Fine Dining

We went out to our local Italian for pizza tonight, the one me and Helena prefer, not that monstrosity the kids prefer with the big TV tuned constantly to sports and not a smidgin of Italianness about it. Not that Manna is super authentic, I’m sure it’s Czech owned and the art on the wall tends to the hideous, but they have wooden tables and a nice basket of garlic bread for starters, and they serve a big lemonade in a mason jar with two straws for some reason, and a spoon to scoop up the raspberries at the bottom, the food is as good as anywhere else and the staff is friendly. The dog from the next table jumped right up on the seat next to me and licked my face, he was a cute, little thing, a white ball of fluff.
It just struck me now, though, afterwards, why I enjoy eating out with the family, and it’s sort of like why I enjoy seeing films at the cinema more than watching them on TV. When you’re in the cinema, everybody shuts the fuck up and watches the movie. When you’re at home people talk, they want to pause the film and do other stuff – admittedly, sometimes you have to go but, if you’re in the cinema, you do that before the movie or immediately after, you can damn well hold it for two hours if you have to. It’s hard to keep the focus.
When we’re eating as a family at a restaurant, everybody is at the table at the same time. Now, that’s the way it was eating at home when I was a kid, but I have been unable to force the same experience in my home. That is perhaps my fault as a father but half the time the kids will say “I just want some soup” or “I’ll eat later,I’m not hungry” and Helena will accommodate them and totally not understand why I’m pissed off at that, which is probably why they ask her (in Czech) and not me (in English).
The joy of having the whole family together for pizza was a bit tempered by the fact that Sam’s big news was a fat 5 on a physics test. His excuse was that the teacher bushwhacked them, and over half the class got a 5. I am not bothered by his teacher giving them a surprise test and letting them know how ignorant they are. In fact, I rather like it that his school is tough on the grading and making them learn challenging material.
So, Physics teacher 1, Sam and his lazy, ignorant friends 0.

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