My family and I are not fancy people. In fact we are the opposite of fancy….I guess that would be unfancy.
Our house is humble and our belongings meager but every night we gather round our dining room table for a hot meal and I wish I could tell you that we share special family time that resembles something straight out of a Norman Rockwell picture.
Unfortunately it resembles something more along the lines of a 3 ring circus.
I ring the dinner bell at 5:00 every night and usually serve up one of my famous casseroles. I give them names like “Melissa’s Surprise” or “Mama’s Jubilee.” I get groans and moans as everyone gets an eye of the collaboration I have come up with and the only surprise it includes is what vegetable I have sneaked in. We commence the meal by filling our mismatched plates and then the true colors of our family come out.
Everyone begins talking over one another and the din of the room shakes the light fixture ever so slightly. There are elbows on the table and people are talking with their mouths full. I usually tell an inappropriate story like the other day when I told them the dentist said while performing my root canal that my tooth spewed out an oozy mess of blood and pus. This made my husband shake his head, cringe and say, “Really Melissa?” which then set off a laugh fest around the table. I always forget proper dinner story etiquette. By this point my 5 year old Bency has made an elaborate artistic creation out of peas and noodles, my 7 year old Iris has made a mess all over her face and the floor because she’s too busy talking to see that the food enters her mouth properly and over the plate and 2 year old Cesar is still in a fit of laughter over the story I told which he clearly didn’t understand while he wipes sauce through his hair.
This is our reality and the other night I looked around and really took it in. We are a mess of a family. A true disaster at proper table manners. And then a terrible thought crossed my mind….
I am constantly talking to my children about doing good deeds, helping others out and being a true benefit to society. The things we do as a family are on a small scale as far as contributing but what if one of us truly does something amazing someday? What if we do something so spectacular and heroic that it makes national news? What if the President of the United States wants to honor us by inviting us to dinner at the White House or The Queen of England wants to have us for tea?
After much pondering on this subject I have come to the conclusion that our chances of being invited to the White House are slim but if somehow this would happen I will simply write a note:
Dear Mr. President,
Thank you so much for inviting us into your lovely home and having us over for dinner. I apologize in advance for our poor table manners and crude sense of humor. We truly are nice people. I am also enclosing $500 to pay for the white linen table cloth I am most certain we will stain, all the milk we spill, the plate we break and the carpeting we will ruin. You may also need to dry clean your suit after you pee your pants from all the laughter or shock we create!
That really nice family with very poor table manners