For the last couple of years, I’ve been wanting to write a book about potlucks. I think that most people in this country can be divided into two groups, potluck people and dinner party people. I am most definitely a potluck person (I also believe that the potluck people further sub-divide; hippie, church, all the different regional styles of potlucking, funerals, weddings [although my parents might be the only ones who did this one], college, park… you get the idea).
The idea for this book first came to me three years ago, at the first annual summer book club potluck. The members of this book club were the first real friends I made when I moved to Philly and that evening in August in 2002 was the first time I knew I was going to make it in this city. We read Jennifer Weiner’s Good in Bed for that night, drank tequila shots in honor of the main character, Cannie, and ate and giggled ourselves silly.
Tonight is the fourth annual book club summer potluck, except that’s there no book club anymore and no book to discuss. The only thing that remains is a collection of women (the collection has grown and shifted a bit over the years) who get together once a year on a hot night in late August to eat dinner around my grandmother’s table, discuss their lives, their loves, their passions and their futures. Since that first dinner, some of us have gotten married, had babies, found love and lost it, changed jobs, moved cities and states, altered hair color and discovered new paths. In the face of all these changes, one thing has remained constant, and that is the joy we find in coming together to share food, thoughts and laughter.
Tonight will be one of the good nights in life.