Monday, December 01, 2008


Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, let's talk about lunch. The brown bag kind.

Little One* sees me packing his and says, "Oh, by the way. Don't put pickles in my lunch. Like. . .ever again."

"But honey. You like pickles. And with tunafish you need one. Everyone needs a pickle with tunafish."

"Well, remember what happened that time. . ."

"Don't be ridiculous. That was a long time ago. Yesterday the juice didn't leak through the bag, did it? I used the special snacksize ziplock bag and it worked, right?"

He has frustration in his eyes, his voice a nervous edge. "But what if it hadn't? What if it had leaked. We were lucky this time, but what if we aren't the next?"

I'm patient. "It didn't leak. The pickle didn't leak. Correct me if I'm wrong. The pickle leaked only that one time, but yesterday, no plastic wrap, just the zip-lock, the pickle juice did not get all over your notebooks. Right? A new paradigm."

"I know. But what if it does? Why take the chance?" He's waving his hands passionately, they tell it all.

"I'll tell you why it's worth it to take the chance, but only if you really want to know."

He looks at me skeptically. "Hit me."

"Because one day you'll be married and maybe she'll be packing you a lunch with a pickle and you'll see her doing it and you'll stop her, irrationally. She'll look at you with confusion and say, 'But you LOVE pickles,' and you'll say, 'But not in my lunch.' Then you'll tell her the story about what happened to you when you were nineteen and she'll blame me."

I go on. "You have to get over this for the sake of your marriage and for the sake of my relationship with my future daughter-in-law. I'm at risk here, risk of conflict, abandoment. All of it."

He sighs. "Does it always have to come to this? My future relationships?"


"Don't you think you're exaggerating a little?"

"Uh, uh. This is important. And there's more to it, of course. The only way you'll get over the trauma is to grab a pickle by the bumps, double wrap it if you have to, but pack it and eat it with your sandwich at school."

"You're not going to blog on this, are you?"

Poor guy.


*Not so little. Almost twenty years old, he towers over me.


Radical Reminders said...

So it's a bit more about you than it is about him, eh? ;) hehehe

therapydoc said...

You bet.

Isle Dance said...

I can't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe,for the sake of your future daughter-in-law, you should let him reject the pickle. It might work out to her advantage. The thing is, when I first got married, like the 2nd week or so, I made my husband's lunch for work and he complained that there wasn't enough meat on the sandwich. I didn't get mad, but I did politely point out where we keep the refrigerator, the bread, and the necessary condiments. He has been making his own lunch ever since and I like that just fine. That was over 17 years ago and if he's not happy with his lunch, he has only himself to blame!

Anna said...

Oh, how this is near and dear to my heart!
My heritage is one of prevention- very little was worth trying because of the 'risk.' This was day-to-day issues as well as parenting.
When I got married, I couldn't do dishes. I had a huge mental block against it. After ten years or more of discouragement (you *might* not get them clean!) I was convinced it was impossible.
I'm over it now. My 'heritage' is not. Sadly, this means the relationship with my children is limited. It *might* snow 10 months out of the year. A visit is just too risky.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would also advise to let Little one reject the pickle! You wouldn't want him to have any leakage traumas in his future, would you?

Just imagine your future daughter-in-law, looking at Little One frustrated, and saying :"I know. It's because of the pickles."

Jack Steiner said...

Hee hee

Tanya said...

Oh, wow. I'm going to have to log that line of arguing away for future use. Brilliant!

But pickles and Tuna?

Catatonic Kid said...

Classic. I've a hopeless case of the giggles going now. It's the little things!

therapydoc said...

I just know that if there are no pickles, I get in trouble. And if there are pickles, I get in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Hah! Awesome post but wow am I glad my parents didn't have blogs while I was growing up!

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree, if he is old enough to be towering over you, he is old enough to be packing his own lunch. For the sake of your future DIL. ;)

Cham said...

great blog - very funny. if you decide make me lunches and put in pickes I will never second guess you (hint hint). That little one doesn't know how good he has it!

therapydoc said...

Sure I'll make you lunch! I love making lunches. I'll tell the whole story on another blog one day.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. So forcing pickles on your son at lunch = love, huh? LOL.

Sounds like you're raising him to be accepting and to have a good sense of humor, both important traits so few people master.

(But I'm going to have a little talk with the Oldest Daughter who insists Jewish women are saner than we shiksas.) :)

therapydoc said...

Tell her that we don't have the sanity gene, that it was beat out of us. But the sense of humor?

Oh no you can't take that away from me. (words of a song)

Leon's current assignment said...

(still laughing aloud)

Best line: "Poor guy."

You have great timing.

Yeah, it's tough to be related to and/or live with therapists, isn't it? (heh heh heh)

Gilit Frank said...

I discovered your blog by chance today and like your sense of humor. I am looking forward to visiting again when I am less tired. I hope you will have a chance to visit my blog "No Sex in the City" as well.

Gilit (Israel)

porcini66 said...

Coming from VT and just south of Montreal, it is absolutely a MUST to get Montreal smoked meat when we go home. And, with the meat, we MUST have Putter's pickles. Soooooo snappy, crisp and just salty enough to cut through the fat of the smoked meat (like a pastrami only WAY better...).

When in Montreal, you go to Schwartz's and step up to the counter. Wasting no syllables, you order: Medium Platter - lean, fries, and a cherry coke. Then get out of the way and go find a seat at one of the tables. For heaven's sake, don't expect to sit at your OWN table - if it's busy, you sit wherever there's room! Eventually, an old Jewish man will shuffle to your table and drop off your food. You will have about 3 pounds of meat, a loaf and a half of rye bread, a never ending mound of house cut fries and that all important, ice cold cherry coke. Oh, and a pickle or six.

Take a deep breath, sigh, and then tuck in with gusto to one of the best Sunday lunches you can ever have. Eat what you want, there will still be some to take home. If you can still walk when you are done, you can wander the streets of Montreal or go down to the Old City and be a tourist...anywhere you go, you will find something fun to look at. Definite good times. Yup, all of that from your pickle story! :)

Thanks for writing!

pinky said...

who knew pickles had such an impact? I consider myself educated by your post. I will never again take a pickle for granted.

Mark said...

The little pain he feels now from you will save him so much pain in his future relationships! Great job Mom!

Dr. Deb said...

so cute!

Anonymous said...

oh wow. my kids will eat pickles but they wont eat tuna fish!

shrink on the couch said...

Ah picklejuice. It has a half life generations long.

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