I didn't grow up eating at the table; usually because the dining room was filled with crafts and glitter and miscellaneous stacks of library books. Chalk it up to growing up in an artist household, but on some things, there were no hard and fast rules.
Don't talk back to your parents: hard and fast rule
Brush your teeth every night: flexible
Never, ever stick your tongue out at your parents during a fight: hard and fast rule
Eating chocolate cake as a breakfast food: flexible
Never, ever throw away a National Geographic b/c mom might use it for painting inspiration: VERY hard and fast rule
Strict bedtimes, making beds every morning, reading instead of chores: flexible
You get the idea.
But since I've married and forged my own household, eating at the table has been such a big decision for me. I'm torn. A part of me wants to adhere to my freespirited childhood roots. We ate standing up, slouched on the floor with a good book, on the porch, or while watching a movie in the living room. Dinner time was a 'get it while it's hot and before your youngest sister helps herself to the rest of the pork chops' event rather than a formal, napkin holding, sit up straight at the table event.
In fact, the only time my mother told me to sit up straight was when she told me that's how old ladies get humps in their backs.
Another part of me longs to set the table each and every night, light a candle, put on soft music. But in all honesty, Matt and I have met in the middle. Luckily, our living/dining combo in the front of the house lends itself to table settings AND Matt's ESPN dinnertime updates. And while I don't light candles and usually eat in my sweatpants, I always have a tablecloth. And I just push the library books to the other end of the table.
So tell me. What are your dinnertime traditions? It really fascinates me. I'd like to imagine other households putting on lovely Beaver Cleaver style meals every night, complete with china settings and water goblets. But, I suspect there's more Chinette paper plates going around than any of us would admit. Fill me in!