The Arabs, I believe, still hold an old custom close to their hearts; that being the sharing of bread and salt with someone whom you trust deeply and sincerely.
Yes, I'm thinking of food. Again.
You see, I feel much the same way--for me and my family the sharing of a meal is not something done lightly. Our time together at the table or over food is a time to be enjoyed, a time to let your guard down and share your thoughts. And don't get me wrong, it's not always deep discussions around the Irrelephant Family table, opportunities like that are actually pretty rare, but food shared at any time, at any place is a meal, and meals are a sacred time. So it makes sense that you would only allow friends to share food with you. See? Logic.
What brought this on for me is this tendency I have to make sure that people I care a great deal for have food. Not in the sense of canned food drives and Red Cross MREs, but in the sense of bringing food to Vulgar Wizard at work when she's got nothing but some dry, miniscule-portioned flash-frozen Lean Cuisine or something equally narsty for breaktime, or spending most of my indentured servitude to the Giraffe King making sure that my syster had a sandwich for lunch because she never remembered to make anything for herself and was labouring under the mistaken belief that she could subsist on Pepsi alone; not only unhealthy but also not suitable fuel for getting you through a 14 hour day.
So I was thinking about food this afternoon because the boss thoughtfully bought us Chinese food for an early Secretary's Day (I know, I'll gripe about the term "secretary" later) and I had a lot of fun sitting there making potty jokes with the coworkers, thinking to myself how one has to adapt sometimes, how even sometimes strongly held views have to be adapted just a bit. I mean, honestly, is Chinese food eaten out of styrofoam really considered a meal? And who was I to turn down a gift freely given?
It's tough to have deeply rooted convictions and rituals when food gets involved.