I’ve noticed around the DC area that more people are bringing in their lunches in tiffins. Tiffins have become an eco-friendly, hip way of bringing your curry chicken salad sandwich. For me, a tiffin just reminds me of my childhood and feeling different from everyone else. In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the character Toula describes how she knew she was different and wanting to fit in the world of blond girls sitting around the table and eating their wonder bread sandwiches. The 6-year-old Toula brought in moussaka in tupperware. Change that moussaka to something Indian in a tiffin, and that’s me.
So I ask you:
Do you remember the time when your mom made peas and potato curry for your basketball team’s potluck?
Do you remember no one touched it?
Do you remember the time when your mom made you bring in your tiffin, which had your initials engraved in shakey handwriting? And the kids pulled out their My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake thermoses out of their matching metal lunchboxes?
Do you remember when your dad made you bring in the puffy rice crisps that are fried and multicolored instead of cupcakes or cookies to pass out for your birthday?
Did you feel embarrassed, angry, not so hungry? Unsure of your place in elementary school world? How did it make you grow and change?