Thursday, April 17, 2014

Soup In My Hair

(post copyright 2014, Dawn Weber)
I'm the most excited I've ever been with my pants on.
Not good to end a sentence with a preposition, but such is the depth of my enthusiasm. That's because I recently lost a bunch of weight, thanks to a diet of Really Depressing Food.
I know, I know - nobody wants to hear about my diet/exercise plan unless I've choked on some tofu or fallen off the treadmill. But I tell you this because I was a little confused and shocked about how it happened at first. I've been dieting and exercising pretty much since puberty. With a few short-lived exceptions, I've never had much success.
So I sat down and thought about it and finally put two and two together, and I came to the conclusion that the weight loss resulted from my diet of Depressing Food and Very Bad Beer. You'll have to read about the Very Bad Beer part of the equation in my upcoming book, but I can tell you all about the Depressing Food:
And more soup. Soup for lunch, soup for dinner, soup all the time. A gott-dang liquid diet. Apparently, I'm 80.
My disappointing, old-lady meal plan happened by accident. I started bringing Progresso Italian Wedding soup into work for lunch each day, because it's very good. And no - Progresso isn't paying me to tell you that. Although they should.
You can trust me when I say it's yummy wedding soup, because I grew up in greater Youngstown, Ohio. My DNA may say I'm a pasty little German woman, but at times, I'm pretty sure I have some Italian in me.

Oh wait - he's German, too.
But my point, and I had one here, is that thanks to the mother lodes of incredible cuisine I grew up enjoying with my Italian friends and their old-country grannies, I know authentic recipes when I taste them. And even though it's canned, this stuff is fantastic. Since it's relatively low fat and high in protein, I started bringing it to the office and eating it in my soul-killing cubicle for lunch. I work so late that I eat dinner there, too. What do I have? Exactly. More soup.
I wanted some variety, and eventually began eating other kinds in addition to the wedding soup. But still, it's always the same thing: another day, another meal, another exciting can of soup. For more than a year.
That's when it started to get depressing. Because although I like the stuff, I will admit it's become disheartening that I eat it all the damn time. I suppose I could change things up and bring in other foods - sandwiches, salads, those crappy little Budget Barf frozen dinners - but buying and fixing new things would require some planning, and as a rule, I'm against planning. I avoid planning whenever possible.
So, even though it's dismal, soup it is. And while slurping my 309,873rd bowl the other day, I glanced down to find I had a guest for lunch:
My hair.
Yes, it's so long that it hung from my head directly into the chicken broth, where the strands mingled languidly with the spinach, noodles and meatballs. I've needed a haircut for a while, but in typical senior-citizen fashion, I can't seem to remember to call and make an appointment. The only day I ever seem to think about calling the salon is on Monday. And when is the salon closed? Mm-hmm. Monday. I could work a little harder to get an appointment for a haircut, but again, that requires planning. See comment re: avoiding planning, above.
Back to the day of the sloppy strands. I stood up and lurched to the restroom, trying not to drip on my clothing, then bent over the sink and attempted to rinse lunch from my hair. But without shampoo, I really couldn't quite get all the food out, so I went about the rest of my day at the office with brothy bangs.
And later that afternoon, eating my usual liquid dinner in front of the computer, guess what happened?
I lurched to the bathroom, again, trying not to drip soup on my clothing, again, and attempted to rinse pasta and spinach off my head.

With my cranium under the faucet, I wondered what was saddest about the situation: A) The fact that I can't remember to get a haircut; B) The fact that I eat the same thing twice a day, almost every day; or C) The fact that I'm under 85 and there was actual soup in my actual hair.
I stood up and looked in the mirror. All of a sudden, there in my darkest, most geriatric hour, I had an epiphany and became inspired to create something.
That's right. I wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Here it go:

Soup in my hair, soup in my hair,
Lookin' like a fool with some soup in my hair.

I finished singing my little song, then I smiled the smile of the mentally ill.
And I kept grinning. Because as my eyes traveled further down my reflection, I saw something I hadn't seen in years:
Pants that actually fit.
No, I decided, even with a twice-basted coif, things weren't so bad. Soup in the hair beats a hair in the soup.
Anyway, what can I say?
Soup happens.


  1. Souptastic for the loss of weight but you could have just thrown him off the bus, um, I mean continue to eat soup in good health. I could only manage gazpacho, coz normally it's too damn hot down here. (Let your other readers figure out if here is actually HELL! I know it is.)

  2. This post put a smile on my face as I work my juicer once again looking for the holy grail of pants fitting loosely!

  3. GAH but I love that song. Remember when that song first came out and we danced all night?

    And Italian Wedding? YES. Best canned soup out there.

    Congratulations on your weight loss -- and your upcoming book. I can't wait to buy it, read it, post and/or blog about it.

    Cheers, my friend!


  4. LOL! Okay, you convinced me. I'm going to try Progresso Italian-style Wedding soup.

    See? They really should pay you. Hey, I know! Send them a link to this post (surely Progresso is on Twitter?) and maybe they'll send you a case!

  5. Pants that fit - can't beat that! Great idea: a liquid diet with meatballs and noodles - I like the way you think :-)

  6. "I finished singing my little song, then I smiled the smile of the mentally ill." Bwahaha. This one made me laugh loudest, and I always get at least several laughs out of everything you write, Dawn.

    I'm older than you, in years and the amount of Progresso I induce. It's CA. What the heck am I doing in the heat of spring or summer, eating soup that likely has my hair in it - because I never pull my hair back, while wearing pants that are tighter and tighter on me (because I eat more chocolate than soup)? That question likely has a lot of incorrectly used prepositions and other wacko wording. But I don't care, because I'm trying to make you feel better. Mental illness is relative.

    On another note, thank you kindly for reading and commenting on my article. It means a lot.


  7. Love the song. It should/could be a hit, you never know.

    I agree that I would rather have soup in my hair than hair in my soup. One rinses out and the other, well, you might not ever get past it.

    Salutes the pants that fit!

  8. Wanda - If I could live in Florida, I'd happily eat gazpacho. No problem.
    Ray - Good luck! Juice diets are about as depressing as soup diets.
    Pearl - I knew you could relate. And yes, I remember when we danced to that song - how could I forget?
    Barb - I do have a devious little mind. ;)
    Robyn - Thanks, I do feel much better, and I love the sentence "Mental illness is relative." True, true, true. Everybody crazy!
    Pixie - See? Exactly. And at least I knew whose hair was in my soup, because it was still attached to my head!

  9. Pants that fit is worth any sacrifice! I will now have the "soup in my hair" song running in my head for the rest of the day. :)

  10. Jayne - I'm pretty sure American Idol will be calling me any day to buy the rights for my amazing song. It's a chart-topper, to be sure.

  11. Dawn,
    Congrats on all the Progresso you've made with your weight loss! ;) Great to see you at EB 2014!

  12. First of all keep your pants on (I have to say that in case my wife is listening). I used to let my beard grow long and had similar issues. Of course at the end of a week I could just rinse it out and make my own leftover soup! Neat, huh?

  13. Hey Dawn! Man, this soup thing sounds profoundly depressing. I tried the same thing with pizza, and it seems I'm faring better emotionally, but I need wider doors. Hats off to you, you slim Jim you =) Indigo x

  14. What a great post- I loved the imagery. And soup? Italian Wedding Soup? Da bomb! Congrats!

  15. Lisa - Great to see you, too! "Progresso" on weight loss. Why didn't I think of that? (Bet you Progresso nabs it for an ad campaign ;) )
    Jono - Beard soup, huh? I'll pass ;)
    Indigo - I tried the pizza diet. That's why I needed the Depressing Food/soup diet.
    Shelly - I know, right? And truly, the Progresso Italian is great. (no they're still not paying me. They still should.)

  16. Being someone who is follicly challenged, I am jealous of anyone that has issues with hair in the soup. Glad you made it work...

  17. I LOVE your blog! I have a long and curly hair, so I think the best secret in this case is to use some kind of oil after wash the hair. I love Argain oil, but I'm sure I'll love Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide too! Thank you!

    stronger hair | healthier hair