In our empty nest, dinner time was a free for all. Jimmy and I behaved exactly the opposite of the good manners we stressed to our growing kids. We talked with our mouths full, interrupted each other and often didn't bother to use a fork. No more need to set a phony good example.
I've noticed that eating alone frequently turns civilized people into grunting pigs. I have a leg up here. My table manners can't get any worse. It's kind of interesting in a disgusting way, but in a restaurant you can tell who lives alone by the way they 'forget' soup is to be eaten with a spoon and cherry tomatoes are not supposed to be picked out of a salad and flicked into the bread basket to score two points.
Eating alone sucks. My cooking sucks and I miss Jimmy's sarcastic comments. We used to say we were just like our favorite cartoon, The Lockhorns. Leroy, the husband would wisecrack about his wife's cooking, "If I say I like this, Loretta will you promise not to make it again?"
He also made fun of her hair (check) and her out of control shopping habits. (check) She countered with his laziness, his love affair with laying on the couch, "Leroy could stand to lose a few pounds, but he rarely stands." At a party, Leroy was rested and ready to flirt with all the busty, sexy women. (check)
Each morning at breakfast right after Jimmy dropped butter on his shirt, went upstairs to change and came down again I would read him The Lockhorns to give him material for later on at dinner.
I just started reading it again. I may have to stop. I miss my Leroy.