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Dinner Courtesy - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Dinner Courtesy
My tandem bike friend made me dinner on wednesday night, before we went to skating together. It was a wonderful meal, complete with a homemade pesto made from basil grown in his own garden! It put to shame my "break and bake" cookies I'd brought for desert, although they were still tasty too.

I was sitting at the table, and he was dishing out generous amounts of food. I admired the feast in front of me but did not touch it. "Don't wait for me," he said, as he stepped into the kitchen.

"But I have to," I responded. "I've been trained."

When I was a child, my mom (an excellent cook) made dinner for the family almost every night. The rule was that nobody was allowed to start eating until the cook had sat down. As an adult, this makes a lot of sense to me. It's a sign of respect for her hard work, and it only is fair that she should be able to enjoy the product of her efforts at the same time as her family.

As a kid though, this rule seemed like torture. Steaming and delicious-smelling food would be sitting on my plate, looking wonderful and enticing. My mother would seem to take forever as she served everyone, put pots and remaining food back in the kitchen, poured milk, and whatever other interminable little tasks she would take care of before sitting down.

While waiting for her, my siblings and I would get ready. We would pick up our forks, arrange the food, and select the most tasty-looking bite. I remember holding my laden fork close to my mouth, sometimes even opening my mouth with that first bite half-inside. This was, apparently, allowed. Perhaps my mother even appreciated her children's silliness, and our eagerness to enjoy her cooking. But I knew, we all knew: nothing could actually be eaten until she was seated. So I would sit there, fork raised, mouth open, waiting. Finally she would take her place at the table. The instant her bottom made contact with her chair, I would close my mouth over that first bite of food, and dinner would begin.
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charisma From: charisma Date: September 26th, 2003 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Love the Cook

That's a cool rule. =)
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: September 26th, 2003 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Dinner Rule

My mother had a simplier rule, no one sat at the table until every thing for the meal (except dessert - if we had any, which was rare - like a birthday) was on the table.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 26th, 2003 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dinner Rule

That works too...very similar in concept.
simplykimberly From: simplykimberly Date: September 26th, 2003 10:20 am (UTC) (Link)


we more or less have the same rule, although I try REALLY hard to get to the table pretty quickly after I start getting food down.

Last month my brother was over for dinner, and he started before I sat down - David chided him appropriately.

Yes, he's been trained too, it appears.

I loved your story - you write so well!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 29th, 2003 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: heh

Good for David, he's learned his manners well!

Why thank you. (:
mindgames4one From: mindgames4one Date: September 26th, 2003 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Same with us-- except we couldn't even anticipate the eating, because we always said a prayer first! Believ eme, not much thought was put into reciting that prayer... our eyes were always on the food!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 29th, 2003 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I can see how your piousness would kind of drift away, when anticipating yummy food!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 27th, 2003 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Open Question:
Do you think your family's dinner rituals have lead to any eating disorders in your family?

Rennie's comments about being trained sounded scarily Pavlovian.

One should wait for the cook out of courtesy and consideration not training.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 29th, 2003 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you're overanalyzing what was meant to be just a sweet and nostolgic sort of post. When I said I was trained, I was kidding. I just meant that the courtesy was deeply ingrained, and it was my preferred way to behave.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 29th, 2003 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I do tend to over analyze and "trained" and "behave" are two of my analyzation trigger words.

Of course dinner nostalgia for me is watching Original Star Trek episodes while eating.
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