“In Alabama,” said my father-in-law. “Everybody had Sunday lunches, especially in Brewton. It’s how things were done. We all gathered at Mother and Daddy’s for a big Sunday meal.”
Jim stood behind the pot of oyster stew, stirring to keep the butter and milk from burning. I stood watching him, wearing a look on my face I refer to as my lazy-but-poised look.
“I don’t think anyone has after-church lunches anymore,” Jim said. “They’re gone. A thing of the past. Young folks have quit such things.”
“Well what do people do then?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but they sure as hell don’t go home and cook. I reckon, after church, they go home, lay down, and watch FOX News.”
“But Jim, you watch FOX News.”
“You’re missing the point.” Jim cleared his throat and assumed his preaching-voice. “People in big towns go to big churches, they go to big Walmarts, they send big text-messages.” He pointed at my phone. “I don’t even know what a text is.”
I silently thanked the Lord for that.
“Shoot,” he said. “Doctors don’t even come to anyone’s houses anymore. We’ve gotten so big, you and I are nothing but numbers, nowadays.”
“What’s that have to do with anything?”
“It has everything to do with everything. Because, nobody eats together anymore. Nobody cooks big Sunday meals – with gravy. We’ve gotten too big. People don’t visit after church. They don’t visit at all.”
“But Jim,” I said. “You cook every Sunday, and we’re always here.”
“I’m not talking about you.” He scoffed. “You’re just a lazy-ass looking for free food.”