After reading a book, Dinner with the Smileys, I reflected on my own experiences. In the book, a father of three boys is deployed overseas. The mother of the boys decides to invite a person for dinner once a week for a year to take dad's place at the supper table. Interesting concept and a great idea.

What does that have to do with me? Nothing really, except that I have never been invited "over for dinner" in the 18 years I've been a bachelor. I live, eat, sleep, etc. alone, day in and day out. It's no big deal, but I wonder why no neighbor or friend has ever asked me over. I'm educated. I shower. I'm fun. Yet, I'm ignored. Why?

Is it because I'm single (and they're not)? Does that make them feel uncomfortable? My pastor friend with whom I play golf has said for 7 years, "we should have you over for dinner". I say, "Great--I'd love to!" I'm still waiting. I have wonderful neighbors (country neighbors "down the road"), some of which I've known for 36 years. I've watched their house, fed their pets, cleaned their pools when they're gone. "Thanks a lot" is all I've ever received.

It just makes me wonder. Maybe it's my atheism, but I doubt it.  So much for "Hoosier Hospitality".

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Comment by Luara on July 7, 2013 at 12:16pm

I'd have you over for dinner too, if your clothes were newly laundered so they don't have animal dander on them ...

I'm only 10 hrs drive away!

Comment by Daniel W on July 7, 2013 at 9:23am

I would invite you over for dinner but it's a bit of a long drive...   :)  Still, if you are in the area, come on over! 

"Hoosier hospitality"....   Not to stereotype, but when I lived in Indiana, 5 years, over and over again, people would be friendly as hell, and once they figured out whether I was "one of them" or not, that was it.  Most often, I was not "one of them".  Common trend for Homo sapiens - us/them, tribalism.  Hoosiers are not an exception.

Interesting discussion of the word "Hoosier", via Indiana University.  "The best evidence... "Hoosier" was a term of contempt and opprobrium common in the upland South and used to denote a rustic, a bumpkin, a countryman, a roughneck, a hick or an awkward, uncouth or unskilled fellow. Although the word's derogatory meaning has faded, it can still be heard in its original sense, albeit less frequently than its cousins "Cracker" and "Redneck."

Comment by Luara on July 6, 2013 at 6:45pm

Couples who invite others to dinner usually invite other couples.

It's a horrible concept, having a social reality only as a 4-legged creature with 4 arms waving around, called a "couple".  It sounds like being half of a giant insect. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on July 6, 2013 at 1:33pm

I also think It has a lot to do with being single.  

I've been single for 70 of my 71 years and I was active in the mormon church for 50 years.  During those 50 years I was invited to dinner about 2 times by my local mormon leaders because it was their "duty".  

I'm quite certain the lack of invites was because of the discomfort the mormon families felt socializing with a single person.

 A large factor was because marriage and large families was heavily stressed in the mormon church.  Singles over the age of about 18 were not living their religion.  The “prophet” Brigham Young said something about any male over the age of (18?) that was not married was a danger to society.

I think most xtian religions have similar views.

Comment by Luara on July 6, 2013 at 9:27am

I doubt it helps to be a lean mean fuckmachine either :)

Comment by Luara on July 6, 2013 at 9:26am

So you've actually had these people to dinner and they haven't reciprocated???  That seems rather unpleasant. 

Some of my neighbors have been rather hostile to me, and I've observed also that people with children tend to socialize with other people with children, and the people without children associate with others who don't have kids. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 5, 2013 at 5:43pm

I understand your concern about why you aren't getting invitations. I don't know how others feel, but I did so much entertaining and cooking for people when my family was growing, when they left home, I went into retirement. I don't entertain at all. Rarely even for the family. My sons and daughter have taken over the ceremonial/ritual stuff. It has nothing to do with who might want an invitation, or enjoy my cooking, I just don't want to do all the work it takes to put on a decent meal. Just laziness on my part. I am a very good cook; it's not worth all the effort any more. 

Do you enjoy cooking for yourself? I make gourmet meals for myself that I enjoy a lot. At least I did until recently. Food just doesn't taste good to me at this time. I expect my appetite will return one day.  

Comment by Luara on July 5, 2013 at 5:08pm

Ask them to dinner?

Comment by Bamboo on July 5, 2013 at 11:35am

Sorry, i deleted your comments by accident. I dont mean anything by saying an old lady at 70, just very objective. But I do believe that many people are over 70 still feel young, there are also many who  are much younger, but they feel that they are old,Attitude is
very
important. Hope you dont mind, everybody will get old.

Comment by Pat on July 5, 2013 at 8:08am

Randall, I think it has more to do with being single than being an atheist. Couples who invite others to dinner usually invite other couples. I've been single - with the exception of about 5 years - for the last 12 years. When I'm dating someone, the invitations are there for the both of us. When I'm single, other than large parties, you can hear crickets chirping. It's been my experience that that lack of invitations has nothing to do with lack of belief. I'm of the opinion it has more to do with being the "3rd wheel."

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