This word keeps showing up this week, and I’m wondering why.
Last night, some friends were over for dinner, and they were describing their evening ritual of a sharing a martini together when they get home. L described it as a chance to unwind and share the events of the day.  And then she went on to say, that whenever she mentioned this part of her day, everyone would describe it as civilized.
Over on eGullet,  there is an impassioned thread about politeness,  courtesy and civility. Here is the basic gist of the thread: a woman who describes herself as  being ‘into’ food was with her in-laws at a restaurant, and she refused to eat anything because nothing appealed to her.  This upset her mother-in-law, and presumably the whole dinner table.  What follows is a huge response to an amazing tangle of emotions. Seems that eating together brings with it an entire host of emotional and cultural baggage, which makes me wonder about people who don’t eat together. In my opinion, the give and take that is required to dine together is a force for good, civilized living. This is one of my bandwagon, cornerstone, push button issues, eating together and sharing a moment is very, very important. And yes, it is civilizing.
I don’t to want to ‘dis The Media as the root of all evil, but when Fox news anchor O’Reilly accuses me of being a snob because I’d like more coverage of Iraq instead of Anna Nicole Smith’s burial, I say it’s time to lower the shades, turn off The MediaThanksgiving
, and retreat to the relative sanity and civility of a martini and dinner with friends.

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