Although all of my own group’s dinner club meetings are complete for the year , I happen to have been a guest at a time when my host was the host of their third dinner club meeting (of four). As it happens as well, two of the other guests of my host happened to be part of yet another dinner club group, making tonight’s dinner an unusual one in that it has all of the dinner club groups at the same meal. Fitting fourteen people around two tables put lengthwise, and trying to encourage good conversation, is not an easy task. Most of us who were not part of the dinner club group tended to go towards one end of the table to leave the group clustered together at the other end. This is politeness, but as much as I am a loud and gregarious person, I also strive my best to be polite.
In many ways, the dinner was a trip in a time machine. Two of the people there at the dinner table, next to me, reminded me of my younger brother and I. Whether it was in the bickering and fighting, the poking and teasing, the loud noises and general boisterous sense of rivalry, it was odd to see the relationship of my brother and I in our youth from the point of view as an older person looking back on people who remind me a lot of myself as a young person. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I am more amused by the fact that one of the people and I said the same thing to the other, “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” AT least that sort of coincidence is amusing and easy to enjoy. If one is dealing with people in the same kind of situation that I was in growing up, and other similarities, it is little surprise that people should remind me so much of myself. I didn’t grow up with sisters, after all, and it is unusual for me to think of myself having some, especially at this stage of life. Life is puzzling and odd sometimes, and it has much to show us.
As far as the conversation with others goes, there was a lot of wit in the conversation, from what I could hear, and from time to time I participated myself, despite not being in a very convenient location to converse with the other side of the table. For example, I was asked if I had sisters, and there were plenty of comments about the fact that many of us came from a farming background, about which there was much to say. There was cross talk, a lot of passing of food, and some terrible jokes. Everyone stayed around until it was close to 10PM, making for a long night of excellent humor and conversation. Some of the guests even managed to play a game of horseshoes while the ladies were readying the food.
As far as the food is concerned, it was for the most part good. My allergy to mangoes became the subject of some humor, given the fact that one of the couples brought mango avocado dip for the potato chips before dinner, and there were jokes about the fruit salad as well, as we were trying to figure out which fruits were inside it. Other than that, there was salad, stir fry with vegetables, several different types of kebobs, The hostess was concerned about there being enough food, but as usual there was enough food to feed double the amount of people that were there, and that was a large group of hungry people. Whenever you combine good food, witty conversation, and an ironic trip down memory lane, such a night is a night well spent. Sadly, as I have nodded off to sleep while writing this, it is probably time for me to head off and enjoy some sleep myself before I get another dorito chip stuck in my mouth like the last time I nodded off on the couch.
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