The Art of Conversation at Dinner

I believe one of the major reasons I have always struggled with my weight is that, in my mind, food is equated to love.

My mom was a brilliant alchemist in the kitchen. Not so much because she was some sort of culinary artist (said: arteest) but because every item of food that was set on our table was served, not out of pots and pans, but out of her heart. And you could taste the magic that is love, with every bite.

Sundays and Christmas hold the best memories for me. There was melt-in-your-mouth-eat-until-food-oozes-from-your-gills food everywhere. Roast, fried chicken, milk gravy, biscuits, mud pie, green beans, chocolate silk pie, red potatoes, carrots, every cookie imaginable, pecan pie, banana bread, ham, homemade bread, cheesecake... Is your mouth watering yet?

So for me, the essence of family and love were very centered around meal time.

It still is. I love to sit down to a meal and talk, laugh or fight with my husband and kids. Some of our best conversations are at dinner. You know the term quality time? Ours is usually at a meal of some sort and they are never unimaginative or routine.

For instance...

We are having dinner at Chili's (this was way last week for those of y'all who are keeping me accountable to the protein shakes), it's just the kids and me since dad is helping take equipment and supplies to Trinity for my boss...who just happens to also be his friend.

We are having a great time talking and telling stories. Eddie begins to tell me about his speech class and the 'report' that he gave where he had to take a song from a musical and act it out in front of the class.

Me: You would make a great actor because you can memorize lines, emote believably, and...

Elena: Oh he can act alright!

Me: What makes you say that?

Elena: Cause sometimes he acts just like a two year old.

(that is his come back for EVERYTHING. This tastes funny. YOUR FACE. I don't understand this problem. YOUR FACE. What 's for dinner? get the idea.)

Me: Hey! Your momma.

See? Love.

We talk some more and Elena begins to tell me about a report she is writing on the digestive system where you have to pretend you are a piece of food and what it's like. She is a cocoa-puff.

Which is funny to me for two reasons. One, we don't eat cocoa-puffs so it was odd that she would pick that particular cereal. And two, puff is the term we use in our home (an adopted term picked up from friends) for um, passing gas.

She tells me about the puff's journey down the water slide known as the esophagus and the journey into the stomach where a woman is tossing salad all about and then the puff travels into the small intestine and ...

(dirty look from table next to us fork hits plate hard)

Me: You know, maybe you should tell me about this later...

Elena: Why?

Me: Other people are eating and probably don't want to hear this.

Elena: But I wanted to tell you about the joke I made when the puff leaves your anus.

Me: *laughing so hard there are tears*

Elena: Can I?

Me: I think you just did.

Magic people. Absolute magic.

We finish, pay and walk out the door talking. Eddie's trying to tell us about something when Elena interrupts with a comment.

Eddie: Nice Elena, you made me forget what I was going to say.

Elena: Yeah, that's how I roll.

Eddie: Oh, yeah? Well, this is how I rock! *loud puff*

Elena: *singing* I wanna rock & roll all night...

Eddie: Eew.

You can't just go out buy memories like those.

I hope when they are older, they will look back on these times with the same sentiment as I did. But, that it won't be the food they equate with love, rather our conversations, our laughter, our silliness and our...our...

Oh yeah, YOUR FACE!

Oh, and this was my 100th post. Woo hoo...


  1. And it's great that you've documented this particular gem so you can share it with them over and over again when they're grown and too cool to admit they ever had conversations like this! :)

  2. sounds like you're in an episode of gilmore girls! lol

  3. That's hysterical. I think I will buy a box of Cocoa Puffs for Elena!

    There are times when my parents will remind us of funny things we said as kids. When we were in elementary school, there was a 7-11 at the end of our street. We so wanted to be able to walk down to that store and get an Icee (without the parents around). One day my brother asked my mom, "Do you think I can walk to the 7-11 by myself when I am 21 years old?" We still laugh about that...

  4. Carissa,
    I thought they would appreciate day!

    I am almost scared to admit, I've never seen Gilmore Girls. How does this compare?

    She would love them! Did you guys ever get to? We loved walking to the 7-11 by ourselves, we was so growed up.

  5. Crack. Me. Up. I felt like a fly on the wall, and a more entertained fly there never was!

    Last night at dinner we discussed my infected hangnail and whether or not it should be lanced to release the pus build-up. These are the things that amuse us.

  6. To echo Jenni, I really wish that I could be a fly on the wall at your house!

  7. that was funny. :)

  8. Jenni,
    MMM, yummy! Little miss and Courtney inspired my next post.

    Echo my comment to Jenni...:)

    Thanks, I thought it would disgust the snot out of some...

  9. way cool. I'm wishin' I had gotten off my tush and got it over here to your blog before now. What priceless stories you weave! This stuff is amazing. You a lot of style in the way that you share the account of your family's life. It's very fresh, real, comforting like a good stew. lol, yeah, I know -- I had to bring up food, eh? It's my next mission -- to see what this surgery is about. writcha in a bit... OH, hey! Congratulations on your 100th post!!! = ]

  10. lol, ok, so the word "have" is missing up there somewhere. yikes. I was going to repost the whole thing and then let you play the game "what's wrong with this picture" but that was lame. So now I've indulged in a rambling session over a missing verb. lol. yes, this is very telling of how my blog comments usually go... = ]

  11. Citlali! I am so glad you came!!!

    Gosh, coming from a gifted writer such as yourself, I am honored!

    I love stew, that is a compliment I can relate too!

    And I love rambling, so don't worry about it...I ramble often...

  12. wow, you called me a gifted writer. oooff, the pressure... lol. I'm SO glad I read this AFTER posting my contribution to the dinner story. lol. Yeah, the admiration is DEfinitely mutual.

    I'll keep checking back here to see if anyone's posted some news about you. Hey! Read ya soon! = ]


and remember, words are my love language...