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The unstated reason but obvious reason to order a club sandwich when you’re a child, is to admire and keep the frilly toothpicks that hold the layers together.  I used to have a fine collection of them (the toothpicks). One day when I was away at college, my Mom decided to throw them out.  As it was for some other things I valued and she didn’t!  Her crime  never would have been discovered if I hadn’t gone looking for the little creatures.  It can be so hard to grow up!

 A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich, is a sandwich of bread, sliced cooked poultry, ham or fried bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. It is often cut into quarters or halves and held together by cocktail sticks. Wikipedia

Since club sandwiches have limited popularity in CA, after moving to CA from New England, I did not have the opportunity to eat one for several years.  But when I found one on a menu, my expectations soared.

I now wanted a club sandwich for the combination of edible and tasty  ingredients, not just for the toothpicks, surprising as that may sound. The perky toothpicks would just be an added bonus.  Little did I expect my toothpick fantasies to be shattered and continue that way until the present moment.

What the hell happened?  The frilly, exuberant cellophane extravaganza on the toothpick top was reduced to a sad state. It looked as if had been chewed on by a starving wolf. There were no more glistening loops of colored cellophane.  Gone was the promise of a fantastic cellophane kingdom. Confusion and disappointment  descended.

The only answer I have come up with to explain this outrage is that the manufacturing of this specialty item must have moved to China. I’m sure they saved lots of money on the cellophane cutback.  But I’ll never forgive them!  Some thing should never be tinkered with.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

One Comment

  • Elaine Nakashima says:

    You’ve pointed out a microcosm of how our society’s values of commerce have changed. I remember having that same reaction when as an adult I bought my first box of party toothpicks. After the initial disappointment, i thought maybe as a child I just got more excited about things in general. You’ve confirmed my suspicion that that wasn’t the case!