Friday, September 19, 2008
I Say Lunch, You Say Dinner
I got caught in the great Dakota trick they play on outsiders again this trip 'back home'. My sister said she was making dinner the next day and I assumed that meant the nightime meal and that I could slink away in the morning right after my shower after sleeping in. But since she was really making lunch and it would have been rude to leave, I ended up getting talked into staying longer and missing an afternoon appointment. Once, a friend said she was going to come visit me at my mother's house after dinner, and so we ran errands all afternoon and waited for her in the evening to no avail and when I saw her later in the week, she said she got there in the early afternoon and no one was home. I have suggested to people that we meet for dinner and been told they had to work and only later realized I was asking them to lunch not supper and they probably would have been free for supper. I don't know where the Magic Line of Dining Time Name Change lies, but in Illinois where I reside most of the time, 'lunch' is the noon meal and 'dinner' is the evening meal. In North Dakota and South Dakota where 'the relatives' and 'the in-laws' reside, 'dinner' is the noon meal and 'supper' is the evening meal and at least on farms, 'lunch' is what the farmers stop and have as a snack mid-afternoon or what people visiting in the evening have before they part company, as in "Well, I guess we best be going," followed by "Oh, stay a bit longer and have a little lunch," which means coffee and some cookies or cake or pie. If there was a sign along Interstates 90 and 94 telling me where this Magic Line of Dining Time Name Change is, I would have an easier time remembering to reset my definitions upon heading 'back home' and back home.