Thanks, This Dinner's For You

"Say thank you more often, every day, even if you don't say it out loud. Think it."

These are the words of the all-knowing Laura, an amazing holistic therapist whom I had the pleasure of meeting in January, when I stretched out on her massage table in Costa Rica.

At first, I was surprised by this notion. Who, me? I say thank you all the time! Doesn't everyone say thank you to the driver upon exiting a bus, when a flight attendant offers a blanket or when the supermarket cashier hands you your change and receipt?

But what Laura was getting at was something deeper, the metaphysical medium that she is. She was right: I had the whole "thank you" courtesy thing down pat, but a daily practice of giving thanks? Not so much.

Seven months since our little chat, Laura's words have stayed right with me on the front burner. In this country, expression of one's gratitude for gratitude's sake, is limited to one day of the year, the last Thursday in November when cranberries are jiggling on the table. What's up with that? Why is it so hard to thank ourselves for having lived another day or to thank the people we love for all that they do?

If you're thinking I'm proposing that we should all get some religion, that's not my point. Not at all.

Instead, I'm proposing that we stop a little more often than we do in our Blackberry-paced lives and smell the peaches. Bite into a cherry, close your eyes and taste it. Really really taste it as if it were the very first time. I'm proposing that we take just 60 seconds every day to express our gratitude for some one or some thing that makes our lives more interesting, more delicious or more beautiful. And I'm thinking, let's start tonight -- by dedicating dinner to someone who really rocks your world.

To get this party started, I'll dish up my platter of thanks: to my main squeeze, Mister Mighty Appetite, who's now living on the other side of the country. In the days leading up to his departure, I'll be honest: I couldn't wait to get him out of my hair. Now I'd give anything to slurp coffee with him and look at the birds in the backyard, to chop side by side in our teeny little kitchen where we're always bumping into each other, to eat off each other's plates.

Who will you give a shout-out to at dinner tonight?

Today is chat day; join me at noon ET for What's Cooking.

As of this morning, we have 46 households signed up for the Eat Local Challenge! I'd love to get four more households to make a total of 50; send me an e-mail by 1 p.m. today and I'll include you on the Eat Local Challenge Honor Roll.

By Kim ODonnel |  July 15, 2008; 9:28 AM ET Kitchen Musings
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What a nice gesture! I'll have to give my shout-out tomorrow night since the hubby and I will be dining out this evening! Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by: Southern Gal | July 15, 2008 11:35 AM

Just e-mailed you to sign up. Thanks!

Posted by: Kat with a K | July 15, 2008 11:57 AM

To my good male friend - not boyfriend, so it's even bigger of him - who has *volunteered* to pick me up and take care of me after a yucky medical procedure tomorrow. Thanks, R!

Posted by: Reine de Saba | July 15, 2008 1:43 PM

My father, of blessed memory, never once in my memory got up from the dinner table without thanking my mother (or me, once I started cooking for the family) for dinner. And that was in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, when housewifery was the expected thing, even for women like my mom (a teacher) who worked outside the home as well as in it! What a good example Daddy set for my brother and me!

Posted by: Mel | July 15, 2008 1:58 PM

I'm a manager who leads a small but excellent team. I always make time to thank every one of my staffers for their hard work, even if it's on a small task. It makes such a difference at work when people thank you for small things as well as big ones. Great post!

Posted by: Amber | July 15, 2008 3:38 PM

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