When I was in Ukraine visiting my dad’s family in 1992, the women never sat at the dinner table once. They spent all the time in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning up, preparing. The men sat at the table, like it was their rightful space. It was a natural phenomenon for prepared meals to appear before them, and for dirty plates to be whisked away. They did not seam to miss the women’s presence at the table. But I did.
The 3 days I was there, I asked my second cousins over and over to join us, coaxing, pleading … but they didn’t budge. They shied away from the table, as if it was an altar that they were forbidden to touch. (Being Catholic, this unfortunately is also the case.)
They were small, self-effacing, afraid of stepping out of line. In fact, they were a lot like Dobbie in the Harry Potter series.
So, here’s a reminder from Sheryl Sandberg, to approach the table, and take your rightful place there. There are 2 more tips in this video, but starting with this one sounds right.