Posted by Erin B.
I’m writing this quickly from the slow computer at the hotel our family has been staying at for the last two days in Miami. Shortly, we will go eat breakfast and then board a ship for the next 7 days. Whoo hoo! We left town Thursday morning, and the last two nights dinner together has been really fun and carefree. I’m much looking forward to dinner together these next 7 nights. Even though it will be back to normal schedule wise for me after we get back (meaning I’ll be missing a lot of family dinners), I’ve really enjoyed doing this experiment.
I’ll be missing the first week of it due to lack of interweb, but make sure to check out March’s experiment, The Eyes of March. Bon Voyage!
This week has been a pretty strong 28 tables week. I mentioned in my deal-io that we as a family wouldn’t be able to eat dinner together on Tuesdays, so this Tuesday I went over to co-experimenter Robeeno‘s house for pizza with her fam. It was quite delightful. When you mix pineapple pizza, good conversation, and a three year old (with a fondness for other people’s drinks), then you’re bound to have a good time. Wednesday was num num num, Thursday I could not eat with the family which was super unfortunate. Family from New York called late Wednesday night and let us know that they would be passing thorough. I had to work at 7, and they literally were turning into our street as I was turning out of our street to go to work. I was super bummed out. Though, that day I really needed a nap and that freed up some nap-time. And, after dinner they all stopped by my work to get some free ice cream (and to say hello, I’m sure). Friday night my dad returned from out of town and we all got pizza right before I worked. That brings us to tonight.
Tonight we had pancakes. I said in one of my last posts that pancakes are redemptive. I still hold this to be true, however, my big brother was eating with us tonight, and dinner ended with me angrily getting up from the table early, storming upstairs muttering foul words under my breath, and leaving for work without saying goodbye. He can be so infuriating, and the pancakes could not redeem him. Not tonight.
Next week we leave for our cruise where we will have happy and lovely dinners together every night. I will sadly have to skip out on dinner Monday because I will be shopping for clothes for said cruise.
Posted by Erin B.
My mom texted me midday today. “Dinner at 6?”
“Sure”, I replied.
“Peanut noodles ok?” she texted back. I replied with an enthusiastic “Hell yeah!”, and for the rest of the day was super excited for dinner. I’m a sucker for noodles.
They were totally yum. She free-balled it and added red onion and baby bok choy, which was quite well played. Bravo mother, bravo. And! Served with a side of strawberries!
The cruise is a week away and more than the beautiful tropical locals, I’m looking forward to our dinners together. We went on a family cruise 2 years ago, and dinner together every night was one of the major highlights. That and pure cream in our coffee every night. You know, the important things in life.
Posted by Erin B.
This week has been a blur of animal poop, dairy desserts, constant interaction with the public, warm weather jubilance, and consistent meals with the fam. A very excellent blur, as blurs go. Last Monday it was lovely and warm so my dad busted out the grill. Tuesday was my little brother’s 12th birthday so we had family friends over for pizza, chocolate coconut cream cake, and loud every-body-picks-their-own tune Happy Birthday song singing. Wednesday we all ate dinner at the Broad Street Café so I could take part in the open mic night they do. Thursday we ate together, but the details of our meal have gotten lost in the blur. Friday I was not in a good mood, and we were having leftovers. Our conversation was sparse and I left early for work. Saturday redeemed us: we had pancakes for dinner, and our conversation was interesting. Dinner felt too short and I left for work late. Pancakes, I’ve decided, are a redemptive thing. Sunday we had a bunch o’ peeps over for dinner (and hey—if you’re reading this, then you’re invited next week. Do come, and stay to watch the Oscars if you wish). Tonight I had to work until 6, and my dad had to leave for the airport by 6:30, so they went to a restaurant right near my work, and I rushed over as soon as I finished and we had a quick but lovely dinner together. We talked about 28 tables and how unexpectedly nice it is to have a set dinner time every day, but also how committing to a set time displaces things like social time and last minute dinner invites.
Outside of dinners with my family, I’ve been more conscious of how meals spent with people are way more satisfying than those spent without. On Sunday I had brunch at Parker and Otis in Durham with good friends, and it was the perfect kind of meal. We had no other agenda, so we ate without hurry, sat outside, and our conversation long outlasted our food. We had many laughs over empty plates and lukewarm coffee. Also: eating a salad in front of a computer for lunch doesn’t seem to change the workday up enough to feel like I actually got a break. It’s kind of my unexpressed goal (well, until now) to do something interesting for my lunches. My lunch hour is a sacred and full of potential, I like to spend it eating on the roof with co-workers, or at a restaurant with co-workers, or geocaching with co-workers, or sitting outside on benches with co-workers, instead of eating in the office or in front of the computer alone.
Posted by Erin B.
Attention 28 Tables bloggers: You are hereby invited to dinner at our house on Sunday Feb 22nd.
Shoot me an email if you plan to attend, and details will be sent: EmberBrown@gmail.com
Put it on yo’ calanders.
Posted by Erin B.
Sooooo…I’m totally diggin’ this experimentation. It’s definitely much easier than last month’s, and requires much less sacrifice–though sacrifices aplenty have been made so far, in the form of cutting work hours, missing parties, and getting much less/no time with non-work friends, it’s all for a worthwhile pay-off. Which got me thinking about applications and takeaways, because the hope of an experimentation is that you glean some life lessons over the course of it, and I’m not sure what I’m gonna get. I already know I love hanging out with my family, and while my normal routine has fallen into a place where I hardly ever get to eat dinner with them, I feel like my life is the way it is right now for a good reason and purpose, and therefore am not going to continue cutting my work hours back after February. I’ve also realized how many meals I eat with people as a part of my normal routine. This concept is not one that rocks my world–I’m totally a people person and have long valued the magic of conversations that happen over long meals with good people. Once a week I meet with friends over breakfast to talk about how our weeks went, I rarely eat lunch at work alone, and when dinner isn’t on the fly due to job#2, I am most of the time eating it with somebody (usually a friend) at a table face to face, engaged in conversation–and absolutely with the T.V. off. So I’m not learning the value of conversation over meals, or the concept of People as entertainment (no other forms necessary!).
But I am defintely getting something out of this, even if I can’t put my finger on it quite yet. Every day around 2pm, I start looking forward to dinner. Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing something wonderful is consistently happening at the end of each day, that I’ll get home and the house will be filled with something delicious smelling, and the family will all converge at the same time like our table is a magnet. Part of my dinnertime excitement is enhanced by not asking what we are having. I am a sucker for variety and very much enjoy being surprised. Last night we went out for a celebratory dinner and I purposefully didn’t ask where we were going until I arrived home, and then when we got to the restaurant (Micheal Deans), I did something I’ve always wanted to do. When the waitress came around, I told her to just pick something for me and tell me what it was when it came out (it could be seafood but no other meat). My meal was only so-so, but I’m definitely going to do that more often. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.
Posted ever so briefly by Erin B.
I am enjoying this month’s experiment much more fiercely than last month’s.
Just in case you were wondering.