Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter dinner involves more than chow at Curmudgeon home

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Most of us were gathered here at the Curmudgeon Manse for Easter Dinner this past Sunday. Only Older Daughter and her husband Hank were absent. (When one's a nurse and the other gets paid to sing in church and they live 185 miles away, they'll miss their share of holiday dinners. It's OK.)

We don't sit down together as a family for dinner that often. We never did. Long Suffering Spouse ate with the kids when they were little; I would generally come home long after they'd eaten, sometimes even after they'd gone to bed. Long Suffering Spouse didn't mind so much, not really, because without me there to set a bad example, she could get most of the kids to eat exotic things like fruits or vegetables. Only Oldest Son's picky palate proved that bad eating habits are not just learned behavior.

But we generally sit down together for dinner at the holidays. Dinner conversation on those occasions is pretty much a contact sport. I think it's all good-natured. I'd better think it's all good natured -- I give at least as good as I get even though I'm picking on people who are going to pick out my nursing home some day.

Sunday the focus of the table talk was on Middle Son. I discovered late last week that he'd gone "Facebook official," confirming that he is actually dating a girl.

It is important to pause here and consider the magnitude of my achievement. Younger Daughter is one of the all-time great Facebook snoops -- but I was the one to make this discovery.

I noted, too, that the girl in question hails from Michigan. So I asked Middle Son whether the girl was going to be in Chicago over the holiday weekend. If she wasn't going to be going home to her family, she could always have dinner with us, I told him.

"We'll see," said Middle Son. In this context, "we'll see" means "absolutely no freaking way in the world." So I was not terribly surprised that Middle Son showed up to dinner alone.

If he thought, though, that he would evade discussion of what may or may not be a budding relationship by this omission, he was sadly mistaken.

I mentioned to my daughter-in-law, Abby, how much this situation reminded me of a similar situation just three years ago. I told Abby how we'd been so worried about her on that occasion, a thousand miles from her family, alone in her studio apartment, eating beans out of a tin can... and, now, it seemed, some other poor girl was in the same predicament. This little speech made Abby, Oldest Son and Middle Son all uncomfortable at the same time.

Middle Son tried to change the subject. It seems that he'd had a party at his place to celebrate the end of tax season (it's an accounting thing) and Younger Daughter had invited herself over. In fact, she'd gotten there a couple of hours before Middle Son arrived. He'd had to go to a client dinner in the south suburbs that night -- he wasn't planning on that -- so he was the last to arrive at his own party. He wanted to talk about how freely Younger Daughter had partaken of the spirits on offer at the apartment prior to his arrival -- but Younger Daughter turned the tables on him. Yes, she'd overindulged, Younger Daughter admitted -- and Long Suffering Spouse was not amused -- but, when Middle Son finally arrived, who was he with but the girl with whom he is now linked on Facebook?

I don't know if anything will come of this, of course. This is Middle Son's problem, not mine.

But the consensus among the women-folk in the Curmudgeon family (and, believe me, Older Daughter has since weighed in on this topic as well) is that acknowledging a relationship on Facebook is an Important Step.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well the duck has yet to bring home a girl. he dates but that's about it... sigh.

smiles, bee