Take a dive.

Dear friends,

Every other Thursday night, we do this:

Photo by Instagram, Poprocket filter

It’s a thing we do — this eating dinner out every other Thursday. This week, we hit a local dive. Besides the decor, the food, the crowd, and the prices at this joint — the way you know it is a dive is by its name. In this case, the word “Tater” is a sure giveaway.

Here’s what we had on our table: onion rings, mashed “taters,” brown gravy, fried catfish, corn fritters, french fries, cole slaw, baked potato, pulled pork, beef brisket, and loaded nachos. (Our family of four giants can put away the dive cuisine.)

You know what I love most about our every-other-Thursday-night dinner out? The dinner conversation. I not only get my family’s full attention during the meal, there’s the pre- and post-meal drives. Some of our best conversations are in the car. Actually, some of our best conversations are about where we are going to eat. Every member of the family gets to make a recommendation, and because I’m the Queen of Thursday Night Dining, I get to pick from among the recommendations. This week, Parker prevailed.

The conversation this week was especially diverse.  We talked about tennis and people who play tennis; the dating lives of our friends; the divorce of people we know; a suspected murderer on the loose; tall tales told by friends, including one highly improbable story about a drug dealer; must-see television; top calorie counting apps; an upcoming Supercross event my family is excited to attend (where “my family” does not equal “me”); the biggest meals ever consumed by the four diners (Parker claims he once ate 8,000 calories in one sitting; Mr. Mom countered with his timeworn “I once ate six pounds of spaghetti” story); the nutritional value or lack thereof of fast food; the odd new behavior of one of our canines; comments on yesterday’s post about my adjective-filled day; and probably some other stuff I’ve already forgotten.

I dined, I conversed, I laughed so hard I snorted, I was flabbergasted, I prodded, I encouraged, I joked, I burped, I might have elbowed somebody, and I ate half of Mr. Mom’s corn fritters. In other words, it was a typical night out for our family, just the way I love it.

With gratitude {for family members who always give me bites of their dinners whenever I ask},

Joan, who never has buyer’s remorse on her dinner choice because she raised her kids to share



  1. Sharing food orders is a great trait to encourage, especially in the face of the great unwritten rule of restaurant ordering: Everyone Must Order Something Different. Which raises a question – does that rule apply to dives and/or drive ins?

    We typically get dive food on Thursdays (it replaced Friday Pizza Night from when our kids were little and hosting sleepovers) but do so take-out style thereby enjoying our ‘tater variants in the privacy of our own home. I still get in-the-car/on-the-drive conversational opportunities plus the bathrooms are (usually) cleaner. And honestly, as much as I love the talk time – the part I like the most is knowing I have that one meal handled without any real planning/shopping/cooking or cleaning up after. That meal in my pocket is like a little life raft between food shopping trips some weeks.

  2. The unwritten rule of restaurant ordering ALWAYS applies in my family. Last night, as soon as Mr. Mom said he was ordering catfish, I exclaimed “But I was going to order the catfish!” He smiled and said “I bet they have more than one.” So, of course, I ordered the brisket and ate part of his.

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