Thank You, Sandwiches

Becky Chen, Publicity Manager

“Money can’t buy happiness” is a popular quote that you either heard from your parents or read from some black-and-white Instagram post in 2013. As a way to deflect the hardships of capitalism, people like to pretend that true happiness can’t come from monetary means.

But that’s far from the truth. How can you look me in my eyes and tell me that money can’t buy happiness, when purchasing two footlong sandwiches comes with a third one for free at Subway? How can you insist that money can’t make my day better, when $5 can get you a grilled pork sandwich at Lee’s Sandwiches?

Sandwiches are the best thing to happen to humanity. There are so many creative ways to define a sandwich, making it the most diverse and flexible food choice in the world. From a classic bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich, an ice cream sandwich, to even a lobster roll, all types of sandwiches are delicious and customizable to your taste buds.

In fact, all of my memories that are associated with a sandwich hold so much meaning, nostalgia, and pleasure. I remember my first time trying a tonkatsu sandwich in Tokyo, Japan while waiting for the subway to arrive. In the need for a quick bite, we retrieved the packaged sandwich from the nearest convenience store and had only expected the minimum. But the honey mustard between the pork cutlets and the crispiness of the panko made it so much more than that—just like that, the sandwich single handedly made the 11 hour flight worth all of the trouble.

Another time, I had traveled downtown with my friend, Bridgette, because I was visiting her slam poetry organization. The entire situation was entirely out of my comfort zone, but the spoken word community had been so welcoming in listening to my personal stories, and allowing me to be heard. When lunch time rolled around, Bridgette took me to a small bagel place close by, and I would never forget what happened next. I had ordered a breakfast bagel sandwich with avocados, ham, cheese, chipotle sauce, mayonnaise, and other ingredients of goodness that I had forgotten to take note of because I devoured the entire sandwich so quickly. It had wrapped up the day so well… so perfectly. Paralleling the warmness I had felt earlier with sharing my poems, the way I had felt with that sandwich in my hands was beautiful in every single way.

Sandwiches are underrated in the way that they seem to be nobody’s favorite food. But what we don’t realize is that sandwiches will always be there for us. It’s a safe option when dieting (there are SEVERAL healthy sandwich recipes out there) and a safe option when we’re not sure what to eat (grilled sandwiches fit every mood). We fall back on sandwiches almost all the time, but they never receive enough appreciation.

They give a value to life that capitalism cannot deprive of us. They remind us of when times were simpler. They are what they are: sandwiches.