Orbiting The Nigerian Family Dinner Table
By. Marian Yesufu
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a natural satellite around a planet.
As a First Generation Nigerian American Comedian, I am lucky to have a massed a lifetime of comedic material centered around eating with my Nigerian family.
If these stories don't get me on Conan; they can at least serve as a tool or cautionary tale of how to navigate around the dinner table when you're eating with my family.
It was the night before thanksgiving and we succesfully all as a unit made it to las vegas the night before thanksgiving. If we as adult children are the little dipper. Then Vegas at Mr.D's aka big pops, aka dad aka man who raised 6 children of his own and 11 of his sibilings is the big jolly dipper.
Dinner at my home is always orions belt. Filled with constellations, stars, dibris and so much more. My stories being the dibris and my familys laughter being the belt keeping us aligned and healing from lifes problems. I was discussing how I a female was some how stuck with paying child support to my sons father. It's been a year and it has turned me into a bitter middle aged man.
This is how I know their is a god, because prior to paying child support, I was a feminist flag waving, man hating chick. Now I'm just a middle aged man with a vagina. I'm not sure which one is worse. I do know that these truths keep my family laughing and me healing because lord knows I can't afford a therapist. So food and my family around food have become my therapist. They are just 100 more times more brutally honest.
When used as a noun, orbit is the curved path of a celestial object or spacecraft around a star, planet, or moon, especially a periodic elliptical revolution. If you are a vegan and you are planning to eat at my home, just choose to bring your own food, your own pot. Hell, your own breathing aparatus.
Meat dna are in the walls. Meat is such a mandatory piece of the meal puzzle. If meat is the sun, then uv rays are our stomachs. I don't think we even adhere to the food pyramid servings per day suggestions in my household. It's more like 75% meat 25% everything else.
Orbit is also a a sphere of activity, interest, or application. Food is my families orbit. It's what brings my family together. With a bowl of pepper soup, Jollof Rice, plantains aka dodo and fried goat, we commence and have an out of orbit fantastical meal together. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Reposted and initially written for Esoterica Magazine