I Can Eat and Read at the Same Time

August 17, 2012
By Anonymous

So my family dinners aren’t the most conventional. We usually eat at separate times. When we do eat together, it’s usually in silence. However, the silence is a product of hunger, not of avoiding conversation. Honestly, I still don’t understand why such an individual dining experience is called a family dinner. Family dinner sounds nicer, I guess. But that’s beside the point. What bothers me is that my parents are always on my case about me multitasking at this solo-dinner. Who says I can’t read my Kindle and devour rice? Why am I guilty of sending a funny text while I sip my water? It doesn’t make sense to me.

My family doesn’t consider this multitasking disrespectful to them – they consider it disrespectful to my body. Apparently, my body needs to be at peace while my stomach is digesting the remnants of my dinner. Biologically speaking, how does reading a book disengage my stomach from digesting? How does rapidly hitting the little keys on my phone disturb the slow churning of acid within? It doesn’t. Well, maybe it does. Maybe our central powerhouse, the brain, links all these little actions together from one end of our bodies to another end. Just maybe. However, the interactions between eyes, brain, and stomach, or hands, brain, and stomach seem so minuet, so minor. My parent’s logic has brought me to question all these little myths that have been told to scare children and teens alike.

My parents probably conformed to some of the most ridiculous myths invented. You can’t wash your hair if you haven’t reached your appropriate time of womanhood. If you have a fever, you must bathe yourself in the urine of friends and family. Do you see the logic here? Well, there isn’t any. These myths mock the usefulness of science. That’s why I have such a tough time believing them. But for some reason, I believed in them when I was a child.

The child’s mind is so pure, so untainted by outside influence, untouched by the scientific world. That’s why it can believe so much and doubt so little. At the age of five, we don’t question whether reading and eating will result in constipation or diarrhea. We just don’t question enough at a young age, and this is probably one of humanity’s greatest shortcomings. We succumb to believing pure ridiculousness at our most vulnerable ages, only to feel frustrated and idiotic once we reach an age where our minds can digest ridiculousness, spit out lies, and synthesize truth.

This is why I become so frustrated when I am told to eat without my book in hand. This is why I become so infuriated when I am told to save texting for after dinner. This is why I shake my head when the older generations develop stories to try and frighten our young minds. This is why I wrote this: to oust the urban myths and replace them with scientific logic.

The author's comments:
My parents told me to put my phone away while I was eating dinner. It made me mad. They told me to write an essay about my feelings.

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