Too much emotion makes Scudworth uncomfortable.

On the other hand, too much stiffness makes Toren uncomfortable.

I was looking at Kathryn’s recent photos of thanksgiving. Wow, that table…is intimidating to me. Now I don’t mean to slag Kathryn’s parents. I’m sure the food was good, the conversation stimulating, and everyone had a warm and fuzzy time. But for me, that setting screams “don’t touch! No eating until we say grace! Prepare to sit in this straight-backed chair until you’ve finished all your peas!” The irony is that whoever set that table obviously put a lot of time and effort (and dare I assume, love) into it, and here I am ascribing all this negativity into it.

I guess that’s my problem. I don’t know – what is your optimum meal-eating state? See, I’m a laid-back kind of guy, and I believe you should be relaxed when you eat; not tense. Eating around the table is anathema to all that is me. Few situations make me feel more uncomfortable; the more reserved the setting, the more reserved the Toren. My father, and I’m sure he meant well, drilled in all manner of, well…manners into me when I was growing up. After every dinner, the recital of “Thank you for the lovely lovely supper” was mandatory. Now my dad was a good cook, and I appreciate that. With the budget and resources at hand he whipped up some fine meals. But all this 1950’s puritanical table-sitting, fork-on-the-left, knife-and-spoon-on-the-right (or vice versa, I don’t know), saying the things we’re trained to say, playing the parts we’re trained to play, rubs me in the wrongest way. (Bit of a poem there.) I much preferred making or ordering pizza and eating it in front of the TV, as I remember doing on more than one occasion.

Make no mistake, though – it’s not a generational/authoritative hangup (although it may stem from that). The last time I ate around a table was at Yvonne’s, with her roommates. It was a good meal, and I like her roomies. I look forward to seeing them next time I’m over, (I hope to arrange a Muppets-watching night for Satomi) but not around a dinner table. Those things are casual-bane; they facilitate awkward silences; they bring out the traditionalistic worst in us. You’ve guessed it: I’m against them.

I’m also against neckties. Call me a bohemian.

Kathryn, Mom, Dad: forgive me.

Oh yeah – so: The reason I bring up anonymous commenting is that I refuse to recognize internet anonymity. I find it annoying and rude. On my ICQ etc – I rename all contacts to their real names. Handles muddy up my world – I have no use for them. If I could go back in time to 1992 I would get instead of thickets @, but it’s too late for that now. Anyway – if any comments (on any blogs – mine or otherwise) have no author, or questions are posed anonymously, I ignore them. It’s not that hard to sign your name, and if you don’t have the common courtesy to interact with me as a person, then I feel no obligation to acknowledge you as a person. Strong words, I know, but there they are. Just so everyone knows where I stand.