Eating Together Isn’t Always about the Food

I got really nervous last night before the dinner party – I was lucky that I was running around getting everything ready or I would have probably had a pretty serious anxiety attack. Husband was doing his best to reassure me, but keeping moving was more helpful – Husband on his worst day is less anxious than my best day.

The roots of my worries were two things that made this dinner party different: one was that I was making all the food, not technically having a potluck. So this meant I was making a lot of food just in case anyone brought extra friends. Second was more important, which was all the other people at my dinner parties have been grad school friends – people with a ton of things in common, who were similar ages. For this party, I only invited folks I’d met around town since moving here – all acquaintances, many of whom didn’t know each other. They were all different ages, all different occupations… I didn’t know if anyone would say anything to each other.

All the other parties had some kind of fun dinner-party theme and the focus could be on the food – people did get to know each other, but they mostly talked about the tiny appetizers or the many soups. For this one, front and center was the conversation, with a few plates of enchiladas and a salad for anyone who wanted it.

As people arrived, I saw easy introductions made and got people drinks, and like magic… they all talked about dogs. Dogs! Husband and I don’t have one or want one, but everyone else at our party had dog stories to share. From there, I eventually pulled the food out of the oven and got everything situated, but we all wandered through the house in different groups, some playing foosball and some just sitting. I got to talk to everyone a little, and people who didn’t know each other well before bonded.

It was hands down my favorite dinner experience so far. I would definitely say it’s not for the faint of heart – my resolution is to save these kind of conversation-driven parties for friends I know well and try to have an activity (movie night or game night) if lots of folks are new to me. Still, I’m pretty thrilled. I did a brave thing, and while it was a small brave thing, I’ve already had two messages today from people who enjoyed themselves; it really did happen!

22 comments on “Eating Together Isn’t Always about the Food

  1. Mala Burt says:

    Congratulations! You won’t be so anxious the next time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. MrsCraft says:

    Well done for doing it! 😊So glad it went well.


  3. nekkieslife says:

    I love people when they do things with all their heart… I love dogs …If I’m part of your dinner I would love to engage and make conversation all about dogs … and while reading your blog how I wish to be the person That i used to be … I was once like you … cheers 🍻


  4. Deb says:

    You did do a brave thing! How smart of you to invite the people you met around town and get everyone to know each other better, as well as you! Not a lot of people would do that! I’m so happy for you that it turned out so well. Keep the courage soup and side of kindness coming! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ibraheem says:

    What a miss. I am suppose to be there, nice write up. I got lost somewhere a bit. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  6. vennagreen says:

    I’m so happy for you !


  7. callmetrav says:

    Conversation does make foid better. I’m happy you made it through this experience and learned a lot too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. callmetrav says:



  9. hantutetek says:

    Congratulations on a good experience! I hope this helps build closer relationships with your acquaintances. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. MissSecretKitty says:

    Thumbs up for the effort and being nice hosts to your guests. You and your husband certainly nailed it. 🙂


  11. I couldn’t agree more…when my kids are here, I always make it a point of having dinner together. It’s always about the convo. But, the dinner party…that’s a bigger challenge. Thanks for sharing this…some great thoughts!


  12. I love this idea. I have been trying to host more events and include people outside of our typical group of close friends. My next event is my daughter’s third birthday party, followed by two Christmas events for each side of our family. It is going to be hectic and wonderful! Of course, I’m weird and enjoy the hectic rush just before everyone arrives and then watching everything go relatively smoothly!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fellowship around the table of food is so necessary for healthy living.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I hate the anxiety that goes with putting on a great party. Cool you got pass that and ended up with something very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This was a lovely idea and just think of the new friendships you have helped along. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. […] It was a little messy and there’s probably a better way to do it, but if you’ve read Eating Together Isn’t Always about the Food, you know I was a little nervous at the time and was […]

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Christina Nifong says:

    Good for you! It IS brave to have a dinner party with acquaintances. Cue the applause!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. talullah51 says:

    Good one! Pat on the back I think!


  19. soulanceblog says:

    Food brings people together, so funny how that works (whether it be hot dogs or a full meal).

    Liked by 2 people

  20. “Husband on his worst day is less anxious than my best day” Haha… I guess going forward I might quote you on many occasions to come! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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