Guest Post by Kimberly Bouchamp:
If you live on a farm and your grandma plays the banjo than perhaps the front patio is your family room.
The reason I ask this question is because you can learn a lot about the personalities of a family by noting which room they spend more time in. Not all houses have a “dining room,” but the families who do tend to be more upper-class and hold more white collar careers, as they set the table and convene like families on TV.
Most families I know spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I use the word “family” fairly loosely as sometimes you can consider your student roommates your family. People who drink alcohol and have lower etiquette standards find themselves in the kitchen where all the resources lie. And families who don’t cook conventional meals but instead allow each family member to make their own separate dinner may coalesce in the kitchen while things are taking place.
My family spends a lot of time in the kitchen, which says a lot about them. I kind of wish we had proper dinners at the table but everyone seems to eat in their room, each watching a different Netflix show as they do so. While in the kitchen we’re fighting over appliances. Mom will hog the oven as she does her baking. My brother will hog the microwave and toaster as he cooks his frozen food. My sister will always crowd around the fridge and the blender because she loves to make fruit smoothies and I’ll usually be at the stove top frying eggs and vegetables.
This kind of family kitchen dwelling can lead to problems sometimes. As we fight over who gets to use certain appliances at different times, we tend to overuse things and a lot of appliances break down. We’ve had to order appliance services from our favorite appliance repair mechanic on many occasions: http://www.werepairappliances.ca/ My sister broke the fridge door once trying stuff all her ingredients where they didn’t fit, and my brother had to get our Panasonic microwave rewired when he accidentally hit 2 hours instead of 2 minutes while cooking noodles and then forgot about it. He’s fairly forgetful, playing mindless shooter video games all the time.
Our neighbors are the opposite of us. They keep their kitchen appliances in top-notch condition as you’ll never see anyone but the mother cooking as the father works late in his office. Their daughter sets the table and the their two sons usually play pool over beers in the basement as they wait for dinner to be ready. I kind of wish my family was more like them, but I’ve seen enough Disney movies to know it’s unwise to wish for a different family. I shouldn’t take what I have for granted.
I truly believe that if you live in a family that eats in the living room around the TV, you’ll have less lawyers and doctors as children, but at lease you won’t have mindless retailers like mine does. Eating in the living room isn’t as bad as eating in your own separate rooms, in my opinion, because at least you’re still eating together.
Perhaps you caught the common theme in all this: technology is driving family apart. To end this off I want to add a little more insight into domestic Canadian living by asking young parents to continue the family dinner tradition. To young girls like me who get jealous seeing families eat like normal people, the traditional set table seems to be a relic of the past that you only see in restaurants. Many people don’t even pay a thought to which room in the house they eat.
So if you’re having kids and want a healthy family, please, make the practice of eating at the dining table! Your children might complain in adolescence but as they get older and leave the house they’ll think back and be grateful to have this habit ingrained in their lives. Thank you!
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