Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The dinner table

My whole life, I dreamed of the day I would get to live by myself. I am one of four children and fall in the middle (the younger two are twins so yes there is a middle of four). While I love my siblings and really enjoy being part of a family of six, I never had my own bathroom. 

The four of us shared a bathroom until my older sister was a teenager when she moved to the bedroom in the basement. Once she left for college, I only had three years left before I was off too, and since my brother (the only boy) had shared a bathroom with his sisters for so long it only seemed fair that he should get the basement. So my sister and I were still left upstairs sharing a bathroom. (You should note that at some point my other three siblings all had their own bathroom while living at home. I’m not complaining just stating the facts.)

After all this sharing, the community bathroom in the dorm and sorority house wasn’t horrible. In fact, it meant (almost) never waiting for a shower and knowing it was cleaned by someone else on a daily basis. But after 22 years of sharing a bathroom, I was ready to have my own apartment with my own bathroom. Imagine my delight when the perfect apartment I rented in Georgia had not one, but two bathrooms. Yes, I used both of them daily.

So living by myself, even four years in, is still a dream come true for me and not just for the bathroom. But I think it has played a part in my less than ideal eating habits. I grew up in a house where we sat down for dinner as a family at least five nights a week. In the midst of our busy schedules, my mom made it a priority for us to sit down and eat together. It often meant eating in my soccer attire before practice or not making it to the table until almost 8 p.m. But it brought us together and established consistent time together as a family and encouraged healthy eating.

In college, I found comfort in sitting down for dinner at 5:30 p.m. every weekday night with my sorority sisters. I never had to worry about what I was going to eat, and I loved the social aspect of eating with friends.

After graduating, I remember one of my first nights off from work where I cooked dinner for myself in my new apartment. My apartment had a dining room, so I bought a table from Kmart to fill the space. I sat at the table to eat, and it was a moment when I felt both grown-up and alone. I didn’t realize how much I would miss something as simple as dinner with friends or family

For me, food became less important when there weren’t other people involved. I’ve never been a “foodie,” my picky eating post makes that obvious. But until the social aspect disappeared, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t the food I enjoyed so much, it was the company.

I am appealing to my competitive side with this challenge, but it doesn’t always have to be a solo thing. My friend Andrea has both demonstrated and reminded me that this is a great opportunity to open my home and share meals with friends.

Hopefully, I can make some dishes that are worth sharing.

No comments:

Post a Comment