Feature photo by abain

It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions again, and I was reminded recently of how the one resolution my husband and I have made for the past few years has failed: pledging to eat together at the kitchen table without TV at least three times a week. Three times a week became once a week. Eventually, we gave up entirely.

It isn’t that we don’t enjoy having time together to converse over a meal.  We truly are not one of those couples who eats in a silence interrupted only by TMJ cracking, the occassional slurp, and perhaps a cough or groan.  In fact, every time we did manage to sit down at the table, we remarked over and over about how nice it was to be eating together.  It just seemed that after a day of work we were too tired to make the minimal effort. Besides, watching TV and discussing could be seen as quality time together, too…

And then something changed. After three years of miserable failure—I’m not sure if it was because the options on TV got really lousy or whether it’s because I started cooking more, or oddly enough, because we got rid of our large, daunting dining room table—we started spending more time at the kitchen table eating together without a TV blasting. Lo and behold, even over only a matter of weeks it’s improved our relationship. Rather than half answers to questions directed at glazed eyes in the dancing blue light of the re-air of last night’s “Daily Show,” we now look directly at one another and talk about our respective days in a way that our e-mails don’t cover; I’d even venture to say that we’re e-mailing one another less during the day and saving the conversation for dinner.

This isn’t to say that he started throwing his socks in the hamper, however. (I still find socks stuffed under the ottoman or directly next to the hamper.) But a few weeks into this, well, lifestyle change, we’ve adapted rather easily and haven’t yet run out of things to say one another. Now what remains to be seen is whether our portion control will improve due to slower, more concentrated eating…

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