The happiness glass fills when we spend time with people we love. It’s startling and appalling to me how many friends I adore, but almost never see. When we do get together we can pick up right where we left off, laughing as well as diving into the deepest topics, yet we don’t make time to see each other very often. That’s just wrong. (I’ll keep myself from using the newest curse word although it applies here.)
Years ago we spontaneously invited friends over for dinner all the time. We hosted wildly silly kid events like BYOB parties (bring your own box) and pig pen parties. But lassitude set in after years of constant financial strain and the sadness of dealing with our parents’ last years. Lately I’ve been fighting back.
At the start of 2013 I decided to commit to a series of events at our house. I named them Odd Second Saturday Suppers. Last January I sent emails to a few friends who live nearby inviting them to potlucks here on the second Saturday of every odd month. That meant we committed in advance to hosting parties in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Because they were planned well in advance, I bypassed the vague “Oh we really should get together” intentions that are unlikely to happen. Here’s the invite:
Odd* Second Saturday Suppers
We’re starting a new tradition.
We are inviting friends to a regular gathering at our home for food, conversation, and simple relaxation. These will take place the second Saturday on odd months.
I’ll send out reminders at the beginning of those odd months. We’ll provide an entree or two. Bring something to share if you can: beverage, appetizer, side, or dessert. Not sure about the time, I was thinking around five-ish but let’s stay flexible. Different months may offer different possibilities. You are invited to all but of course, come to the ones that best fit your schedule.**
We also welcome new friends, so feel free to bring along a guest or two.
Here are the dates:
*Odd as in quaint, funny, unusual. Also odd as in unevenly numbered months.
**If you abhor the idea or plan to be busy every one of those Saturdays let me know and I’ll spare you the reminders.
Sometimes as the date got closer we didn’t feel ready to have a houseful of guests. But when the day arrived we were eager to see everyone. Each event has been slightly different. We’ve sat out back to enjoy a bonfire, we’ve played Cards Against Humanity, I even cajoled people into playing absurd outdoor games, but mostly we’ve focused on eating and chatting. Because these are potlucks there’s minimal fuss. (Also, my husband and kids are great about hustling in advance of events to straighten the house, mow grass, and generally help prepare.)
By the last scheduled Odd Supper we weren’t sure if we’d continue. Difficulties cropped up as they do—a house needing repair, a job lost, a refrigerator that no one wanted to clean even if the Queen herself might be arriving. But really, it’s not hard at all. It’s wonderful. (I was kidding about cleaning the refrigerator, we don’t invite people who care about my semi-awful refrigerator.)
So in 2014 year we’re throwing the invite list open a little wider and asking friends from a little farther away. And they won’t all be Odd Suppers. I’m plotting that several dates will be art parties or adventures far from our little farm.
How are you fighting back against the forces that keep you from enjoying friends near and far?