As Times writer Amy Chozick explains, "For some, a new social milieu means adopting a vegan diet or giving up carbohydrates, while others, like my brother-in-law, drink only Blue Bottle coffee made in a handblown Chemex coffee maker." This does not, however, mean that your parents, who are just trying to be nice and make the fucking mashed potatoes you used to love so much, need to be subjected to it.
"Food is physical, psychological, and emotional," one sociologist explained. "There's almost nothing like it as both a connector and a divider." And haven't your parents had enough? In an unexpected comeback interview, parent and famed Olive Garden reviewer Marilyn Haggerty explains that back in the day, food was just "part of the day's routine. We had to eat. It was nothing we'd all stand around and savor."
So maybe let's just leave our parents and grandparents alone, and not be snotty ingrates on this one. And anyway, aren't visits to your parents supposed to be the time to suspend all aspects of your normal adult routine, drowning your coffee in French Vanilla Coffee Mate and your emotions in diet cheese?
If not, maybe you're determined to be different. Maybe you're painstaking with whatever you put in your offspring's mouths, thinking, "Oh, I'm breaking the cycle, my kids are gonna grow up loving the fanciest, most locally sourced shit, and then when they're adults we can all bond over this nice wholesome activity." Nope. According to one family therapist, “An adult child can go to one extreme and become an epicure, or say, ‘I want peanut butter and jelly every day.'" With family, there is no way to win. Happy holidays!
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.