Monday, May 26, 2008

Some Things Send You Back

I was at my mom's house this weekend and she offered me some thermoses that she doesn't use any more because she knows that I pack lunches every day for Daniel. I said that's great, but you know we're now concerned about the plastic. The thermoses I have are all plastic, and I am going to look for the old fashioned, glass lined ones. So off mom goes and finds me an old, tall, glass lined thermos. It's the kind I picture when I think of the guys at the construction site, sitting on the support beam suspended high in the air, taking a lunch break with their old metal lunch boxes beside them. The thermos is more than a foot high and sports a retro, corrugated metal skin.

Then mom gave me another prize -- my old thermos from when I was a kid -- the Campus Queen! I used to have the lunch box as well, and I remember it had a Campus Queen game on the back.

I feel like a kid again when I'm holding this. I *am* the campus queen, with her puffy helmet hair and tiara. My man has perfect hair and a shiny tux, and he's given me a dozen roses, which I'm going to carry around all night.

Look at the small couple on the front of the thermos, so inferior, so jealous. Her dress is not fancy enough. She has no flowers. Her man stands behind her, not even holding her waist, secretly looking for a place to sneak out and catch the game on his transistor radio, which he has hidden in a pocket of his cheap suit. There's another tiny couple you can't see, flaming redhead with too much eye makeup, an inattentive date.

Look at the smug smile on Campus Queen's face, her cat-like eyes searching out every other woman in the room, finding them somehow wanting. Who else can carry off that fur-trimmed cape?

She may be small-town royalty, but there's nothing wrong with being the big fish in a small pond.

Yeah. All that from a thermos.


Naomi Devlin said...

That thermos is just gorgeous! You should just display it proudly on a shelf with some other camp and kitsch items (I myself have just such a shelf, although Nick and Fin call it the crazy shelf).

We have all stainless steel thermos flasks which are great - practically indestructable - Fin takes his soup to school in his baby sized one. I don't know if you have any of those near you? I got mine in a local supermarket, which is no help at all I guess?

Great name by the way.....

x x x

Naomi said...

I like your name too! And I love your blog. After I found it I was singing, "MILK FOR THE MORNING CAKE!" all evening. Our copy of that book is in tatters, we loved it so much. I'm enjoying reading your GF recipes; can't wait to try some of them!

I have a number of nooks & crannies with funny items, but this thermos is the kitschiest of all! I can't believe my mom saved it. She usually throws away things that she doesn't use.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant cultural reading of that thermos, Naomi -- if I didn't know better, I would think that you were paying attention back in grad school. :)

Seriously, I love the reading, and I really love the thermos. I may need to get me one of those on ebay.

Teri (of Teri and Mitch)

Naomi said...

Teri -- I actually checked out ebay. I saw 2 of them, and one came with the original lunch box!!!! My lunch box is long gone. :(

I *did* pay attention in grad school. But the thing is, if all that grad school has given me is the ability to perform cultural readings on vintage thermoses, then what the hell am I supposed to do with my life? :)

k2 said...

I totally want that thermos!