Christina Dalcher

Why I Won’t Be Saying Grace at Your Dinner Party

I could tell you the raffia-embellished place cards you picked up at Pottery Barn are an exact color match for the cardboard boxes that pass for homes on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa. But this would lead to which Honduran island has the best dive spots, just like the other time. I might, if I wanted, show you pictures from my last trip to India. That’s where your paisley napkins were made, right? But you haven’t been there; you haven’t seen naked children squatting and shitting in a mud trench one block from the American Embassy in New Delhi. Besides, you’d bring up that story about your kids and how they snapped one selfie after another in front of the Taj Mahal until they got it exactly right. Or, we could talk about abortion, although I’d really prefer not to go there. It wouldn’t be polite to ask when you last filed an adoption application. Not while your guests are waiting for that lovely shrimp bisque. So I’ll sit here, sip some organic wine, watch you bow your head in prayer, and wonder if maybe you bow because it’s easier than looking the world in the eye.


Christina Dalcher is a theoretical linguist from the Land of Styron and Barbecue, where she writes, teaches, and channels Shirley Jackson. She is the sole matriculant in the Read Every Word by Stephen King MFA program (which she invented). Find her work in The Airgonaut, The Nottingham Review, and New South Journal, among others. Find Christina at, @CVDalcher, or sitting quietly at a dinner table while everyone else says grace.

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