When Fruit or Veggie Doesn't Cut It.
Definitely Red. Hopefully Juicy.
Fruit or Veggie? #TheWorldMayNeverKnow
OK - for the sake of this post, let's just pretend that time travel is a thing and we go back to a time before scientists decided that tomatoes are a fruit.
A time when tomatoes didn't have a place.
A time when the world was freaking out because the thing they knew as a vegetable might not be a vegetable.
A time when tomatoes could potentially be categorized as... miscellaneous.
I remember the day I learned what that word (miscellaneous) meant.
My mom wrote it on a tab in a binder I kept for school and after-school activities. I asked (as every kid would) “Mommy, what does mesk-a-len-i-ous mean?” to which she responded,
“mis-cel-lan-e-ous means ‘other’. So, this is for the things that don’t fit into any of the sections, or categories, that we already have. For example, if you drew a picture just because you felt like drawing, you couldn’t put it in the science section, the math section, or any other school section, so you can put it in the other or "miscellaneous" section”.
Now your next question might be, “ummm, Kylie, your momma did not speak to your 7-year-old self with categories and example and especially not ‘miscellaneous’!” to which I would respond “one, that’s not a question and two, she sure did!”
When I was little, my mom would - for lack of better words – ‘dumb things down’,to help me understand certain things, but not too much to baby me. She knew I was more capable than I believed I was and pushed me to learn more than I came for.
To say the least, that day ended with about 572 repetitions of the word “mes-shel-lan-ee-us”. It also marked the beginning of me trying to find everything that was 'miscellaneous'.
Zebras: horse or donkey? Miscellaneous.
Lions: a big @$$ cat or Simba? Miscellaneous.
Binoculars: thick af glasses or magnifying glass? Miscellaneous.
Me: black or white? … mixed … miscellaneous.
Now, at 7 years old I was probably overgeneralizing the reach of the word, but it helped me to question certain complexities I hadn’t thought about before.
What I started to understand was that miscellaneous meant more than ‘other’. It meant that ‘said thing’ didn’t fit nicely into any particular category - For example: Tomatoes!
The lesson that took me 13 years to learn:
Just because it doesn’t fit into a category, doesn’t mean it’s not important.
My mom clearly didn’t think that a drawing of mine was more or less important than my English homework. They both taught me different but necessary things: creativity and communication.
Although tomatoes may not fit into a neat category, they are associated with health benefits (reducing risks for cancer and heart disease); also, a great source of many vitamins and minerals (i.e. Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin K).
And not to mention,
Zebras: Boldly striped.
Lions: Fearless Kings of the jungle.
Binoculars: See farther things more clearly.
Me: Human. (also, a 7-year-old thinking about miscellaneous things) *shrug*
Long story short:
Somethings are just too complex to be categorized.
Truthfully, the goal should never be ‘find a category and live in it’. We should all strive to be tomatoes! Not in the sense that we are red… but in the sense that we don’t fit into any one category – we fit into many.
Each of us have special and unique things to offer this world and other people. And in my opinion, we shouldn’t have to choose or be defined by just one.
But that’s according to me,