Thursday, May 22, 2008

      ( 12:01 AM ) teahouse
Me and Elsie

A post by Tara earlier this week reminded me of some childhood memories.

Remember the elementary school lunches, with the plastic trays?

I especially remember the little half pint-sized Borden milk cartons that we drank out of every day at lunch. They looked kind of like this:
Yes, Elsie the Cow and I, we were good friends.
I learned a lot of big words by reading the print on the sides of the cartons.

There was a short sentence: "If it's Borden, it's got to be good!" followed closely by an arrow indicating "To Open" and pointing upward to show from which end you should pry open the little triangular corner.

Well, in my little kid's mind, I always put the two sentences together:

"If it's Borden, it's got to be good to open!"

But sometimes the carton wouldn't open. And I would struggle with it, while the image of Elsie the Cow gazed up at me, taunting me.

Her vacuous smile infuriated me.

"It's Borden, and it's NOT good to open!" I would yell, to no one in particular, full of the impotent rage of a second grader.

In the end, I'd end up with a ragged, jagged milk carton edge, that would scratch my lips when I tried to drink it.

I still have a lot of anger toward Elsie, for false advertising and cruelty.

Yes, the brilliant and razor-like legal mind you see before you now was not yet fully developed. But the seeds were already being sown by this childhood trauma.



Found your blog because I googled "If it's Borden, it's got to be good to open." We used to read the carton like that too, when we were kids. Good times!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 PM  

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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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