From the celebrated author of The Rituals of Dinner and Much Depends on Dinner comes a new collection of witty and insightful essays. In The Way We Are Margaret Visser, a self-described "anthropologist of everyday life," identifies and dissects the whos, whats, whys, and wherefores of how we live. Tapping in to our fascination with our own origins, eccentricities, and foibles, she makes ordinary objects - like restaurant menus and bathing suits - and typical habits - like showering or forgetting someone's name - yield up what they have to tell us about the way we are and how we became this way. What constitutes an initiation rite in our society? Why are we so squeamish about eating offal? What are the unsavory implications of Santa Claus? This is writing that bears Margaret Visser's distinctive, unmistakable stamp. She leaves us with a rich and fascinating portrait of ourselves and forces us to think about what exactly it means to live in the modern world.