Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food Communicates Love

Or at least it does in an Italian family. If you aspire to anorexia, stop here, read no further; this bit of insight won’t help you. But, if you are willing to put on a few pounds yourself, feed your clients or your friends, then join me in discussing the standard communiqué of “what do you want to eat?”

The question about food in my home, my parents’ home, my grandparents’ home and likely their parents’ home is never “are you hungry” or “would you like something to eat.” It is simply “what do you want” or if you were unfamiliar with the offerings of the day, the food might just appear in front of you. Presenting people in your home with offerings of food and drink make a variety of statements.

  • Don’t leave. It says stay awhile. Even if you do not accept the offering, the message is clear to you that you are welcome.

  • We enjoy company. Unless you have a butler, the flurry that accompanies providing delicacies from the kitchen generates conversation, smiles and stories. It says “come on in, we are happy you are here.”

  • You are special. This is true even if you know that everyone gets the same treatment.

  • 'Be comfortable. Picking or sipping gives a guest something to do while everyone settles in.

There really is nothing worse than sitting or standing in someone’s home for any longer than 20 minutes without the gift of love being put forth. Even in my office, our talented and generous Diane, serves up homemade banana bread, bowls of buttery popcorn and sodas all around…whether anyone asks for them or not. Because, it is not about whether your guest wants or needs bread and water, it is about you sending a message.

So dish it up. All in the name of communication excellence. And of course love.

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