Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Big Meal

The season of feasting has come again. There is often a fair amount of stress attached to these occasions; sometimes, if you are the primary host, there is a great deal. Why would this be so? Usually you are having people over that you know well, or those who are family. Sniping about the food may be one cause, although we really should be glad that we can get together, rather than worrying about the freshness of the salad, or the moistness of the turkey. Performance anxiety? Certainly - some people cringe at being the center of attention. Perhaps you just don't like some of the people coming over (guess who's coming to dinner?)

Maybe, just maybe, it has to do with a memory of a special meal. A meal you had once as a child, a meal where everything was 'just so' and you had plenty of delicious food. Sunday dinner, perhaps, and then pie. And ICE CREAM. And everyone was happy, and people were laughing, and you wished the day could go on forever. And afterwards the children played games in a bedroom, with the adults making small talk in the living room, and nobody was crying, or yelling. And then you bundled up and got into the cold car for a ride home through the winter's night. You drew faces in the frost on the car window. And then, after you got home, a cup of hot cocoa before bed.

And now, when you realize that you can't recapture those feelings for yourself, you try to overcompensate for your perceived loss. But still, it is worth it. And there will be laughter, and companionship, and if the sense of magic has shriveled in your imagination, it still can burn brightly in the childrens'.

By Professor Batty


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