The NYTimes spotlights one of the all-too-often neglected areas of diplomatic negotiation:  the family meal. 

The problem: Americans, as a whole, have lost touch with the ritual of the shared homemade meal. Although we eat at home a lot, the food often is from restaurants or the prepared foods section of the grocery store. Families eat in shifts and leave the television on. The sandwich has become the most popular dinner entree.

No wonder we have no idea how to behave at Thanksgiving.

I have a friend whose Thanksgiving meal went south just after her grandmother called her brother a cowardly Communist. Another friend’s nightmare began when her mother’s new boyfriend started talking about breasts, and he wasn’t referencing the turkey.

The article goes on to discuss the potential fiscal viability of a dysfunctional family problem-solving chatroom for holiday emergencies…and I just started laughing because it could probably work as a business model with the right amount of tweaking, just based on the stories that I hear from folks about their own family issues.

So today, I thought we could do a little sharing amongst our little online family, before we all skitter off to far flung places across the country or across town, to stuff ourselves silly and watch football into the wee hours and contemplate that "just one more little slice" of pie.

Here's a little "getting to know you" quiz for us all:

1.  Three songs you can — and do — listen to again and again.

2.  Three movies you can — and do — watch over and over.

3.  Three dishes you would choose for your last meal.

4.  Three most relaxing vacation spots you've ever visited.

5.  Three books that you consider great reads.

6.  Three shows that you consider the best on television, past and present.

I look forward to reading the answers on this one.  To all and sundry, have a very happy Thanksgiving.  And thanks to all of you for being a part of our little family here at FDL.

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