Stranger Days #5: Keeping Things Light

A chalk board with scrabble tiles that spell out "Stranger Days"

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.

I started a new activity on Monday.  For some of us, we've caught up with COVID-19 changes for three weeks now and some levity seemed important.  I was motivated by the fun and goofiness that came about from a video chat with friends on Sunday night. Also, I adapted the idea from my team at work.  We've been having daily banter-check ins and the goal is to ask a question-- non-work related that we can all answer.  I looked to find interesting and goofy questions and went with this list that I found here.  

On Monday, I reached out to a bunch of friends and said, "Trying something new this week. A goofy question a day.  So, is cereal (with some version of milk) soup? Why or why not?".  

The answers that I got, were awesome in that, they were so different in their justifications and often, firm in their insistence.  But they were also just amusing to read and brought a smile to my face.  

Here are some examples:   
  • "Answer: No. No broth. (Take this from a person who does not eat cereal)."
  • "Ha! I say no, soup requires broth. "
  • "A really good soup relies on the melding together of different flavors (and textures) which happens after simmering for some time.  For a cereal to be soup it would need to follow the same rules, many flavors and let it sit to become infused.  I like soggy cereal with the flavors mixed into the milk=soup.  But if you eat it right away while still crunchy, with minimal flavor blending=not soup.  Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk."
  • "Yes. I mean, gazpacho eliminates a lot of the "nay" side, and milk-based soups take care of the rest, right? I'm going with yes."
  • "I say no because for me soup is warm and not crunchy...but I guess oatmeal would qualify."
  • "Probably a matter of perspective.  Sounds technically true, yet I bet people would have a historic bias against it.  Wish I could say more, but at work.  Good thought."
  • "Not soup because soup needs to be cooked. Even Gazpacho was simmered before cooling "
  • "I would say that functionally it is soup, as one is adding a liquid to a bowl with some solids (or the other way around). But culturally I don't think people can wrap their heads around it"
  • "Ultimately, I would argue that it is soup, the technical definition is useless bc that's not how people think of it. Tomatoes are fruits, but most people don't use them that way, so why does it matter?"
  • "Soup is savory, cereal is sweet. IMO."
  • "Excellent question. No because we've constructed breakfast foods to be something different, almost saintly, compared to other foods. "
  • "No, soup is a "broth" origin. And I think we've extended it to other non-meat dishes with a savory base, like tomato. But, in the end, perhaps it could be argued that anything floating in liquid is a soup. Don't let your mind wander on that one too much. Haha!"
  • "Yes breakfast soup!!"
  • "Cold soup?  That's gross."
These answers are great and have such a range. They make me smile each time I read over them.  For some folks, more conversations followed from there and for others, that was all.  Regardless, I think it provided a nice bit of levity to a Monday morning and feels like it's a good practice going forward to check in with different friends just to remain connected and learn about them through this practice.  

So--that's my thought for the day. Reach out to folks, ask silly questions, get insightful answers that tell you more about the people in your life.  

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.

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