It’s long been my belief that coming together at mealtimes to sip some wine, swap stories, and learn what’s been going on in each others’ lives, is an essential part of what it is that makes us human. From the time of the stone age, early Homo Sapiens would gather about the communal fire each night for safety, stories, and food. And although this now often takes the form of a pizza night in front of the TV, or burritos and a beer at the taquería around the corner, we still find comfort in our shared breaking of bread.
dinner party prep
And that’s the key word: shared.
But now, in this crazy, weird, and scary new world of sheltering-in-place—where gathering together with anyone other than your own small household can be a life-threatening proposition—suddenly we’re all deprived of this essential human activity.
Robin asked me at cocktail hour the other evening what did I miss most from my pre-COVID-19 life. My first answer was “hugging people,” for I am an extremely huggy person. But then I thought a moment longer and said, “No, it’s actually dinner parties—and going out to restaurants with our friends. I really miss that.”
the aftermath of a fine meal out
Yes, we’ve been doing lots of Zoom parties with folks (and one silver lining of this whole thing is that I’ve been connecting via email, phone, and Zoom with people I haven’t been in contact with in quite some time). But it’s not the same.
It’s no substitute for having someone hang out with you in the kitchen as you whip up a pot of linguine with clam sauce, and it’s no substitute for sitting down to the meal with eight of your best friends, clinking glasses and raucously recounting stories as you slurp pasta and pass the basket of crunchy francese bread around the table.
crab and Champagne tasting
We’re all facing this at the same time, the world over, and I truly appreciate how very lucky I am to have a safe place to shelter, plenty of food, an awesome dog (who loves, LOVES, this new world of her people never leaving the house), and a fabulous wife to share cocktails with every evening at five.
cocktail hour in Hilo
But I so miss breaking bread with all of you. I miss the part of my life that makes me feel the most human—that truly makes me whole. And when this is finally over and we’re free to gather in groups one again, let’s do dinner, okay? And lunch! And breakfast!
Readers: What do you miss most in these days of sheltering at home? Are there any silver linings in your life with regard to all that’s going on?