I eat cereal most every morning, and while I’m likely to season the chicken I’m grilling that same night with at least three pounds of garlic powder, my breakfast is much tamer and healthier—plain Cheerios and skim milk. Truly, not even a granule of sugar goes into my bowl, and I’m cool with that.
But it’s not the cereal I’m here to talk about. (Here, for me, being my couch where I sit typing this on my phone, but for you being wherever you are and, of course, this fabulous website…) But I digress. (I do that often.)
The cereal is secondary to the bowl itself. The bowl is a bit of a conundrum. Jo Karen and I once used two blue, plastic bowls—real workhorses. They were large and generally deep enough for me to get quite the serving of chili or vegetable soup or taco soup or, well, you get the idea.
But as plastic is wont to do when being filled with tomato-based broths, the bowls stained. No amount of scrubbing could bring them back to their perfectly blue hue.
Now, I saw and still see no real issue with dropping ladles full of soup into the clean but stained bowl. I mean, I know it’s clean, right? I literally scrubbed it for goodness sake.
But, how about that cereal? I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I can’t spoon Cheerios and skim milk (yes, I actually like it) into my face while staring at the residue of stews past.
The solution came in the form of a pink, glass cereal bowl that we already had but I never used, and it worked….well, it kind of worked.
Problem was, I’m too big and the bowl was too small. No matter how I tried to curtail my desire for plain grain, a few of those succulent circles of heart-smart goodness slipped overboard, onto the counter or worse, the floor, and were tragically lost to the vast expanse of the garbage can.
Exasperated, I did what any red-blooded American man would do: I began a search for the perfect bowl. (Seems both logical and quite manly, doesn’t it?)
But the perfect cereal bowl is not quite as easy to find as one might think. I’m rarely in a department store, even less rarely in a kitchen supply store, and my normal go-to, eBay, wasn’t providing its usual assistance.
As luck would have it, I happened into Walmart one recent day with a little extra time on my hands. “Why not,” I thought, “stroll up the kitchen wares aisle?” So, I did.
What awaited me there was not only the perfect cereal bowl, cheaply priced and plentiful, but also two prime replacements for those old blue battlers I mentioned before—two white, glass bowls, deep and with the circumferential expanse of a small planetoid. My kitchen cabinet went from meagerly equipped to properly stocked in the matter of mere moments.
I was a hero in my home—the man who solved the cereal and soup bowl crisis of early ‘19 with a single swipe of the debit card. And after the parade was over and the fanfare had died down, I felt good in knowing I’d never have to worry about losing cereal again.
Prologue….(Yes, I know a prologue seems terrifically unnecessary in this short essay…)
This morning I noticed, as I have for most every morning recently, that, when the skim milk displaced the cereal in my new bowls, multiple Os jumped ship and were promptly retrieved and discarded to languish forever in the black bag purgatory that is my garbage.
And, all this got me thinking (which in and of itself is often a chore.) There would seem to be a lesson here, a parable if you will.
It’s not the bowl, it’s the cereal you put in. And, no matter how big the bowl, you’ll eventually feel the need to pour more cereal. I think it’s just human nature, or something; but don’t quote me on that.