Another Man’s Revolution-Have we Lost Our Sense of Humanity at the Table?

by andrewodom on May 3, 2011 · 13 comments


Everyday of every hour, people around the globe are enjoying meals, snacks, and deserts either purchased or fully prepared by themselves or jointly with friends and family. Families sit down to eat together at tables albeit a Sunday gathering or just immediate family members. These times are sacred to some including ourselves.

Our Scissors & Drumsticks family is of five, and dinnertime is one of my most anticipated times of the day. We use this time to chat with the kids about school and friend happenings, joke with each other, give and receive a bit of guidance. We also get to teach our kids how to cook in the kitchen and outside on my beloved wood box. Preparing food is also another time of gathering. The kitchen floor becomes the stage for an unplanned dance where we mingle past each other and grab pots, pans, and dishes for one another. The radio on top of the fridge is low, but loud enough to understand what song is on and to provide the rhythm for the the unspoken dance.

It has been proven that when we as humans eat together there is a sense of being and calming that we all understand. No matter the many lifestyles, beliefs, or ideals we all fall into, the meal is and always will be common ground. You can take people from different ethnicity’s, creed, color, religion, and nationality, place them in a kitchen and a room with food and you have everyone playing on the same field. Communication, no matter the tongue, comes easy.

It is this sense of being that I don’t come across as often as some. You see, I am a shift worker where I work an 8 week rotating schedule mixed with day, evening, weekday, and weekend hours. We have kids involved in school extra curriculars, sports, and just plain old kid stuff. When at work, I usually eat alone. Keep in mind there are other employees around, but we’re usually penned up at our desks doing our jobs, eating, or browsing the ‘net. My wife, Scissors, operates a hair salon out of our home. And, sometimes she books clients when I am home during the evening hours so I can run the household while she is working. All other times while I am gone she has to grin and bear it, so to speak. This is tough on not only myself, but my wife and kids.

When at home, and there’s nothing on the schedule during dinnertime, I make sure we have as many family dinners and other meals as possible. I would love to have a job where I can start my day with breakfast with my family, then come home for dinner. This would be great as we can start and end our days together…..everyday.

What kind of meal plans do you have for your family? Do you have a “fly by the seat of your pants” kitchen? Is time harder to come by these days? Has corporate America jumped into the most crucial hours of your life?

Please start or join the conversation by writing a comment below. I really want to know how your time stricken (or not) family does it.

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  • jr cline

    I live alone and as a result, I eat alone 99% of the time. It is a rare occasion when I have to opportunity to share meals with anyone.

    • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin “Drumsticks” Gilkes

      Jr, do you ever have the opportunity to eat with others. Is there any family or close friends nearby you could sit down with?

  • anotherkindofdrew

    Because I am a telecommuter I am afforded the luxury of eating breakfast when I want and often with my wife. Though it may just be some warmed oats we take the time to eat togethers; sans distraction. For us it is a fantastic way of starting the day and finding out what the other has planned. Lunch is typically on our own although occasionally we will have a “date” wherein we go somewhere to get away from the house. Dinner is another story. Because we share land with my brother-in-law and his family we often eat dinner as one BIG family; 7 of us. My wife typically prepares the meal and then we take turns cleaning up dishes, etc. It is a lovely time and I think we all look forward to it. We also use it as a great way to feed the family good, balanced meals, and keep within a grocery budget. We use a menu planner worksheet each week so the two kids – both teenage girls – are not surprised each night at the table. It really a nice system and it is so important for us to disconnect from phones, computers, TV, etc. and just enjoy each other!

    • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin “Drumsticks” Gilkes

      Drew, that is awesome! I wish to one day….everyday, sit down with my family. I can understand the times we can’t when we’re busy shuttling kids around for whatever. But for Corporate America to dictate when I can and can’t do this bothers me. I wish I may, I wish I might…….

    • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin Drumsticks Gilkes

      Drew, that is awesome! I wish to one day….everyday, sit down with my family. I can understand the times we can’t when we’re busy shuttling kids around for whatever. But for Corporate America to dictate when I can and can’t do this bothers me. I wish I may, I wish I might…….

  • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin Drumsticks Gilkes

    Jr, do you ever have the opportunity to eat with others. Is there any family or close friends nearby you could sit down with?

  • http://woodstreetsgardens.blogspot.com/ Julie

    With the kids working and going to college – one graduating high school this year – everyone is on a different schedule so eating together as a family is a challenge. We do manage to have a family meal on Sundays and usually every one is there. My husband and I garden and eat together every day, which is nice. But I do miss the noisy, fun family meals.

    • http://www.scisssorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin Drumsticks Gilkes

      Julie, I like the fact that through your family’s heavy schedule, you still make time every Sunday to catch up with those closest to you and your husband. As for the time you and hubby spend together? I think that is awesome!, as most couples (married or unwed) drift off to do their own thing. And what better way is there to spend that time together than in the garden growing the food you will feed your family on Sunday?

  • http://twitter.com/MelissaIsHungry Melissa Bolinto

    Great post! My family of four (mommy, daddy, two kids – 3 and 7) are fortunate enough to have almost every breakfast and dinner together. We plan a menu out weekly and our seven-year-old likes to read the menu and look forward to his favorite meals. I agree about the meal being a common ground for people, it’s part of the reason I am in the process of switching careers to dietetics. I would love to teach families how to forge deep connections as well as healthy eating habits around the dinner table together!

    • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin Drumsticks Gilkes

      Melissa, kudos to you for getting the kids involved from the start. In our world of go, go, go, most folks would just settle for something quick and easy from the microwave, plop it down on the table in front of their kids and whisk away to do what they were originally doing.

      I like your way of the menu’s and having your kids read them aloud for everyone to hear. This also must take the surprise out of what’s for dinner so the kids know up front what will be on their plates. I’m seeing more of this these days, and think we will try to do the same.

      Thanks for the comment and great tip!

  • http://www.chiotsrun.com Chiot’s Run

    Here at Chiot’s Run we both work from home, so we eat each and every meal together.  For us it’s treasured time.  We don’t take long, usually only 15 minutes to eat, but it helps us recharge, discuss, come up with ideas, take a break from technology, and get ready for the rest of the day.  

    Food is very important for us, we source our food with care from local farmers and we make sure we’re sitting down and making the most out of it.  For us, food is really the foundation of everything and we treat it as such.  It gets priority in budget, the preparation receives generous amounts of our time, and taking the time to savor each morsel is important to us.  We focus on procuring, fixing, and eating nourishing food.  The beauty is we’re not just nourishing our bodies, but we’re nourishing our relationship as well and we’re nourishing our community of small farmers.  Food really is the foundation of life, without we would not survive.  

    It’s very sad to me that so many people give up this responsibility to faceless companies. So many don’t give it enough thought to turn off the TV, spend some time finding good food, cooking it, and enjoying it with their loved one.   As J.R.R. Tolkien said, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”  Except I’d change hoarded gold to stuff.  

    • anotherkindofdrew

      What a beautiful reply. There are two things at play now at the dinner table; the restoration of family values and the responsibility of owning our food. Thank you for remind us of that. 

  • http://www.scissorsanddrumsticks.com Kevin Drumsticks Gilkes

    My point exactly! Thanks for chiming in.

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