Wednesday, May 23, 2012

delightful dinner dysfunction

I grew up eating dinner in front of the TV. We did it as a family. We would eat in our den with trays on tables like these (ours weren't as pretty though) and watch TV together. We watched dramas like Dallas, Knots Landing and Falcon Crest. We watched comedy shows like Three's Company, Who's the Boss?, Punky Brewster, Cosby Show, Alf and Perfect Strangers. I also remember watching Buck Rogers, Greatest American Hero, Moonlighting and Scarecrow & Mrs. King. We talked about our day during commercials, but once the show started again, we either laughed together, groaned together at annoying cliffhangers or playfully teased those that bawled during sad episodes. I didn't have a TV in my room and I never felt I needed it. Perhaps because TV time was family-time rather than alone-time for me.

I realize now it was odd not to sit at the dinnertable at dinner. And if you're wondering how my brother and I learned good table manners with this dinner-in-front-of-the-TV habit, I think it's because our mom used to take us out to lunch every weekend. I remember how when we were kids, we frequented Cafe Rizal in the old Rizal Theater, the Manila Garden coffee shop, SM's Cafe Elysee and Trattoria Uno in Ali Mall (see related post here). I also remember how my little brother would even pull our chairs for my mom & me at these restos. I'm sure the other lunch patrons who saw us kids with our napkins on our laps and scooping our soup away-from-rather-than-towards-us wouldn't have believed we ate our dinners on cafeteria trays in front of the TV.

I guess I have to admit that growing up, our dinners - maybe even our lunches - were not very common. Some would probably even frown upon them and call them dysfunctional. But for me, they were delightful family-bonding memories. And I wouldn't have had them any other way. 

Photo from FYNCT. 

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