Monday, January 26, 2015

Dinner for Two

It started with a couch.

When we got back from our honeymoon, we bought a couch that we'd been eyeing for some time. This beauty. A couch that led to an adventure to/from the Chicago suburbs twice in one day, and couch assembly beginning around 11:30 pm. Long story.

Our old couch told the story of cat snuggles and more than one food spill that didn't quite come out. We were determined to keep from staining this one, at least anytime soon.

But the thing is, we eat most of our meals at our couch. Or at least we did. It's a habit that we both got into while living alone that sort of carried over when we began living together. Not out of any bad intention, just something that happened. My guess is that eating in front of the tv surrounded by devices is pretty normal for most single folks - there's some comfort in the noise. We have a kitchen table that was used more for drying clean dishes (no dishwasher), storing our yet-to-be-used wedding presents, and as a work station for my dissertation research.

So we set out to make our kitchen a bit more organized, and to eat our dinners at the table. Together. At  dinner time. It might seem like a silly goal, but as there are many nights and weekends that one of us is working or volunteering, it was a habit that we would have to build.

We've been eating dinner in our little kitchen nook regularly for a month now. It's nice. It is a built-in time to catch up with each other without being distracted or semi-present because of a show on tv or something on our phones. And we eat more real food. Side salads almost every night - what?! Feels so grown up. It has also kept me focused on having a plan for meals and not just throwing in a Jack's pizza at the last minute because nothing is defrosted or we don't have the right ingredients. I get excited about picking out what we are going to have and cooking and dishes don't quite seem so tedious.

I think it also is keeping me focused on prioritizing family. I want to be home for dinner every night that I can. Because it's special. And it's our time together.

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