Re: Subject: Common meals - mandatory participation?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2014 07:16:46 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 3, 2014, at 10:00 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> 

> But after move-in the roles reversed. The uninterested became inactive and 
> the reluctant more active.

Well, that was rather incoherent.  "The reluctant became active and the active 

On Aug 3, 2014, at 9:24 AM, Liz Ryan Cole <lizryancole [at]> wrote:

> That means we'll have older (and otherwise fragile) members who will need to 
> be able to count on meals at least once a day.

As I age, I find that the community is not tolerant of the needs of those over 
80 who can't tolerate cold or hot rooms or hear with lots of noise from yelling 
children. Or even relatively quiet children in meetings. They lose the ability 
to sort out background sounds. 

> Second, based on some member's (this includes me) experiences in collective 
> houses when our own children were younger, we think the opportunity to have 
> "civilized" dinner conversation

How do you decide what is civilized? And who keeps it from sinking to problems 
with teenagers and recipes. 

I would love good conversation. At a holiday brunch, a Federal Holiday, a group 
of us found ourselves discussing what we would normally be discussing at work. 
It ranged from tax policy to paleontology to democracy to micro loans in 
Africa. After work, everyone seems to want to chill out and do what comes 

It rarely happens that children and adults are involved in the same 
conversation, which used to be the focus of family meals. We started a game 
night that was reasonably successful at mixing adults and children.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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