it turns out that etsy is a mecca of cool lunchboxes.

Choice 1: “Farfalla Gialla”

I am attracted to this lunchbox because I feel that it would match many of my outfits. However, the construction is lacking in many respects: the lunchbox not insulated, it lacks a carrying handle, and I don’t think it’s waterproof, either. This is the Anna Kournikova of lunchboxes – attractive, but overpriced, ultimately not in the top ranks, and perhaps even belonging on “The Biggest Loser.”

Choice 2:  “LUNCH Brown Bag” by Bontons

Cliché, I know … a cloth lunchbox that looks like a brown paper bag. And yet, I like it because it reminds me of  elementary school. When I was young, my mom would pack brown paper bag lunches with “Tina’s Lunch <3” written on the outside. Eventually, I insisted that I was too old for such public displays of “mom-ness.” So, instead, she would leave handwritten notes inside the bags. “Love you lots. Mom.”

Side note: I’m thinking that if I get this “disposable-yet-not” lunchbox, I’ll have to also get one of these as well.

Choice 3: “Coffee Bean (Recycled burlap with leather handles)” by crookedoakdesign

As far as I can tell, this seems to be a lunchbox that skillfully marries (to borrow terminology from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, my current read) the “rational” and the “romantic.” It’s not always so easy to unite these two seemingly opposing characteristics. Just this afternoon, at a networking event, I had a conversation with someone; he was envious that I majored in Engineering as an undergrad, and I was envious of his Anthropology and Geography double-major.

Why must things be either rational or romantic? Well, this lunch bag seems great – insulated, waterproof, durable, aesthetically pleasing. Quality. Zen and the Art of Lunchbox.


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