I am the “Paper Bag Strangler”.

During our first year of marriage, my beautiful wife and I used brown paper bags to bring our lunches to work. And because she loves me, DeAnne would write notes on my bag. And because I love her, I would write notes on her bag.


It started out just on the front of the bag. But in time, the front grew too small for the amount of message that we each wanted to leave, and words spilled over to the bottom of the bag. We were being stereotypical newlyweds, and it was wonderful.


DeAnne was working at the now-defunct Linens-N-Things. It was a great place to work for a newlywed, because everything that we didn’t get at our wedding, we were able to buy at a steep discount through her employee status. DeAnne worked hard as a full-time lead and was soon promoted to become part of the management staff. All the while, she would go on her lunch bag and read the note that I had written for her.

I was working where I still work, Baker Book House, but was acting as the store’s music buyer then. I made sure that Baker had music to sell, handled returns and promotions for my department, and had a working knowledge of all branches of the Christian music scene. And everyday, I looked forward to my lunch break, when I would be able to read the note that my wife had written me.

Things continued along these lines until my wife was transferred to a store closer to my bookstore. We were excited to be working less than a mile from each other, but our brown paper lunch notes met an obstacle. Shortly after the transfer, while DeAnne was still meeting all of the staff, she started to hear comments about her lunch bags.

“Did you see what DeAnne’s husband wrote?”

“No. What?”

“I don’t remember exactly, but I get the impression that if she ever tried leaving him, he’d kill her.”

Now, for the record, one of the sayings that my wife and I have and live by is “Death before Divorce”, but it is something that we both agree with, and I don’t think I ever wrote that on one of DeAnne’s lunch bags. My notes were mostly about things like how pretty she is and how much I love her. Occasionally, I would draw a dinosaur or something. But I don’t think I ever knowingly threatened her.

After that, I stuck to writing on the bottom of the lunch bags.

Since then, we’ve gone green and use re-useable lunch bags, and though we no longer write each other notes for all to see, we have found other ways to help each other feel loved.

Here’s hoping that you have love in your life and that you are actively seeking to help others feel it. Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “I am the “Paper Bag Strangler”.

  1. Sweet. Don’t ever lose the practice of encouraging each other -words of love -actions of love whatever love language shows you still care deeply and are focused on the other persons best interest. Love – can’t beat it. It always wins.

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