A coworker said something interesting the other day. Somebody else at work was sick, and was going on and on about having chicken soup for dinner to help with her cold. He claimed that would never work for him, because “Men don’t eat soup.”
This was news to me, because…
- I’m a man.
- I eat soup.
So then I started wondering: is it unusual that I eat soup? This is the second time an argument about soup has erupted at Ye Olde Office. Last December, a discussion arose over the merits of eating soup for breakfast. And come to think of it, it was the lone female in the group extolling the virtues of soup, while the men called her everything short of crazy. And then they did call her crazy. So I’m wondering all over again: do men eat soup?! Or is it in our genes to prefer something hearty and filling and dripping with blood when we kill it with our bare hands? I’ll bet none of my caveman ancestors would have chosen cream of cauliflower soup over mastodon.
Dear god, what’s wrong with me?!?!
In the past couple of weeks, I have made (or consumed) taco soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken tortilla soup, Italian wedding soup, and a couple of cans of Campbell’s condensed soups that at least count as a technicality. And – gasp! – I’ve enjoyed them. What’s better than a steaming hot bowl of soup on a cold and blustery autumn evening? I guess I’m supposed to say “a nice, juicy steak” but I just can’t bring myself to do it. SOUP is the answer! The answer is SOUP!
Once upon a time, we were told that real men don’t eat quiche. (I have a problem with this, too – I happen to love quiche!). Concerned that I might be doing my gender a grave injustice by actually eating soup, I turned to the all-knowing Internet and posed the question, What foods don’t men eat? A list was spat back at me, and it included the following:
- Veggie Burgers. Well, duh! I would say this applies to women, as well. No person should consume a veggie burger. It may look like meat and smell like meat, but it sure as hell doesn’t taste like meat. Oats are no substitute for beef, period.
- Lettuce Wraps. Sorry, P.F. Changs, but I kind of agree with this one, too. They’re like a sandwich without the bread. What’s the point?
- Misted Salad Dressing. Amen to that! It’s like you’re spraying perfume on your lettuce. No, no, no, no, NO!!! Drown that sucker in ranch instead.
- Finger Sandwiches. These may be perfectly acceptable at tea parties, but guess what? No self-respecting man belongs at a tea party, either.
- Bon-Bons. Yep, these are synonymous with either post-breakup or pre-menopausal women sitting on the couch wearing fluffy socks and watching soap operas. Pass me a bowl of ice cream, instead.
Soup, it should be pointed out, did not make the list of foods that men don’t eat. So it appears my coworker was wrong in his assertion. I can continue to slurp away secure in my manhood!
Last night was an odd one. Tara had an after-hours work function to attend, which meant I was on my own for a large chunk of the evening. Once upon a time, this was the norm, but it’s been ages now and I’m out of practice. My first thought was, I’ll make something for dinner that Tara would never eat. I decided on chili verde; the recipe I’ve got is so spicy it feels like acid is tearing away the layers of your stomach from the inside out. Yum! But definitely not something she could handle. So I got home, poured myself a whiskey sour, put on a record (Pink Floyd’s Animals – a criminally underrated album), and commenced to slicing and dicing. While dinner was cooking I kicked back and watched The Walking Dead and Grimm. The chili verde was delicious, I had a nice buzz going, and I was comfortably reclined on the Man Chair with a purring cat in my lap. All very circa 2010: this was my exact life back then.
I realized how little I missed it.
Sure, the complete and total freedom (on the weeks when I didn’t have the kids) was nice. But I had forgotten how boring it all became, how one day bled into the next and life was a never ending blur of sameness. Wash, rinse, repeat. I became pretty isolated, especially once I was unemployed. Sometimes I wouldn’t leave the house for days. Some days I never even bothered getting dressed. Man, things were bad back then, and I didn’t even comprehend that at the time. It was the Normal I was used to.
Maybe that’s why I’m so eager to move on and grab hold of a fresh start. The short sale process has begun (and by begun, I mean, Wells Fargo is calling multiple times a day and I am ignoring their calls multiple times a day). My mortgage is now officially late, and I swear, within an hour of going past the grace period, they were hounding me. I won’t be able to put them off forever. Fortunately, they emailed me with a lot of handy links, including info on short sales, so soon I’ll swallow my pride and officially let them know what’s going on.
In the meantime, I’m focused only on soup.
- homemade soup (aslowercup.wordpress.com)