Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Potluck Oppression

Once they were a great thing, the potlucks. It was before Food. And Foodies. We would call everyone and say, "come on over, it's a potluck," and the food would arrive (it was just food, not Food), and the beer would arrive, and we would eat and drink and drink some more and do some more stuff and be so happy that our social life was so easy.

Now, though, not so much. Now I want you to invite me over and cook me a good meal--I'm happy to bring a chocolate cake or a bottle of wine--or I want you to come over and I'll cook you a good meal, OK, S will cook you a good meal, and you can bring the salad, or the bottle of wine, and we will eat and drink and be happy, and only one of us will have stress and pots to wash. But the potluck, in this age of children and Food and too much to do, I am not so up on.

My sister, she lives a life of potlucks. She puts some flowers on the table and buys a couple of gallons of cider and the beautiful food pours in and everyone eats (her crowd doesn't drink so much) and the children frolic, and there is potluck joy in the world. At least that's how I imagine it. Me? If I were invited I would be stressing out about what to bring and how my contribution would pale before the others and what will E eat and I don't even have time for this and I forgot to bake a chocolate cake last night and it's 4:00, so what can I possibly bring that will be worthwhile, and yet I have standards such that I can't just go out and buy something, and forget it, we're just getting a pizza and staying home. Maybe we'll invite a friend over to share our pizza.

My sister even goes to potluck weddings, though she has long since agreed that this is a terrible idea.

The worst is my synagogue. It's all about potluck at my synagogue. It's bring the bagels, and if not the bagels, a challah, and if not that, a casserole, or a dessert for the oneg, or all of the above. This Friday is first grade consecration, which means something for the potluck dinner before and something for the oneg after, and R already bagged the challah, and I am just so not up for this.

Truly, I am a terrible, hostile, non-communal, selfish human being, and I will suffer forever in a hell of other people's potlucks.


Amy said...

I will be in that same hell with you. And I'm *not* bringing a dish to share, but I'd be happy to go in on pizza with you.

Libby said...

A potluck wedding does sound terrible. I am nostalgic for grad school days when we didn't even call them potlucks, it's just what we did. We'd call each other and ask "what do you have in your fridge?" and we'd pull something together out of our odds and ends and that was fine. Now somehow we're too busy, or we have to clean our houses, or, yes, we have to cook to impress (not such a big deal among my set, though) and that becomes oppressive.

You can come to my house for dinner any time.