We would not consider a meal to have been successfully started without the required bickering session to wet our appetites. So without further ado we will go on to the main course, dinner conversation.
I remember watching the television show “Leave it to Beaver” when I was a kid and if my memory serves me correctly the conversation went something like this.
“Well, Beaver, how did your day go at school?” asked June the mother who was usually dressed in an attractive dress complete with stockings, gloves and stylish hat.
“Swell mom” the equally well dressed, clean faced boy would politely reply.
“And what about your day, Wally?” asked Ward, the loving father in sport coat, tie and well shined shoes.
“Golly Dad, it was great. The coach said I could be on the track team this year!” replied the respectful, kind and considerate teenager.
I’m sure that this is the normal scene set in millions of households today as well. My household was slightly different.
First off, the dress code was a little less than the Cleaver family of the 1960’s television show.
It usually consisted of momma bear wearing an attractive top decorated with bits and pieces of the evening’s culinary experiment.
This would be followed by the hard working, long suffering, kind, gentle father figure still in his work clothes as he just got in from another long day only to be met at the door with a long list of the children’s criminal offences delivered by the stressed out momma bear / warden.
The children’s attire ranged according to age.
Five years and younger would be mostly naked, only wearing whatever happened to not fall off during the last 30 minutes.
Five to ten years of age would be almost normal but usually unmatched, often on backwards.
The female teenagers varied according to mood. One minute bright and cheery and the next moment all black with the odd torn top or jeans that were the rage for that moment or whatever clothes they could steal from their father‘s dresser.
The male teenagers could usually be smelled before they were seen due to overactive hormones and a lack of deodorant or bathing as they didn‘t have the time. You see, they were much too busy whacking wookies on their video games. The style, if you could call it that, would be a wrinkled t-shirt with some obnoxious saying or image on it accompanied by tattered jeans with holes in them, on purpose no less, these jeans appeared to have been attacked by a roving band of graffiti artists. The jeans would have been hanging down around the lower most region of the nonexistent buttocks of said teenager.
Conversation would be started by the father figure.
“Hey! Turn off that crap you call music and get over here for dinner!”
This would be followed by the usual grumbling or by no reply all due to the dreaded “deaficus instantainacus” syndrome that accompanies over stimulated sensory organs due to the sounds and graphics that were emanating from the latest video game / MTV show.
When the rabble would finally be assembled the father figure would start off with a hopeful sound in his voice ,
“So, how was your day today?”
This question was thrown out to no one in particular as he doesn’t know what the “mood” of the evening will be yet.
“Umph” would be the mumbled reply from one of the rabble.
“Great! Glad to hear it!” offered the hopeful dad.
“How was your day, dear?” he would direct to his bride.
Granted, he already knew due to the ever present list of crimes related at his every return but he was none the less hopeful for a positive reply.
“Oh, it was fine” she replied as her hand shook as she served up the meal.
“Ben flicked a booger on me!” one of the girls would offer angrily and then proceed to inform us that her brother resembled the south end of a northbound donkey, but not in such a polite manner.
This would start the rest up with their particular complaint about the other siblings.
“Buddy’s got a butt crusty” the youngest, Tristan, would offer.
This caused the momma person to inhale sharply and exclaim “Tris!”
Seeing this reaction only spurred him on.
“Ben streaked the neighborhood today too!!” he informed us.
Again, Angie gave her patented inhale and said “Ben!!”
That’s pretty much the extent of her replies to the all shocking news that comes from the fruit of her womb.
I, however, am unfazed as this would not be a normal dinner in our house if the subject of poop and naked didn’t come up during a meal. The unfortunate part is that this is also the case even if we have company over.
Needless to say, we are very selective to the ones we allow to dine with our brood. Usually we invite a young couple over to eat with the family only if they have recently expressed a desire to have children. We consider it as an additional form of birth control for them so that they do not stray into the insanity of our world.