I was thinking yesterday about family dinners. I grew up sitting down to dinner every night with my parents: no TV, no books, just conversation. This sometimes led to screaming matches and slammed doors (me), but more often led to shared jokes and silly voices and making fun of the dog (also me). We always ate in the kitchen, crammed into the breakfast nook. I wonder how much those dinners shaped me: as an adult, I am happiest when crammed into a space with just room enough to sit (as anyone who saw our last apartment in the later years will attest to), performing in a silly voice to a select handful of people I love. I am the clown who is happiest staying in the clown car with just one or two important clown friends.
But in this house, the dining room contains our only eating surface, which means my future kid will grow up eating nightly family dinners in a vast, silvery cavern. What will my kid grow up to be in that echoing undersea landscape? Best case scenario, a mermaid. But in reality, I might wind up raising some kind of tuna. I guess I could just plan a breakfast nook into our kitchen redesign, but part of me feels it might actually be an advantage to raise a tuna-child, so that we can ride her to safety in the inevitable earthquake and tsunami.
This is not my tuna-riding cowboy.