The supper vs. dinner debate is officially the leading cause of divorce.
This was an ongoing family joke between my immediate family, Devon and myself when we were married. The first time Devon visited my family in Iowa before we were married, he was mystified that Mom would holler, “Time for supper!” (I even remember her yelling that phrase in her Mommy Voice when we were little so we could hear her blocks away after Dad rang the giant bell telling us it was time to run home.)
The hysterical argument that occurred at the dining room table that first time between my parents and Devon was one of my fonder memories. Devon couldn’t justify using the word supper to save his life and my parents were incensed. For some reason, it became this bonding moment between himself and Mom and Dad. Devon would use the term supper at random times during our marriage and it always made us laugh.
I thought about this grammar debate after looking at the pictures from our family dinner a few nights ago at Devon and Felipe’s. So I decided to look up this major controversial verbiage.
According to my exhaustive search, supper is “a name for the evening meal in some dialects of English. While often used interchangeably with dinner today, supper was traditionally a separate meal.” Dinner used to be considered the main meal of the day, which until the 18th century, was during the midday. Once the main meal switched to the evening meal, dinner became the operative word for the third meal. It went on to explain the ridiculous root words and history, which is unimportant to everyone except the author and picky grammar snobs.
Blah, blah, blah.
Wikipedia is best known for its accuracy. Don’t ever accuse me of being lazy with my research.
Ultimately, I liken using the two terms to how people in the Midwest use pop instead of soda. Wikipedia explained it as a regional thing, with dinner being used in the Midwest as the biggest and most important meal of the day. Therefore, when Grandma was making her roast, potatoes and carrots meal every Sunday for dinner, we had to clarify what time it was going to occur. Normal evening meals were always called supper unless some big fanfare was involved. In the West, it is assumed that dinner always occurs during the evening meal, whether you’re eating a Stouffer’s meal in front of the T.V. by yourself or are serving a 15-course meal to several friends.
Family dinner these days, barring my time spent in Iowa a few weeks ago with my immediate family, is not traditional. Not by a long stretch.
In fact, for most people, it would be considered down right uncomfortable.
Picture the following: three perfect, blonde Aryan children, one MILF, one handsome, dark haired daddy and an adorable, good-looking Mexican dude, all considered one big, happy family. Rainbow-style.
Felipe, Devon’s partner, is an amazing and adventurous cook. Most people think that gay guys are good cooks, drama queen foodies, and better than Martha Stewart when it comes to entertaining.
They’re right. In fact, since family dinner the other night, I’m now convinced that Devon broke up with me because of my lack of cooking skills. How can I compete with Felipe? He’s a complete package for Devon.
The ultimate point of this post is the following:
1) I get to enjoy some amazing food with great entertainment because of our amicable divorce. I also don’t have to clean up after I eat because of the OCD/Devon factor.
2) I can look back on menial yet amazing little memories of Devon with fondness and not sadness, like the supper vs. dinner debate, all because of our amicable divorce.
3) My kids get to enjoy all parties involved in our new life under the same roof, build new memories and (hopefully) become well adjusted and happy adults, all because of how Devon and I have handled our divorce amicably.
4) Gay guys really can cook and entertain better than any heterosexual female and mother who ever existed. June Clever is a schmuck compared to gay guys in the kitchen.
Our circumstance is certainly unique and likely different from your own. But the new norm being established because of your divorce doesn’t have to be utterly antithetical to what you used to have. We hope that you can get to a place where your amicable divorce allows you and your kids, including any possible new significant others, to have supper memories around the table with your kids.
Or you can call it dinner. Who really gives a shit?