Kate and the tomato soup incident

“Who had the best day today?” This used to be my standard opening at dinner to get the girls talking about their day. When they were younger, their hands shot in the air and they talked eagerly about what happened at school that day: awards for most books read, leading roles in dramatic presentations featuring talking vegetables, chosen for the solo in choir, best grade on the math quiz, made a new friend, fought with a friend, broke up with a friend, made up with a friend.

Today, Kate raised her hand (actually both hands, but we got sidetracked by Laura and something about being the last to touch your nose, which makes you the one who has to do whatever was just mentioned, otherwise known as “Nose Goes”).

Kate described a day in which she finished all her homework while still in class and worked ahead, turned in assignments for her two online classes, scheduled appointments for her in-grown toenail surgery (partial avulsion with phenolization—already had this on her right big toe, now need it on her left) and her senior portrait (much more fun than podiatric surgery, if that’s even a word), had a reasonably good set of accomplishments at her after-school job at the school district headquarters—a day marred only by The Tomato Soup Incident.

I wish you could hear this story told in her voice, and see the dramatic flashing eyes, eyelid twitches denoting disdain, and emphatic gestures.

“Imagine you have not A computer, or a few computers, but a room FULL of computers, thousands of dollars worth of computers.” (“Funded by levy and bond dollars,” I interjected—a plug for the vote coming next March.)

“Yes! Funded by levy dollars! And just imagine that you are a senior who has been told not once, not twice, nay nay, told every single day NOT to bring food or drink into this room full of thousands of dollars of computer equipment. Imagine that you ignore this day after day, and that today you have left a full bowl of tomato soup on top of the scanner that it exactly matches in color.

“Now imagine that another, innocent senior, who follows these rules to the letter and never brings food or drink into the computer room, turns around suddenly, not realizing the soup is on top of the scanner where it does not belong, and she knocks it over.

“Does this do anything to the person who LEFT the soup there? Does it do more than drop three drops on her sweater? Does it instead drench the innocent senior, soak her shoes, and leave her smelling like tomato soup—which she loves, but not as much as her fruity berry body spray? Does it in fact ruin her favorite top, so she has to spend the rest of the day in her camisole and a big purple coat?”

“Which top?” ask mother and sister in unison.

“The one with the little—“ (circling gesture to indicate keyhole opening at the neckline).

“Not that one—the light blue one with the—?” (mother gestures to indicate flowing Empire waist).


“Oh no!” from mother and sister in unison. “That one was cute!”

“I know! And now it smells like tomato soup!”

This doesn’t come close to capturing the storyteller essence that is Kate.

1 comment :

  1. yI had never heard of nose goes until a few days ago when my students all did it to avoid being the group recorder--who knew there was a website with the rules!


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