My sociology teacher, who I have formally referred to as the pink haired, man-hater, made this comment in class the other night: “The idea that families sit or ever sat down to dinner together was and always has been a fallacy.”
Maybe I should start with some background. This class is titled “Social Problems” so I had no misconceptions when I signed up for it that it would somehow be a sunny, feel good, pretty rainbow kind of class, but I had expected the teacher to be credible. At first I thought her spunky and a bit edgy with her pink hair, her multiple facial piercings, the ivory tusks protruding from her ears and her proclamation of being a health and nutrition coach, all the while wearing a size 40 and walking around with a bag of snickers. Maybe, it’s the fact that this class runs from 7pm-10pm on Monday nights following another class that starts on the heels of what is usually a pretty long day at work, but I find myself less and less impressed with Ms. Sociology.
She lost some credibility when she started making comments like ALL men keep women ‘down’ and marginalized. She built on that when she stated women can’t be powerful in the workplace and adored by a Man at home, and topped it off with, men join the military so they can go overseas and rape women. Needless to say, I am less than quiet in this class which usually results in her standing in front of me getting louder and louder, while I get more and more smug , until she finally throws her hands in the air and says…”WE ARE OFF TOPIC!”. To which I usually, and might I say, quite boldly….smirk. I can’t help it! It’s all so ludicrous and disingenuous and disrespectful.
Last week, we studied the American family; the changes that have and are occurring, which by the way, did you know that very soon ALL of us will be living polyamorously? It’s true! She said so! It is the way of future relationships. Anyway…I digress. In our study of the American family she stated the opening line and fodder for this blog “The idea that families sit or ever sat down to dinner together is a fallacy!” And true to form, I spoke up.
“That is not a fallacy. I did it when I was young and I do it still regardless of who is at my home at dinner time.”
“Rachel, no one does that or have they ever consistently sat down to dinner as a family!”.
“Ummm….untrue” I say. “ What of the commercials encouraging families to get back to having dinner together?” And her response was priceless…..
“How you choose to do your life in your home is your personal decision, but you are not representative of the American family or our culture!”And….you guessed it… I smirked. Again. And she was so frustrated she couldn’t stay on topic so the class was released for a 10 minute break so she could ‘cool down’ and adjust the thermostat in the room.
I guess the point of all this is that I’ve been thinking about that a lot. We have dinner as a family about once a week. All the adult kids come over, the grandkids and anyone else that would like to come and I usually make something ‘family..ish’ like lasagna or pulled pork or casserole. And shocking as it may seem we almost always sit around the table and eat together. As a matter of fact I bought a table specifically so that everyone could sit around it on the occasions when everyone is there. We’ve had and will have more family in town recently and we sat around the table, drinking nice wine and sharing a nice meal. Making memories that would be made no other way and will last beyond a lifetime.
So… I call bullshit. Families have sat around tables and still sit around tables and share meals. Some of us even pray before we start. So, pardon me if I call that one out Ms. Sociology, but, you are wrong! And I’m very sorry you don’t have and are not creating memories ‘round your kitchen table because I wouldn’t trade mine for all your bags of Snickers bars!