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Discussion in 'Owl's Nest' started by Debi, Sep 10, 2019.
Every night. Attendance was mandatory! Many times my grandparents would be there as well, especially on Sundays. The Sunday meal was a biggie at our place.
When my boys were growing up, I tried to keep that in place. Everybody at the table for dinner. The boys used to prefer sitting at the counter and us at the table so the long reach of "the fork" did not bonk them on the head if their elbows were on the table. My hubs was known for his fork to get the children's attention to manners. Show up with a hat at the table? Bonk. Elbows? Bonk. Fighting with a brother? Bonk. Kids needed a helmet...lol
It was a dishtowel at our table. My father perfected the art of snapping it so that the tip hit who ever was eating sloppily, or had their elbows on the table, or came to the table with dirty hands. Ah, the good ol'days...
I was a latchkey child in a lower class (income) family. Both of my parents worked and my Dad was involved in security, safety, or policing so his hours were always variable. For many of my early years I only had one parent with me at dinner so fast food and eating at diners was common.
However, when we were fortunate enough to have a home with an actual dining room, we did eat together. Though I loved everything she made, my Mom was not a good cook and she had a really shallow list of recipes.
So many of my strongest memories of meals together are actually those of eating frozen meals - or soup and sandwiches - on what were once known as “TV trays” in our living room.
Though manners where not unimportant in those environments, the list of specific rules to adhere to was much shorter than what might be expected when sitting at a formal dining table.
We did. And some of my best, and many of my worst, memories come from those meals. My partner and I still sit down and dine together every night when we can. As a funny sidenote, a few.months back I mentioned that dinner was almost ready, but I was reading a good book and didn't want to stop. My partner said that he was enjoying his book, too. We both stopped, looked at each other, and said, "Our moms aren't here!" And we ate dinner at the table, reading our separate books! And the world didn't end, and no one burst into flames, and no one told us to put our books down or we could go to our rooms without eating. There is literally no law against reading at the dinner table! None!
Not only did we all eat at the table and at a certain time, my Mom would fix the kid's plate. This is your meal and this is what you shall eat. Now, she didn't fix exotic foods. We did have salad, which included tomatoes. At the time I did not like them. I'm still not wild about tomatoes, but I eat them. My Dad would fix the catch of the day after he went hunting or fishing. He would also fix oysters and seafood from time to time. The kids got a pass on things that he fixed. We would have to try it, but not required to finish it.
This cracked me up because to this day I still have to remind myself I'm an adult and if I want to eat cake for breakfast or put my elbows on a table I can! (I just have to dodge a fork to the head.)
Exactly! If it was on the plate, it was expected we would eat it without complaint. No substitutes.
It was strictly enforced by my dad to eat together, he believed food was something to be appreciated as a unit, since he sweat and bled over feeding all 9 of us. We were allowed elbows and to be boisterous, he encouraged talking over eating, even though he also didn't allow anyone to leave the table until everyone was done ( kind of an insane system that we love hated ) Even now living in my own place, if I eat alone I have to try and picture I'm eating with someone or even call up one of my siblings, because it all feels backwards otherwise
Ahhhh yes.....we had to ask permission to leave the table as well.