Behind the Post
Buckle in your mental seatbelts, because we are about to go on a deep dive into the internet. No, I don’t mean your parent’s facebook page. I’m talking about that weird side that leaves you asking “Why?” You’re in luck, because I can make up a story about what (Probably) happened.
Dad is smiling, bringing his very… distinctive soup to the table. He looks so proud of his creation.
“Dad…” I start. My siblings look to me, wondering if I was about to bring up the age old argument.
“Yes, honey?” he answers without looking up from his work as he gently lays the pot of soup down on the worn tablecloth. He then begins handing each one of us one of his special “soup bowls” that are about three times bigger than our regular bowls. Because we need a nice healthy serving to grow up strong.
“Well… I was talking to my friend Angela this week and,” I clear my throat, trying to gather my courage, “well, she said that he family doesn’t even put vinegar in their soup. So, I was-”
“Well, of course they don’t put vinegar in their soup! It’s our family secret recipe!” He says as he brings out the large jug of the juice. I can smell the slight sharpness in the air as he dumps a cup or two into the pot.
Brendon, my brother decides to assist me in the battle against this immovable object. “My teacher said that Hydrogen peroxide is not a brand of vinegar. It’s H2O2, and vinegar is CH3COOH-”
“All this technical Mumbo Jumbo today! I swear all you kids are too afraid of the real world, of real good food! This soup not only is sharp and clear, but it even whitens your teeth while you eat it. My Gram’s Gram made this soup, and every one of our family members after ate it with no problems, so you kids should stop complaining.”
And just like that, the discussion is over, and as always we take turns secretly going to go dump our soup into the kitchen sink with the pretense of just “Going to get some more salt.”
Although, this dinner time, I saw dad himself pouring his bowl out in the sink. I slinked out before he could notice me, but I realized he must have gone through the same routine with his siblings on soup nights. I wonder how many generations of our family did this same thing. It was in this moment that I think I learned something about traditions. They aren’t exactly what they seem, it’s not an Emperor’s-new-clothes-esque role in pretending that you like your Dad’s probably poisonous soup, it’s realizing that though that poisonous soup can and will kill you if you eat it, it still holds an important place in our family history.
Or something like that.
Sarah Nelson |’20