Today’s lesson from the past comes from 1950. Harry Truman was in the White House, UN peacekeepers were in Korea, and Gloria Swanson was killing William Holden on Sunset Boulevard. Meanwhile, the American family was apparently built upon a foundation of repression, conformity, and good table manners.
Or, at least, that’s the impression that one gets from watching A Date With Your Family.
A Date With Your Family is a 10 minutes education film that was apparently meant to encourage families to eat more and talk less. Not only does this film explain the importance of the family dinner but it also makes several other relevent points. For example:
1) “Pleasant, unemotional discussion helps digestion.”
2) “With your own family, you can relax. Be yourself. Just make sure it’s your best self.”
3) “These boys greet their Dad as though they were genuinely glad to see him, as though they really missed him”
This film also explains the importance of looking “pleasant” for your husband when he gets home from a hard day at the office, of not spending too much time on the phone, and of not talking about anything that might upset the family’s patriarchal unit.
Personally, my favorite moment is when “Daughter” won’t stop talking at the dinner table and the rest of her family gives her the exact same look that my older sisters always used to give me.