Ever have one of those jobs where almost everything about it sucked. I mean you wake up in the morning and think please, please don’t call me. I need the money yes I do, but this is going to be a four-day work week. I’d rather have my sanity than earn a paycheck.
This was my life as a substitute teacher for middle school students. Middle school. This is an interesting species — the kind that makes you want to take a personal day once a week. But even though substituting for some of the classes was disastrous, I did manage to get something good out of it. The lunch circle.
Now, most of the time I was on special assignment, stuff like state exams and filling in at the dean’s office. During these times I was able to have lunch with a few people. To be more specific, it was a group of chicks, mostly walkie-talkie coordinators — Sanchez 1, Sanchez 2, Gonzalez and a couple of other regulars. But it was mainly these three ladies that formed my circle of trust.
But since I stopped working there, due to sanity purposes, I haven’t seen the lunch circle too often. But from time to time, something reminds me of them and I send an email or make a phone call just to catch up. Today was one of those days.
I was having lunch by myself, and I thought of them. Not so much because I was eating alone in front of the television, but because of what I was eating.
A baked potato and a big salad. I remembered bringing this same meal with me to the lunch circle. But as everyone had their small containers of green, red, or orange Tupperware and their regular-sized portions, I unloaded a monster-sized Rubbermaid tub holding my big salad, and a potato on steroids.
Now aside from joking around about my large-sized portions it wasn’t the salad that had everyone cracking up. It was the potato. There I was piling on my toppings. And then came the butter. It just wasn’t a pad or a tablespoon. It was much more. It was a Paula-Deen-Juliet-Child type of butter measurement. So as I was building up my best potato, I see someone staring from behind and smiling.
“Are you gonna have some potato with that butter?”
I laughed and then put more butter on my spud.
So as I was eating my potato and big salad today, I thought about the lunch circle. I thought about the conversations we had about life, relationships, and television shows, food, and recipes But most of all I thought about the comments and stories that made me laugh.
So maybe the job did suck, but the lunches were pretty good.