Chicken Loaf Sandwich, or Andy Paulson's Closet: A Tour

comments: 164

I grew up in a house two doors away from my elementary school. I highly recommend this, if you can swing it. It was awesome. In fifth grade everyone in town had to go to the bigger school that was attached to the junior high — too far to go home for lunch — so I started bringing my lunch for the first time.

Not known for having spontaneity, adventurousness, or an exotic palate, the only thing I would eat for lunch was a chicken loaf sandwich, made by my mother, with Miracle Whip, on honey-wheat bread. Pretty much every day. For years. Like my role-model Harriet the Spy, who ate a tomato sandwich for lunch every day, I knew what I liked. I didn't care what anyone else was having. I didn't covet or trade. You could suggest other things to me and I would ignore you. Occasionally, my sisters and I got one of those deep, dark chocolate Hostess cupcakes with the white curlycue icing, and I wouldn't ever say no to one of those. (And for a while, I did go through an egg-salad-sandwich phase, but having an egg-salad sandwich sitting in your locker for four hours, alerting everyone in the entire school to the contents of your brown bag, prompting many, many people to enter the seventh grade hallway and say, "What REEKS???" proved more than my feeble social standing could handle. So I went back to my chicken loaf until high school [where for four years all I and every single other person I knew would only eat cafeteria chocolate-chip cookies (which, if you went to OPRFHS, you know were totally awesome)] and Diet Cokes. And occasionally cheese fries from Tasty Dog).

And, when asked "What on earth IS chicken loaf?" my only answer is, "Exactly."

But anyway, where are we going here. Oh yeah. I think my preference for chicken loaf was similar to Andy Paulson's preference for the plaid Western shirt from Goodwill. Pretty much the only thing you will ever see him wear, besides scrubs, or an occasional t-shirt. For years, skinny plaid shirts. Every time I post a photo of him, people ask if he is wearing the same shirt he was wearing the last time I took his picture. I wasn't sure myself, so decided to find out how many plaids he actually has, all based on chronologic photographic evidence over only the last year, almost to the day. Let's count.


1. Red flannel. Very pilled.


2. Brown Pendleton. Moth holes.


3. Brown and blue.


4. Navy and blue flannel.


5. Preppy plaid. A summer shirt, really.


6. #2. Clover!!! Mmmmwah.


7. California Highway Patrol shirt. Man, that 'stache was . . . Ne'ermind. Clover!!!!!


8. Red cotton plaid. Howdy, pardner!


9. Oooo, cherries! I mean "red, white, and black plaid." California Highway Patrol. And mother-of-pearl snaps, always good.


10. The summer blue plaid. I like this one.


11. Red plaid. Different from the county fair one, I think.


12. #5.


13. This looks like #9, but I actually think it's a different one.


14. Oh please. No one's looking at the shirt in this one, are they? No.


15. #5!!!


16. #5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


16. Black and gray plaid. And another sweet little thing.


17. He even has a plaid coat. Which was his dad's. I tried to steal it.

You would too, it's that cool.

Conclusion: The man loves his plaid. Is it any wonder why I would try to woo him with my super plaid wonder dress???



I have a brown plaid coat I've worn for over fifteen years. I'm hoping I can wear it for another fifteen!

Ya gotta love a man that knows what he likes!

What on earth IS chicken loaf??? : )

Too funny!!! I am very sick right now and feeling awful, but this made me smile for the first time today!! Thanks Alicia!!! Tell Andy to bring on the plaid!!

That's hysterical and sweet at the same time :)

Wow I guess that would make you a tart-in. Harharhar. Sorry. Bad joke. I love plaid too. I have a plaid skirt I've had since High School and 35 years later I'm still dragging it out every Christmas season. :)


haha that dress better be halfway to a cat toy or some poor grandma in vermont via goodwill.

10 to 1 -you post his size they'll start pourin' in!

Aww it wouldn't be Andy, without the plaid shirts!!!!!!
My daughter saw a guy that could have been Andy's little brother,at school today. First thing she said when I picked her up from school,"Hey mom, I saw this guy that looked like Alica's husband,only a few years younger of course."(she is in college) I don't think he was wearing plaid though :)

LOVE this post - too cute.. plaid - it's a good thing.

Forever plaid. Can't beat that! Although if Andy ever decides to wear plaid pants to go with his plaid shirts he could be onto a whole new trend! Just imagine.

This post makes me very happy. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but it gives me great squishyness in the belly, in a good way. Enough so that I had to comment.

I was obsessed with Harriet the Spy when I was a kid, and insisted that my mother make me tomato sandwiches every day. This was until I became obsessed with Nancy Drew, and insisted that everyone, including my teachers, call me Nancy. :)

Okay, I'll be the first to say DANG! Not that I'm thinkin' wrong thoughts about somebody else's husband... but... yea, he's rocking those shirts.

Gotta love plaid. I recognize a lot of those photos, but never noticed the plaid pattern before. I'm not so sure about chicken loaf, although I think I ate it a lot when I was a kid in school too.

Ha ha ha!! Very funny! I just laughed out loud in the Seattle airport lounge reading this. So great! And several of these reminded me of ones that my older son wears too.....they never go out of style (or so they THINK!)

We lived in the Pacific Northwest for many years. Your blog always brings back sweet, sweet, rainy memories. Now, thanks to your true love and his closet tour, I now recall all of the plaid! I also have visions of rugged hiking type boots and shoes...Ahh, the Northwest.

LOL this is so timely. My sister and I were remarking today that we should pack up and move to Oregon where the weather is nice and there isn't the threat of a horrible earthquake. But then we changed our minds because we didn't have enough plaid flannel in our closets. How funny that you posted this the same day!

My high school made the best chocolate chip cookies too!!! My friends and I would meet before school in the cafeteria and eat them for breakfast. Every time I eat a chocolate chip cookie I compare them to high school. They were undercooked so they were soft and they were served on napkins and we would make a competition out of who's napkin had the biggest grease stains. oh, and can we see Andy in scrubs? Does he have plaid scrubs?

suzanne christian says: December 01, 2008 at 08:28 PM

The plaid dress blog link.....holy cow....I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!!!!
Daniel Boone slumber party....sounds like fun! ha

I was thinking when I was reading the last posting, "wow, he wears a lot of plaid," and alas, you wrote about it! Hey, when you find something that works, stick with it! At least it's classic... sometimes ;)

Plaid is the best! I'm an addict myself. Your man has good taste and so do you, of course! And that pooch is oh, so, adorable. Too adorable for words, actually.

See now, my husband grew up in South Dakota. I grew up in Pacific Northwest...home of GRUNGE! Grandpa's plaid shirt over a concert tee and enormous jeans was de rigeur. Add a hemp necklace if you're earthy, and jean overalls if you're preppy. They're still in the back of my closet...

Best. Post. Ever.

SOOO funny - How could I ever have thought it was the same shirt over and over?

ONLY in Oregon could this much plaid be legal. And IF there were laws against such things - like a Prop Plaid... I'd vote against it all the way. I'm not openly plaid like your husband, but I'm coming out - in due time. Baby steps.

Darling post... I enjoyed it so much!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.