The Raven Lunatic

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Bernadine Spitzsnogel

Bernadine Spitzsnogel
December 01
All material on "The Raven Lunatic" blog is copyrighted by the author. Author of "The Luxury of Daydreams"--available on amazon and all major book sites.


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DECEMBER 28, 2010 8:57AM

Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty

Rate: 34 Flag

We need two large tables for Herman's family at Christmas.  One for the adults and one for the kids.  That definition of who sits at what table is changing.  Our niece and nephew, age 26 and 29, chose to eat in the basement with the kids this year.

Why?  Because they are more fun, they said.

For nearly fifty years members of this family have gathered on Christmas day at my Herman's oldest brother's house.  He was  a pre-schooler when his  brother (who is 17 years older) and his wife had their first child. 

Herman has had Christmas dinner at this same table for many holidays over the past five decades.  Where his grandparents sat at the adult table, now we Baby Boomers occupy the oak chairs.   I've only been coming to this family gathering for about twenty-six years, so I only have half the history.

Herman, the youngest son, only moved up to the adult table when he married me.   Now we are the youngest of the older generation.  His mother passed away in January, now his brother nearing seventy, is the family elder. 

 His grandsons represent the younger generation.  The youngest is Jon who speaks his mind.  At a recent family outing someone said something to Jon about his high school graduation.  Jon said, "What does it matter?  You'll all be dead."

He is eight.  On the day he came home from kindergarten his mother asked him how it was.  Jon said, "It sucked."

That is the result of having two older brothers close in age.  He always keeps the conversation lively.

On Christmas the younger generation stayed in the basement most of the day playing Catch Phrase and Smart Ass.  This is a game-playing family.  Before electronic games, it was dominoes.  After  the dishes are washed, the desserts are put away, the present exchange is over, then it is game time.

I asked my son why he preferred to stay downstairs with his cousins.  He said, "Well, when I came upstairs Aunt Pat was having a cashew-tasting contest."  He doesn't think that is exciting.  The big, plump cashews from Anna Lynn's in Kentucky won, just in case you were interested.  Nobody liked the fresh roasted one. 

I'm sorry he feels this way because he missed the stimulating, engaging discussion after dinner, Miracle Whip versus mayonnaise.  I can't understand why he finds this boring.  We were so overwrought by this discussion that we all fell asleep in our chairs, visions of sugarplums and Sugar Cream pies dancing in our dreams.

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Oh yes, how hard we try not to drift into the next generation. Especially if it is the last of that generation. I say we should all play "Smart Ass" for as long as possible (even-though I don't know the game). The title alone gives it a feeling of staying young, or at least staying with the young.
Yes, different perspectives. Right before I read this, I was arguing with my 19-yr-old daughter about a TV ad for "pajama jeans." She was disgusted by the concept, whereas my wife and I were saying, "Hey, I'd try a pair of those!" Now pass the cashews.
Imagine the reverse hell, you being down in the basement playing Smart Ass and Catch Phrase, whatever in god's name those are. Not Trivial Pursuit, that's for sure. You'd cream their sorry Smart Ass butts at that. What was the name of Richard Nixon's dog? Answer that young whippersnapper!
I was a firm believer in "Never Trust Anyone Over Thirty". Haven't trusted myself for forty years now.....

The kids table is usually more fun at our house as well, but it's the adult table where the occasional priceless pearls of wisdom fall from the lips of the elders. I wouldn't want to miss those now. Great essay, Amy. R
As our little family expands, courtesy of our prolific daughter and her husband (2 kids in 3 years - WOW!), we find our little 100 year old wobbly oak clawfoot table getting smaller. We actually THOUGHT about putting out a kids' table. In the end, we passed babies around. It was cramped but probably more fun. Great post!
Oh amybea.. this made me smile. The childrens table.. Then being able to be at the big table.
the son.. tha mayonaise..
Miracle whip for me..
Rated with hugs
Ah, I fondly remember the proverbial kids table......what a slice of the past you have presented here! Great party and love the fact that you play games, we didn't do that. I miss all of that, but our traditions were not strong enough to keep the family together after the deaths of our parents. Too bad too, it was a very fun way to grow up.
Wonderful post. I used to long to be at the Big Peoples' Table and when I got there I longed to be at the Kid's Table.
rated with love
Ha! I sooo relate. To the old part, that is. I am trying to keep the old people stuff at bay for as long as possible. Okay, I'll taste one of those cashews too.~r
We make the kids eat outside with the cats. Everyone has more fun then, including the cats.
no offense, but i'd avoid the cashew contest, too. may i please be excused? (when was the last time you heard a kid say that before getting up from the table? whoa. it just totally clicked in my head.) very funny piece, amy. back to your nap. ;
I hate having to sit in the "big people's chairs." Having adult conversations about war, the economy etc., doesn't hold a candle to who is cool and who isn't, or anything that is it adult oriented. I want to be a kid again, just one more time and I would get it right this time!
Does this mean that I should no longer trust myself?
Hmm, there are times when that might not be such a bad
yes. Wayy happy about your ep. Grateful anytime conversations do NOT shift to tales of bodily functions/non or mal functions. No kids tables yet...decidedly quiet, yet perhaps in 5 years there will be babies to pass around as others have noted here. Fun, funny truisms...half my cousins were nitwits-I couldn't wait to 'step up" to the adult table! Thanks Amy!!! rated
I was there when Jerry Rubin said, "Never trust anyone over 30" or so people think.

What he actually said was, "Don't trust anyone over three!"
I was thinking about the generational role shifts as I drove home from my sister's place on Christmas night. How did I become the "old Great Aunt" at the table so fast? But it's kind of fun to be treated with kid gloves, for a change. :-) BTW, Miracle Whip rules. I hate mayo.

Sounds like he's got his priorities straight.
Rated with a smile
Love this, Amy....joining the fun bunch who passes out by 10 pm kind of sneaks up on us, doesn't it? Go kids!
this is too familiar. {{r}} Congrats on the EP!
remembrance...i liked the kids table because, living in a large urban area, sitting on a phone book was the only way i could see my plate. i like that so much that i plopped my ass on it every year until the table undulated if i moved my legs.
A cashew-tasting contest? That's kind of nutty isn't it?
Nice perspectives from both sides, Amy. ♥
as long as I had an alcoholic beverage, I would have been so into the cashew contest but Miracle Whip? YUCK!
I think that they'll always keep me at the kids table and I'm 34 now!
miracle whip or mayo?

I burst out laughing!

Having a family and all of them gathering together, such a wonderful thing.
I only hope I never use the word "whippersnapper." If we haven't crossed that line, I think we're okay!
Childrens' table and Miracle Whip (she whispered). I still get bored by adult conversation from time to time..........
Is Smart Ass similar to Bull Shit?

(uh, Miracle Whip)
This sounds so great and warm - and I wish I'd had that smart aleck Jon at our Christmas dinner table this year! I'm glad you had fun, and that your son didn't have to go through the cashew tasting! R!
30 was traumatic. As one of the orignal East Village Flower Children (doe's anyone remember the Electric Circus on St Marks Pl?). Everyone over 30 was a narc....Long hair,bell bottoms,granny glasses, Beatle boots in winter sandels in summer and oh those paisley shirts....