After a couple of weeks of planning and looking forward to a visit from my younger sister (we can call her the CFO), the trip was cancelled as of this morning because of the nasty storm on its way, and a forecast of 65 cm. (that’s about 26 inches) of snow they’re expecting in Montreal. Bummer.
It does, however, free up my weekend so that we can finally unpack the boxes still in the garage (forget about the 60 or so in the basement), hang curtains, post to Holidailies, set up chotchkes, organize my sock drawer, etc. (“And spend time romping in the snow with us, right, Mum? Right??”)
The aborted visit also got me to thinking about the nature of our social lives. Here is the itinerary we’d planned:
- Friday eve: Sis arrives; go to our favorite Malaysian restaurant to decompress and chat over dinner.
- Saturday AM: sleep in; brunch at home. Drive downtown and spend the morning browsing around Yorkville, stopping in at Whole Foods Market and the Grigorian, before heading to King Street to look at various furniture shops (even though I can’t afford any of it–but my sister, being gifted in interior design, was going to give me some hints on how to decorate this place on a budget).
- Saturday eve: take my sister out to dinner to celebrate her birthday.
- Sunday: back downtown for brunch; then to the train station to send her on her way.
Well, I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. Food, food, eat, food, chew, food, swallow, eat, food, food, FOOD.
True, this list is more chow-centric than my typical weekend plans. Still, why does the addition of another person–ergo, a social group–immediately bring with it the suggestion of eating? As we all approach this most social, and most feast-laden, times of the year, it’s pretty darned difficult to find even one activity that doesn’t revolve around food. Rich, luscious, decadent, spiked, fatty, indulgent food.
I can see how it makes sense, but still. Since our first-ever social interaction also involves nourishment (feeding at our mother’s breast), we are born to associate food with comfort, feeling soothed, and affection. And isn’t that what we’d all like from our family and friends, especially at this time of year? (Well, except for the breast part, that is–at least, for most of us). So maybe the formula (no pun intended) of socializing + food = warm, fuzzy feelings of satisfaction and contentment is just civilization’s way of allowing people to feel good about spending time with other people, and ensuring that it continues to happen.
Otherwise, why else would we all continue to voluntarily submit to these annual holiday dinners? Ah, well, there’s definitely more to examine on this topic (food for thought? gaak!), but I shall leave it at that for now. . . and return to my mountain-turned-molehill of essays to mark.
(“Food always makes us happy, Mum, no matter who’s around. And, you know, we’re still warm and fuzzy, even without it.”)