This I Believe

Indira - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

New Year’s Eve dinner. This is the one time of the year when our family comes together in one place and shares a meal. Other than filling our stomachs, the meal functions as a bonding experience.

I have a cousin. She is the epitome of perfection. Gorgeous, athletic, outgoing, and an Ivy League Alumni. I, obviously, have always been jealous of her. A few years ago during New Year’s Eve dinner, I was seated next to her. Between the “Can you pass the salt please.” and “Is there any more chicken left?” we bonded over a thirty minute time period. I had always perceived her as a snobby and haughty individual. Talking to her made me realize how wrong I had been. The significance of this experience wasn’t lost on me.

I believe in the power of food. In some way or another, food has always helps me relax, bond and connect with people.

In an age where parents and siblings have a million different things to do, sharing a meal is as uncommon as the Red Sox winning the World Series. Bonding with family is just as important as bonding with a date. What better way is there, than over a shared meal. The enticing aroma of roasted chicken will surely help bring family together around a table. While eating, people calm down, and relax. They start talking about little things in their life. Bonding occurs.

The holiday season is a prime example of the power of food in bringing families closer. Thanksgiving is more about food and family than remembering the pilgrims. My family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but we do celebrate New Year’s Eve. When my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother are in the kitchen preparing food, I can always hear them joking amongst them.

My grandfather, usually, is an extremely quiet and private man. When; however, he is sitting around a table with a bowl of cashews, he will share stories and experiences.

I had fifth period lunch last year. After four periods of non stop tests, quizzes and lectures, I had always been mentally exhausted, stressed, bored, hungry, and ready for a break. Regardless of the number of tests and quizzes I had taken, or how bad my day had been, the sight of chicken tenders and fries and my friends never failed to put a smile on my face.

Even now, nothing works quite as well at cheering me up as eating Ben and Jerry’s mint chocolate chip ice cream on days where I’m awake till two in the morning. Food helps us bond.

Food helps us connect.

Food helps us relax.

My father always says, “The way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach.” I put my own twist on this old adage and say, “The way to a man’s heart and soul, is through his stomach.