Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Croutons and V-8 Juice Make a Fine Dinner, Right?

Messy plate left at dinner table

After 29+ years of having dinner every night with my husband...and then children, too...here I am eating croutons out of the bag, downing a V-8 and calling it dinner.

It's not that I was ever Martha or Rachel or that Barefoot Contessa chick in the kitchen. But I could somehow scrounge around the fridge...or call for take-out...or run to the neighborhood market...and put DINNER on the table, and we'd sit, together, for a bit, and fill our tummies, and touch base with one another.

I'd make them "co-muuuuuu-ni-cate", as my son called it. Give me highs and lows of the day. Ask crazy questions. Be silly. Whatever. But we were all in one place. Daily...or close to it anyway.

We'd hold hands, say the prayer from kindergarten lunchtime, squeeze to say "I love you", and then dig in, quickly, until homework, swimming, the phone, or the computer called the young-ins upstairs, leaving my husband and me to pour another glass of wine and talk....and talk....and talk.

Someone asked my husband recently the secret to a long-term marriage. His answer was, "We talk a lot."

A young mom shared with me the trials of staying emotionally connnected to her spouse during the crazy chaos of parenting young children. My best advice was, "Talk to each other. A lot. Every single day."

So it is quite the new situation to have this empty nest...AND a husband traveling for work.

We still talk a lot...every day...maybe even more than before. It's a conscious effort. We "co-muuuuuu-ni-cate" still. A lot. And with our now-grown children, too, although never enough. Thank God for the Verizon Family Share Plan.

But what I'd give to do the "I love you" hand squeeze every night before my croutons and V-8.


  1. Love this! Of course, I always thought the secret to a long marriage was to avoid talking too much. Bury any bad feelings under the rug, I always say. And focus on the good stuff, and really who needs to talk about the good stuff! Do love the sitting at the table together-- whether its croutons or a steak-- food is best eaten with those we love.

    Wonderful blog.


  2. So, like, I was asked to become a deacon at my church last year, and I accepted. We meet and greet at the door, then we hang at the back of the sanctuary for a bit, and then we march up the aisle and collect the money, and then we march up the aise again and give it into God's use while we sing the Doxology, and then we march back to the rear of the sanctuary. And then we are usually done for the week, except when we do the Communion ritual.

    Every Sunday like that. Except, just before we finish our deaconing and go and sit to join all the other the ordinary God-fearing Christians in the pews, we momentarily gather at the back of the church and join hands and give each other a smile and a little squeeze -- as an indication that we love each other and are happy to be serving God together.

    It is a large congregation -- one of the largest churches within the largest Protestant demoniation in New England. But nobody else sees us do our little hands squeeze, because they are all facing forward attentively. Except for the ministers, who are facing the congregation (and who evidently also read the Deacon's Manual because it is written right there in black in white in case there is ever a neutron bomb or a wicked virus and a future generation is appointed Deacon without one of us there to help them figure out what that means).

    I am told that, forty years ago, it was all men and all in morning coats (i.e. tuxedos), and I am fairly certain that the only human contact was a hearty handshake on the way in the door. Now, it is blazers and slacks, and women deacons, and... squeezes.

    Oh, and we do croutons too. But with grape juice rather than V8. It's in the Manual. At least some things remain sacred!

  3. Make that "denomination" -- Freudian slip.

  4. Carol, you make me laugh, as usual! The talk-a-lot does sometimes cause problems, mainly when one of us (me) does more than my share of it:-)

    Walter, I'm glad you cleared up the Protestant demon reference,you had me worried. I love the image of you deacons doing the squeeze thing surreptitiously. And apparently with bold actual touch instead of the air squeeze we germ-phobic types resort to. Bravo! And tomorrow night I'm going to switch out my V-8 for a pinot and enjoy a communion dinner.