Here is my latest venture: Suppers for Solos. Rather than start from scratch explaining it, I am going to reprint (in yellow) the e-mail I sent ten days ago to the residents in our Homeowners' Association who currently live alone. They are all within a half-block's walking distance from my house--in townhouses similar to mine. Some of the people I knew slightly; some I knew not a all.
Dear ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___ etc.
As some of you know, Hubby travels quite a bit for his business. That means I have many dinners alone. Usually I make something very simple: maybe heat up leftovers, or microwave a ready-made dinner from the supermarket, then I watch TV or read while I eat.
The other night as I was scrounging through my fridge for food, I found myself wondering how many neighbors who live alone were doing the exact same thing as I—at the exact same time.
I wondered if, once-in-a-while, other solo residents might like to bring their food to my house so we could eat together. If you just brought whatever food you’d be eating anyway, we could have the pleasure of companionship and conversation without any fuss and bother usually associated with” hosting dinner."
To test out my idea, I called one of our neighbors and invited her for a trial run.
“ Bring your own fixin's to my house. You can cook or heat them here: I have a toaster oven, a microwave, a stovetop and an oven.”
“Can I bring my wine?”
“Of course! Bring whatever you’d like, but remember—you don't have to share anything.”
We discovered this is an idea that works! I heated my dinner, and she heated hers. We sat down at my table and talked for a couple of hours. When she departed, we agreed to try it again, this time including everyone in the association who lives alone. We picked a date—November 9, Wednesday. This is NOT a potluck!
You don't need to bring food (and drink) for anyone but yourself. Bring only what you will consume. You can even take home your own dirty dishes!
I don't need to do anything either except: open my door; show you the kitchen; provide plates, glasses & silverware; heat water for coffee and tea; share conversation.
I hope this will appeal to some of you. If it does, grab your food (whether it’s cheese & crackers, leftovers from last night’s restaurant, Lean Cuisine, etc.) and just show up at my house about 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9. No need to RSVP.
Well, that was earlier this evening, and I'm thrilled to report our first all-inclusive "Suppers for Solos" was a huge hit! Three neighbors arrived, each bearing their own food--some in bags, some on plates. Two people even brought their own silverware. What fun it was to sit around the dining room table eating completely different items--chatting about various topics of interest. Everyone agreed it's great to get to know your neighbors and very nice to have a conversation during dinner. I'm hopeful we've started something that will continue.