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Mom, do I have to eat with them?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    Growing up, I was the oldest of six cousins on my mom's side, with the youngest being about 7 or 8 years younger than me. When that side of the family got together, there were 15 or 20 people. When the food was ready, the diners were partitioned into two tables: the large adults' table, and the smaller kids' table.

    While I was only slightly older than some of my cousins, the maturity gap was quite a bit wider. Most of the conversations at the kids' table revolved around ill-formed arguments about who was the biggest "stupidhead," or, more importantly, which character in the movie batteries not included* was the biggest doodie-head. I pleaded my case and got to eat with the adults, who had slightly more varied (if equally banal) conversations. I have continued to eat at the adults' table, literally and figuratively, since I was about 8 or 9. Now, I work for a company where the average employee is literally 20 years older than I am. This is not hyperbolic, this is statistically true. Despite this, we get along really well - we shop at many of the same stores, listen to a lot of the same music, and have similar hobbies. I am not sure what this says about me, but it's probably worse than what it says about them.

    Occasionally I'm thrown for a loop, though. A few years ago I took my first ski lesson and was right at the "kids' table" for that experience, being 15-20 years OLDER than the average student. I was so bad I got to be the instructor's "special buddy" when we got on the ski lift, and I promptly fell right on my face getting off. (Thankfully, I have now improved to the point that I can successfully ride a ski lift and dismount without incident).

    FOCUS: Which table were you at as a kid? Which "table" are you at in life, figuratively speaking? Did you ever find yourself at the opposite "table"? When? What was that like?
     
  2. lostalldoubt86

    lostalldoubt86
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    I still technically sit at the kid's table, but with the exception of my two brothers (who are 10 and 18) everyone at the table is in their 20's.

    As kid's though, there were so many people in the family that everyone had to eat in shifts, which meant we didn't have a "kid's table" as much as a "kid's shift." When your father grows up in a house of 10 kids, the adults become really good at pushing you out of the way to get to the food. We took the second shift out of fear.

    At work, there is a table of 6 and 8-11 employees depending on the day. If I want to eat lunch between noon and one, I have to take the chair from my desk, find a place at the table to squeeze it in, and quickly eat my food before someone knocks it over. There are very few perks to working for a small company.
     
  3. Ogee

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    I'm smack in the middle (age-wise) of my cousins. At family dinners, we used to have a kids table, but I never really liked sitting there. Everyone was always uppity and laughing and screwing around. I was a buttoned down child (it didn't help that my NCO of a father kept me and my sister "in line"). I always pulled up a chair and wound up squeezing into the big table.

    On a more grown up note: my university has this huge fundraiser once a year. A couple hundred people show up, and you either get together with your friends to kick in the $10k for a table, or you hope to god that the firm is buying a table. I always lucked out: my firm always kicked in 25-40k for a table. Usually in the front row. Sometimes we hosted the honoree. It was nice, everyone wanted to talk to you. The the economy took a shit and we were relegated to Siberia, with a table wayyyyyy at the back, because those were the cheap ones.

    Honestly, the tables in the back are just as good - better, in fact. I can now sneak out and refill my Henricks and tonic without anyone giving me the stink eye. But, you get very little recognition and it is hard to meet some people, as they turn their noses up at the anyone who isnt at the first 10 tables.

    Kind of a literal interpretation of the question, but fuck it.

    Wheres this week's WDT?

    .
     
  4. Frank

    Frank
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    I was sequestered to to the little kids table until I was 17. I think my family had an unwritten rule that you had to be at least 6 feet tall to sit at the grown up table because one of my cousins that is only a couple months older than me started sitting there when he was 12.

    Seriously, we've got some slack ass modding going on here.
     
  5. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    My family is far too big for just two tables. Hell we don't have enough tables in any family member's house for everyone to sit at tables. Also, since everyone is Muslim, the men and women always eat separately so it's really quite the hodgepodge. Generally, the adult males will take the formal dining area, the adult women will be in the living room or kitchen table(s) and for anyone younger there is a giant tarp placed on a carpet in some large room. Since the tarp is usually in the living room, the older kids get to take the couches and such. Then there is always a steady supply of sub 5 year olds who are usually tossed into the basement and fed when everyone is done if their parents remember. It is really incredibly chaotic. I fall smack in the middle of all my cousins (age range 40+ to newborn.) Generally, the only cousins who sit with the adults are the ones with kids of their own. My age range has seen me recently upgraded to couch duty in the tarp room. Quite the level up if you ask me.

    Of course, everything is thrown off kilter in the summertime where outside seating is available. Then no one knows what the fuck is going on.
     
  6. TX.

    TX.
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    My dad has seven siblings, and each sibling's family has at least two kids. Some have four or five. So, family gatherings are pretty massive. Growing up, it was awesome, though. Most of my cousins are girls, and we're all about the same age. I'm one of the younger ones, and the oldest cousin is 10 years older than me. So, we'd have two adult tables, and then multiple kids tables. These gatherings were a source of major stress for my mom. 20+ kids running amuck while my dad and the uncles played golf all day and came back to drink Guinness by the pool.

    At all of my facilities I'm the youngest person who works there. Oddly enough, when we go out to dinner I usually end up sitting next to my boss, who is the oldest at 51. She is my mentor, and I think she trusts me a little bit more than some of the other girls who work there. Plus, I am probably the only one there who is willing to talk about something deeper than Lady Gaga. And, when I was in the clinic I preferred socializing with the PTs who were older than me. It was either them, the white trash desk girls, or the 23-24 year old techs who were pretty incompetent and clueless about life. One of the older people said at the time that I was 25 going on 35. Thanks, I think.
     
  7. satan rae

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    The boyfriends parents host insane family dinners each holiday.

    I come a relatively small family but his includes 30+ first cousins so when we have to have a sit down dinner it tends to get crowded. Thankfully, they have never sat us at the kids table which I assume is only because they know I would be less then impressed with that situation. Last thanksgiving the kids table missed out on stuffing and gravy which would have been traumatizing for me as that is the only part of thanksgiving I look forward to.
     
  8. Durbanite

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    I don't think I've had a holiday dinner with any of my extended family members in over a decade. I don't recall doing Christmas with any members of my dad's family ever - he has some cousins living in this country, but both of his sisters live in the U.K., so it was usually off to my mom's uncle's place about an hour up the road, or to my gran's when she was hosting it. I was ALWAYS the youngest there and there were no other kids there, so that kinda sucked.

    Now, there's no family anywhere near us, with the exception of my dad's aunt. Most of my mom's family is in N.Z. now, and those that aren't are at least 2 days' drive away.
     
  9. dixiebandit69

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    This is a lame-ass thread. I'm gonna go make a suggestion on the suggestion board.

    DrFrylock EDIT: This post has invoked a TOXX CLAUSE. See here.
     
  10. ZJB

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    Personally, I sat at the little kids table. I didn't ask to sit anywhere else. I sat with my brother and my cousins of similar age and I had a great time making fart jokes and wahtnot. When I was a kid I played the role very well and had a hella time doing it. If I could go back I would still sit at the kids table. No use in growing up too fast. Everyone wants to go back to that time, might as well enjoy it while you are there.
     
  11. Benzilla

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    For family gatherings it depends on who is hosting. One aunt doesn't have the desire or the space to separate kids and adults and another loves the Norman Rockwell vision of the American family gathering so a kids table is always present.

    Metaphorically, I think I've always sat at the adult table. My parents are nonfiction-reading, NPR-listening, liberal Northeastern types. They never encouraged baby talk with me. From the time I could string a sentence together my syntax and diction were bounds ahead of other kids my age. Combine that with a natural curiosity for how the world works and you get the most annoying kid ever. I was that 9-year-old that used big words and knew what a 401(k) was. It lead to a lot of teasing from other kids my age but it also opened a lot of doors with adults which made up for it.