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I'm an enigma.

A few weeks ago, standing in my mom's kitchen, I listened to a long-time friend of hers tell a story about 8th grade Kristen:

--Ring ring.

--This is Patty.

--Mom! We're out of sandwich bags. SIGH. What am I supposed to do without sandwich bags?

--You're calling me at work for this?

--SANDWICH! BAGS! There are none! I'm making my lunch. And there are NO. SANDWICH. BAGS.

--Have you checked all the kitchen drawers?


--I'm at work, you know.


--Sigh. Is there any Saran Wrap, Kristen?

--What? Saran Wrap?! Why would I need Saran Wrap? I'm talking about SANDWICH BAGS here!

--Use Saran Wrap to wrap up your sandwich, then put it into your lunch bag.


--What now?


--Good lord. What about wax paper?

--I don't even know what wax paper looks like, but I don't think there's any here. And besides, how would I get it to fasten around the sandwich?!

--Okay, here's what you're going to do: Fold the sandwich into a paper towel and write "sandwich bags" on a grocery list. I have to get to work. Goodbye.



At the end of her story, my mom's friend laughed and laughed, then said, "boy, you've really come a long way, Kristen!"

I thought about it, looked at her, and said, "actually, no I haven't. I'd pretty much freak out if we ran out of sandwich bags today, only John would be the one dealing with it."

That's when my mom choked on her hors d'oeuvres and slapped the kitchen counters in all her comedic glory: "That's EXACTLY what I just told her before you got here!"

Buying a new house out of the blue? Piece of cake. Being thrown into a new job as the youngest and least experienced in the group and having my every move scrutinized for a year? No problem. Risking financial hardship by betting on real estate luck? Ha. Carrying out the most difficult and often least rewarding parenting philosophies? I scoff in the face of life-altering decisions.

But by God, when I open the sandwich bag drawer and find them missing, there BETTER be someone around with a good solution for me or MY HEAD WILL EXPLODE.