Nothing is as intimate as sharing a family dinner with another. ~ V. Shnodgrate
We sat around a table.
That’s where you always sit when you’re getting to know someone–or, in this case, some-family.
Now, here’s the thing: It’s hard to eat with other people, just because. See, you’re expected to have manners. Not to say the professor doesn’t have manners, but it’s better not to think about manners until you want to think about them. That way, you won’t be vexed. If that didn’t make much sense, I’m not sure why.
Anyways and some, this professor was sitting with a family around a table. But I already said that.
They’d invited me, see.
You don’t want to know what we were chewing on.
“So,” Mr. said. (See, there was a Mr., Mrs., and Miss–and a dog, but he isn’t worth mentioning since he was outside.)
I looked expectantly over at Mr., waiting for the question.
But I was disappointed; it wasn’t a question.
“I notice,” he continued, “that you don’t wear your glasses while you’re eating.”
It was true. I flip them up, see. Here’s the thing: Glasses are good–if you need them–for details, but if you don’t want to see details–which you usually don’t when conversing with people–you flip them up. That’s the story, that’s the way of it.
“Quite right,” this professor replied. “How interesting you noticed. Now I should notice something. I notice that you all–all of you–don’t have glasses.”
Mrs. laughed. “But you’d be wrong,” she said.
Miss didn’t look happy. But then again, her parents chose what the conversation was all about–not this professor.
“Now how’s this?” I asked.
Mr. was chortling himself. “We all have contacts!”
So, this professor didn’t really care, but then again, I suppose it was good to know in a useless sort of way.
I stared at their eyes in turn.
Miss and Mrs. looked uncomfortable; Mr. didn’t mind.
“One good thing,” I announced. “One would never be able to tell that you’re wearing them.”
They all laughed at that, though I’m not sure why. See, what else could I have said? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing. Nothing sweet, that is.
Then we lapsed into silence–which is always an interest. I thought about complimenting the dinner, but I only lie every so often, so I put that out of my mind rather quickly. I thought about asking them for their life story, but all the times I’ve tried that (3 in all, you should know) it didn’t turn out too well. Took them hours to finish.
The professor wasn’t sure what to say, so I said the first thing that popped into my mind:
“Sometimes we forget things, and it is at that incident that we should remember.”
This confused them. But you wouldn’t believe how we went on and on just having speaks about that.
Moral: When you go to dinner, make sure you have many things to say. Topics, if you will. Write them down on a pad or something.