on dinner and friendship

This past weekend was our third annual Summer Progressive Dinner.  Our neighborhood holds one in the summer and one in the winter each year, starting three years ago.  Here’s how the night usually goes:

We walk from house to house, starting at appetizers.  We move on the hour and head to the main course.  This year we had fajita kabobs and 7-layer dip in cups.   Then we move to dessert, which included fried ice cream, sopapilla cheesecake, and margarita cupcakes.  The final stop of the dinner is cocktails

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Because our neighborhood is… how do I say this… “extra”  we also had a mariachi band follow us around to a few houses this year.  Because vibes.

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I listened Friday night.  And what I heard, amidst the neighborhood chatter and house project conversations and catching up, is that we are all in this together.  As an adult, sometimes getting out of the house and talking to people feels hard.  But once you get yourself there and start talking, you begin to hear and say a whole lot of “me too”s.  I love that phrase.  I heard so many “me too”s Friday night.   I used to be surprised when we had these neighborhood hangouts at the amount of people that would come to them.  I’m not anymore.  Because I’m realizing that everyone wants connection as much as me.  We just want some people in our lives that will help us figure out who we are and where we should go and maybe we can do the same for them

I’ve been slowly reading Everybody Always by Bob Goff.  So far, I have two things rolling around in my head and in my heart.  The first is that we make friendships three minutes at a time.  The three minutes it takes to go check the mail and chat with your neighbor.  The three minutes it takes to check out at the grocery store.  Three minutes paying for your fast food.  Three minutes picking your kids up from daycare or the car rider line at school or waiting for the bus.  Those three minutes, when used well, can add up to a friendship.

The second thing good ol’ Bob is teaching me is that we make loving people seem way more complicated than it actually is.  We try to attach labels to it like ministry or service and we think it needs all these big, huge plans. We don’t need an elaborate dinner to create community and to love one another (but it is kinda fun), what I think we need is to make ourselves available.  To show up. To get outside of our heads for long enough to be curious about what’s going on in someone else’s heart.  Even if it’s just for three minutes.

 

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