The days of marching band are nearly over for me this year. Yesterday, the band had the final two competitions of the season, and we have only two more performances left. It’s been a stressful season, but also a very good one. I am not sad that it’s over, because it’s not, but I will miss the show.
One of the things I really won’t miss about marching season is the food that we eat. We spend a lot of time as a group, so we eat a lot of food that is easy to feed a bunch of teenagers: pizza, walking tacos, pasta, sandwiches, or concession stand food.
Pizza is at the top of that list for several reasons. Last year we went to a competition in Minnesota the weekend after homecoming week, so we were with each other every single day (outside of the class period) for an entire week. The band parents, bless their hearts, fed us pizza a couple of days that week, then when we got to the competition there was pizza or hot dogs (no one over the age of five likes hot dogs). Obviously we were all tired of eating pizza several times a week, especially when we had been having a lot prior to that week as well. Basically, pizza wears out really quickly for me, especially if it’s delivery. Pizza is really easy to serve, though, nearly everyone will eat it if it’s free, and it requires very little prep, and that’s nice for when the band is traveling right after lunch (next to no clean up for the volunteers).
Walking tacos and pasta are also common band foods, but when we eat it, we all have nearly the same thing and there is next to no variety. These take more time for the band parents to prepare, but they are a hot meal, and no one can turn that down after a cold morning on the practice field.
Sandwiches are great, mostly because I love bread and meat, and obviously what I say goes. Oh wait, maybe not. But yesterday we had sandwiches after our first performance. We were tired and hungry and would have to march again in just a few hours, so the bread gave us quick energy while the meat kept us full. We also had plenty of options for sides for our bagged lunches, like chips, cookies, etc.
Oh concession stand food. This may be a bit of rant, mostly because my most recent run-in with concession stand food was last night, and I was grumpy because I couldn’t feel my toes (no worries, they are are all still on my feet, but I will have warmer shoes next time). This food you get to choose for yourself, but the one thing you have no choice of is salt. If you get nachos, they have too much salt, same with the pretzels, but the popcorn sometimes doesn’t have enough. Also, the popcorn is cold the hot chocolate is too hot to drink, and the pizza “from Hy-Vee” has a cardboard crust. It’s probably best to just get a bottle of water and wait until you get back on the bus to have a snack.
Always have your own food for a bus trip, even if it’s just a can of Pringles or something along those lines. If things fall through, like you didn’t have time to eat, you were alergic to what was around for you to eat, or you just forgot to eat because you’re in the band, you need something to fall back on. Plus, Pringles won’t get crushed easily, because the can is good at providing protecting them. Everybody also loves Sweedish Fish, so if you have some, everybody will be nice to you for that bus ride.
Not all food associated with band is terrible, most of it’s perfectly fine. But the food really does make up a part of the experience, whether it’s the first lunch together as a band at band camp, or it’s a slice of cake following senior speeches after the last rehearsal.
These are the times we will remember. Food brings people together, but band will keep us together.