"The Partridge Family" was an insipid little show about a musical family, with a heart-throb for an oldest brother, a wisecracking child in the middle, and some sweet kids complementing those two. Single mom, widowed. Hoaky storylines, drivel-filled songs ... and I loved it!
Of course, anyone who's ever been a child or raised one knows that a lunchbox is a key ingredient for social acceptance and "cool" quotient. And I wanted a Partridge Family lunchbox ... oh, I wanted it desperately! I don't remember what I was carrying my daily pb&j in when this vision of perfection entered my consciousness, but it was certainly deficient once I'd seen what was possible.
A line from the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats sums up my past: "I remember little of childhood but its pain." My sister had significant emotional and psychiatric issues, and was violent and abusive. My father travelled a lot and was exasperated by the misery of his family. My mother suffered from depression and a martyr complex. I grew up afraid in my own home, shamed that other people didn't live as we did (little did I know ... as an adult, I know that everyone has a story!), essentially raising myself because my sister sucked up all the oxygen and joy in the house.
I can't tell you how many times I was told that if I were only more patient, more understanding, more tolerant, less snippy, none of the attacks and tantrums and other violations would occur ... if I were perfect, in other words, my sister wouldn't be provoked. The weight of the world -- and my family's happiness -- rested upon me. And I couldn't live up to that, no matter how much of a perfectionist I might try to be.
Now, I've likely shared FAR more than anyone cares to read about! "Hie thee to a therapist," I'm sure you're saying! But that's painful work, and I don't do pain. I bake. I cook. Those are therapeutic for me.
But, as always, I digress! There is a reason I shared this sordid little story with you. I wore hand-me-downs, because my sister was always 3" taller than I was. So much money was spent on her special ed and medical expenses that little was left over for anything else, and my parents are the least fun and frivolous people on Earth anyway. I did go to private school myself (the same all-girl Catholic school that Lady Gaga, did, by the way!), had ballet and music lessons ... I wasn't deprived in some ways, but in critical areas like feeling loved and having self-esteem and feeling as though I warranted any attention, I was sorely lacking.
Until one day, which I can still remember vividly, when my mother came into my room as I was getting ready for school. And in her hand -- you guessed it! -- she was carrying something special just for me ... a Partridge Family lunchbox!!! I'm getting teary just thinking about it, which probably says a lot of things (and none of 'em particularly noble!) about me.
It was brand new ... there were no dents ... it was perfect. It had a picture of the Mondrian-influenced bus, and also pictures of each family member; and it included a thermos. I was so thrilled, so giddy! This was one shining moment in a life of stress and sullenness ....
And so today -- it being Music Monday, after all -- I'm sent on this little detour down Memory Lane because there's a song that's been playing in my head for a bit now, after being asked to take "a break" from my boyfriend as he regroups after some admittedly very difficult circumstances, and being left with feelings of confusion and sorrow and unworthiness and everything else imaginable as a result.
This song led to thoughts of the lunchbox, which of course carries sandwiches and such. Somehow, some way, however tangentially, I always find my way to food!
I'm adding this to the Bunny Hop (oh, the bunny's so cute!) sponsored by Erin at Dropped Stitches, to the Meet & Greet Monday sponsored by Marlessa at Southern Reflections, and to Monday Madness hosted by Micael and Meghan. Click on the links and join in!!!