Things Heard Around a Southern Table

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Every time I would get exasperated with my boys, I’d find myself sounding like someone very familiar.

As kids, my brother and I were always outside building forts, riding go-karts, or playing kick-the-can with the neighborhood kids. We would come home with red clay on our shoes, which was sure to stir up a comment or two from Mama. Cue the: “I’ve just about had it” tone in her voice. Some others that immediately come to mind:

“Do not bring that inside.”
“Y'all are trackin’ mud all through the house!”
“I just mopped the floor!”
“You better pray it comes out of the carpet!”
“We can’t ever have anything nice.”

Any of these sound familiar?

Living in a small town, we didn’t have a drive-thru so we had our own “meat 'n' three” every night at the kitchen table. Mealtime provided that opportunity to hold us captive so our parents could impart their wisdom on a myriad of topics like table manners, vocabulary lessons, or bribing my very picky brother to eat something other than lettuce with Roquefort dressing or fries dipped in ketchup. At least one or three of the following comments could be heard every evening:

“I won't tell you again to take that hat off the table.”
“How many times do I have to tell you? Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
“The phone is ringing off the hook.”
“Who in the world keeps calling?”
“Just take one bite.”
“You’re not getting up until you try it.”
“OK, you can just sit there all night.”
“Did you feed that to the dog?”

Yep, I have found myself repeating these lines over the years–except now it’s more like:

Domino’s is at the door.”
“Can you please stop texting for one second?”
“The dog is eating grain free, don’t give him that crust.”

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