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Crystal Graff got to eat Twinkies and A&W Rootbeer

Crystal Graff grew up right across the street from me. We were the same age and in elementary school we almost always were in the same class. We took the bus to school together and were in the same primary class at church. But most of the similarities ended there.

My dad was a school teacher and hers was a doctor. My family managed to get a big mortgage and buy a modest lot in our middle class neighborhood. Crystal’s family bought two sprawling lots and besides their house had a swimming pool and a basketball court. At lunchtime I would eat the sacklunch my mom prepared for me. It included something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a plastic baggie of tostitos (leftover from walking tostadas), Shasta Lemon Lime soda (the generic brand) and for a treat: a dill pickle.

Crystal Graff would get: A turkey sandwich, Doritos (prepackaged and store bought with a cool logo), A&W Rootbeer (with a picture of Snoopy on the outside), and the crowning glory: a twinkie.

I was always so jealous of her lunches. The Snoopy picture alone about did me in. One time Crystal noticed my pickle and made fun of me. I was embarassed but I really wanted to eat that pickle. So I went in the corner of the lunchroom and ate it by myself.

  1. Kara

    May 25, 2006

    I can relate! I had to make my own cold lunches every morning and usually had a ham sandwich, a plastic bag of plain potatoe chips and a thermos full of water. How did I survive????!! I’m still am angry about this.

  2. Paul Ferney

    May 25, 2006

    I just love the image of Jordan in the corner eating a lone pickle.

  3. j_red

    May 25, 2006

    hey jordan, cool blog.
    jeremy graff and chad graff both ran in the triathlon – i was surprised how happy i was to see them, i said more in about a minute than i ever did growing up next to them, it made me happy.
    i think the brown-bagging it part is nothing tragic, lots of kids have to do that, that’s pretty normal. to me, the disturbing part of that story is: tricked you into thinking that a normal pickle was a ‘treat’, or in the same arena as and therefore comparable to a twinkie.
    2.until crystal pointed it out, you believed mom’s pickle story and fell for it 100%.
    you should have done what i did –
    1.opt out of the sack-lunch
    2.go to school, find some nerd(i found matt gunn)
    3.convince him to ‘split’ lunch, or go halvsies over at albertson’s, and just kind of half-commit or flake out right at the cash register. if he’s really a nerd you can really milk this routine for a long time, i did it for most of 10th grade.

  4. snchoucair

    May 26, 2006

    i love this blog.
    i can totally relate to this, and my dad is a doctor! when he was in residency we lived in SF and he would walk me to school every morning. he must have noticed how my eyes glazed over every time we passed this bodega with twinkies and hostess cupcakes in the window, because one morning we stopped and he bought me. . . twinkies!! the best part: since it was only me i didn’t have to share with my sisters. thus began my favourite weekly tradition of eating hostess for breakfast while walking to school with my dad. from then on i have always had the smug, secret belief that dad loves me best. my sisters and brother were so mad when they found out last year that i used to get hostess while they were stuck with generic fruit snacks.
    again, love love this blog.

  5. bex

    May 26, 2006

    maybe crystal had lots of cavities and some serious working out to do to combat those twinkie and soda filled lunches?

    i never got good lunches either. i had a thermos that my mom would fill with milk, and make me drink even if it was warm. after a few kids i think my parents got worn down, and i was pissed to find out that my youngest sister got juice boxes in her lunch

  6. Mom in Mendon

    May 28, 2006

    It’s hard to feel sorry for an American kid claiming school lunch deprivation. I wanted boloney on white bread with chips in a metal Little Lulu lunch box, but I got peanut butter and raisins on wheat bread, in a brown bag. My situation worsened when a lunchmate took notice of the raisins. “Hey, what’s that in your sandwich? It looks like flies. Eeoooo! Look! Donna’s eating flies!!!”

    PS: There was a kid in my class who got to bring a whole dill pickle every day. Lucky!!

    PPS: You were NEVER getting pop for lunch, Snoopy or otherwise.

  7. Salem

    May 29, 2006

    Jared, you may not be aware of this but people buy giant pickles at convenience stores the same way as twinkies.

    Pickles are the new twinkie! Mom was just ahead of her time.

  8. Anonymous

    February 15, 2008



  9. Anonymous

    April 4, 2008

    I still love you Jordan…. it was funny to run across this… still love the memories we made back then… thanks1- crystal

  10. Anonymous

    April 4, 2008

    oh and sorry if I made fun of you, I honestly don’t even remember you bringing a pickle… lets just chalk it up to my elementary immatureness! sorry – crystal

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