I am old, and I am old fashioned, I have accepted that and come to terms with it.  Perhaps that is why I am so amazed at what happened just the other day.  My wife and son were grocery shopping and the boy picked up what he thought was a deck of playing cards.  He knows we play cards a lot at our house and the deck was very inexpensive.  When he got them home he looked them over and said to me “Dad, look at these cards” taking the deck from him I started turning the cards over, they were Conversation Starter Cards for Mealtime with the family.  I kid you not and here are some of the conversation starters, randomly picked by yours truly.

“If you could make a reality TV show what would it be about?  Whom would you have your cameras follow?”

“Would you rather be able to live without sleep or live without food? Why?”

“What kind of animal are you most like? Why?”

I could not believe first of all that somebody would actually make and sell these, but that someone would actually buy them and use them.  Are we that out of touch with our families nowadays that we need “cue cards” to have a conversation.  What the heck has happened to our society.  As I said I am old fashioned and as part of that old fart mentality my family eats dinner together, at the dinner table, not in front of a TV and nobody is excused from attending.  Here are some conversation starters I have for my family, and I didn’t get them from a card purchased at a grocery store.

“Son, how was school today?  How was that Language Arts Test? How are the teachers doing?”

“Sweetie, this is delicious, how was your day today? (this was when I used to be at work all day)

“Son, I read an article the other day on bullying at school.  Are you having trouble with any kids in your school, on your bus?  Are you bullying any other kids? (this one leads to a whole new area of conversation starters if answered in the affirmative).

“Guys, where do we want to go on vacation this year?”

“Son, I heard that 3 kids in your school got in trouble for having drugs with them, lets talk about that a little”

I know, I am a throwback to another era, when families all spent time together, when it was not “uncool” to have your parents interested in what you were doing, who your friends are, how you are doing at school.  I want my wife and son to know that I care about them and I am interested in their lives.  I want to make sure my son is doing ok in school, I don’t expect all A’s just effort and good behavior.  I want to make sure that he is ok on the bus and that he is not being hassled by some of the out of control kids that run loose nowadays.  I want to also make sure that he is behaving himself and not doing anything to upset other kids or teachers either.  Have we really sunk that low that we need a deck of 99 cent playing cards to give us reason to talk to each other?  We are not three people who have just met at a restaurant, we are a family and we better know more about each other than what kind of animal we each would like to be.

Please tell me I am not alone on this one.

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