Play: Me, Mommy & Mini-Mom...

The Tale of the Condensed Soup

The Characters

Me (played by James): There is me, the Jurassic man from Chicago that has spent the last 10 years living with male cousins and eating four-day-old pizza and ribs. I’m not much of a shopper. I think watching 30 hours of football over the weekend is absolutely normal behavior. And I could care less about kicking the cats out of the house in the middle of the night. I’m not particularly neat, and I can never remember where I put my keys if I don’t place them on the hook by the door. And I will eat red meat three times a day, but I have noticed there is far less meat in the grocery bags.

Mommy (Played by Jaimie): The self-proclaimed high maintenance, California princess who is a tad bit on the obsessive-compulsive behavior side of the mental spectrum. She likes things a certain way and is very particular about not having dirty socks on the bed. She wants everything to go in their set place – every time. She will throw perfectly good food away and will scream bloody murder at the sight of an insect. If she sees the cats throw up, it automatically becomes my job to clean it. Any poop that falls out of the litter box is my job to clean as well.

Mini-Mom (played by Stella): The fiesty, sensative three year old that is developing into her mother every day. When Jaimie has a headache – Stella has a headache. When Jaimie gave up meat – Stella Gave up meat (except for chicken nuggets, hotdogs, sausage, hamburgers, turkey, ham and bacon). She will change an entire outfit if a drop of juice lands on her clothing and will never use a napkin more than once. She loves cheese as long as it doesn’t touch anything else on the plate. And when she wants wear lip gloss or have her hair in a ponytail, you better damn well put the lip gloss on and place her hair in a ponytail or all hell with break lose. (What I like to refer to as a "meltdown".)

The Setting:

Now that you know the characters, here is the scene. Jaimie is hungry but not feeling well so me, being the nice guy that I am, venture to the store to purchase some soup. I notice the Campbell soup and it says “condensed” on the front. I find that curious, but my ADD kicked in and I didn’t ask the follow up question: What does condensed mean? Whatever.

I take the soup home and proceed to fix my Doll a nice hot bowl. She doesn’t say anything at that moment, but the next day we have this conversation.

Act I - Scene I

Jaimie: Did you put water in the soup when you cooked it?

Me: No

Jaimie: Why not? It said it was condensed soup. Do you know what that means?

Me: No.

Jaimie: It means that you have to add water to it. (Irk level rising) How is it that you don’t know what condensed soup is?

Me: It’s soup. You open the can, pour in the pot and boil it. I've never heard of condensed soup.

Jaimie: But you saw that it was condensed soup. Why wouldn't you take time to read it?

Me: Because it’s soup. What’s to read? You can’t mess up soup.

Jaimie: But you did.

(A gotcha moment. I raise my eyebrows and concede the fact that yes, I messed up soup. I leave the bedroom and sit on the sofa. Jaimie and Mini-Mom proceed to follow)

Jaimie: I don’t understand why you didn’t read the can.

Stella: (In full blown Mini-mom mode) You’re supposed to read it.

Me: Hey, I never heard of condensed soup.

Jaimie: Didn’t you notice how thick it was? Didn’t that make you think you should add water?

Stella: (Jumping up and down on the adjacent couch) You're supposed to add water… huh Mommy?

Jaimie: I can’t believe you’ve never heard of condensed soup.

Me: (shrugging shoulders) I haven’t. What purpose is there for condensed vegetable soup?

Stella: Jimmy messed the soup up, huh Mommy?

Jaimie: Have you been living under a rock for the last 36 years?

Me: Well…. Yeah.

Jaimie: If you didn’t know what it was, you should have read the can.

Stella: You’re supposed to read for ten minutes.

(At this point we start laughing at Stella’s insightfulness)

Stella: (Turning into the sensitive 3 year old) Stop laughing at me.

(My head is in my hands as I am trying to hide my laughter.)

Jaimie: Ask your co-workers about condensed soup. I’m sure they’ll know.

Stella: (Obviously bored now) Can I have vitamin?

Me: I’ll do that.

Closing Narrative:

And I did. The result is that there is not a single guy I asked who knew what condensed soup was, but most of the women did. However, they stated that they wouldn't expect someone to know what it was unless they cooked or had purchased it before. A few even said they wouldn’t expect their men to know what it was. Jaimie apologized and promised to be more patient of my Jurassic ways. Heck, it was only in May that I found out that guacamole was made from avocados. Don’t trip. What black man from the Westside of Chicago eats avocados when there is Coleman’s Barbecue House, Harold’s Chicken Shack and the Dixie Kitchen to provide exquisite dining of impeccable quality and taste?


16 Responses to Play: Me, Mommy & Mini-Mom...

  1. Anonymous Says:
    Too dang funny. You make my day... every day.
    P.S. There's no way on God's Green Earth that my man would know what condensed soup was. I don't blame you! :) Have a GREAT day!
  2. Anonymous Says:
    P.S. Take care of that girl of yours... looks like God led you directly to one another...
  3. Robosquirrel Says:
    You never added water to a can of soup? Wow.

    How do you take your frozen orange juice?
  4. James Manning Says:
    LOL, Robo - give me some slack, man.
  5. Anonymous Says:
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  6. Anonymous Says:
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  7. James Manning Says:
    Thanks for the link. I checked it out and it doesn't surprise me. The issue is pollution in urban areas and the fact that chemical, and hazardous waste sites tend to be located in poor areas.

    I'll have to read more before I render an opinion on it.
  8. Jaimie Says:
    You must know that girl Jaimie from somewhere. She sounds just like me. Hmm...weird! ;)
  9. Diane S. Says:
    You're really serious about the guacamole? Okay, the white chick in Texas will take three deep breaths and get a grip.

    I knew a couple in the town where I grew up, friends of my grandmother's. One year, after - oh, say 45 years of marriage or so, the wife decides to go on a trip without the husband. She cooks several casseroles in advance, so he can just heat them up. But for the first night, she cooks a pork tenderloin, and leaves him instructions on heating it up, and cooking some frozen brocoli. He carefully reads the instructions on the frozen brocoli box. He brings the water to a boil. He set the timer for 10 minutes, and then puts the brocoli - box, waxed paper wrapping and all - into the boiling water.

    The instructions failed to mention that the cardboard and waxed paper should go.

    James, you managed to a) take the soup out of the can; and b) successfully heated the soup, without boiling it over all over the stove, or serving it tepid. In my book, man, you get points for this. Next time, you will know about the adding water part (you add a can full, no measuring cup required).

    And I bet you'll never boil a box of frozen brocolli while it's still in it's wrapper either.

    Hang in there. There's hope for you man.

    Also, all women are a tad bit obsessive compulsive. Especially about dirty socks. Dirty socks smell. The only place for dirty socks is the hamper. With the lid closed. There's just no escaping that. It's in female DNA.
  10. Malik Says:
    Heh heh heh. Thank God for women. If it wasn't for them we'd all die of malnutrition and virulent skin fungus. That's why kids have mommies. If it was up to us, the kids would wind up like the little barbarian with the boomerang from Mad Max. And we'd think that was pretty cool. "Hey boy, make yourself useful and go kill us some steak."
  11. Dan-E Says:
    i'm right there with you james. I thought the only things that were ever condensed was milk and fonts.

    but the avocado thing... i know you're from chicago and all but dude... or maybe it's just because i'm an ethnic californian and i have that genetic predisposition for being able to make guacamole.

    seriously, i make the best guacamole on the east coast.
  12. kerri Says:
    don't even know if you will see this - but i have to tell you.... i never add water to condensed soup... i think it makes it too watery, plus i like the thicker taste!! lol

    and i'm a girl (but i did know the difference)
  13. James Manning Says:
    I'm not sur if I would notice the difference in the taste but my girl said it was too salty so maybe that is why water is needed
  14. Tif Says:
    BAHHAHAHAHAHAHA I don't know what condensed soup is but I know you add water to soup when boiling. However me and my girl have had this dialogue at least 50 times. Can you imagine a Philadelphian Housing Project raised State School educated dude with a Southern Ivy League educated chick? We should have a reality show. We have blogs but I don't blog much about personal stuff and I'm glad she doesn't blog about the idiot that I am.
  15. Micki (Tif's Girlfriend) Says:
    I love you honey, and I don't think you're an idiot necessarily, just...slow.

    I'm with Jaime here. If you guys would just *read* things would be so much better. I swear, if I want Tif to read anything I have to scroll it across the bottom of the tv screen like the football scores.
  16. James Manning Says:

    You guys sound like Jaimie and I. Tif, glad to know that I am not alone. Keep up the good work.