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Time Well Spent: Dinner with Friends

Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by Paromita

Friends are pillars in our lives. We share fun times, worries, hopes, and dreams with them. When we’re growing up, opportunities to make friends are plenty in our neighborhoods and schools. Come adulthood, however, other millennials and I have found ourselves faced with this question: as adults, how do we make friends?

IMG_1276Admittedly, many of us want the kinds of friendships that are nurtured over time, yet we find that we’re too busy in our daily lives to spend quality time with either new or old friends. The only solution I see is we need to make time.

When I want to spend more quality time with friends, it’s usually over a meal. The meal might be home-cooked with one or two friends, a restaurant outing, or a potluck with tons of people. Whatever the occasion, I always find that while the food might be delicious, it’s really the fun we have together and what we talk about that stays with me.

One of my favorite traditions for sharing meals is a monthly Book Club/Wine Club I participate in with former grad school classmates in Boston and Providence. After spending one year in Providence while getting my masters, in 2009 I returned to my hometown of Tampa and kept in touch with my classmates via occasional emails for the next four years.

When I left Tampa for Boston last year, I was excited for the opportunity but I also knew that I was leaving people, places and ways of life that were familiar to me. Settling into Boston was going to take effort, but receiving an email from my friend Susie inviting me to the “Book Club/Wine Club” reminded me that I already knew good people in the area.

The Book Club/Wine Club started a couple of years ago as a way for my classmates to meet up regularly and talk about education issues. Our group, usually eight of us, will each bring something to share as part of a potluck meal. Pear gorgonzola pizza, couscous, roasted chicken, and cupcakes are some examples of what you’ll find on our plates. While we do talk about charter school policies and standardized testing, our conversations usually end up being more personal and encouraging. The stories we share and discuss run the gamut from adopting a teenager, to struggling with real estate, to navigating a career change, dealing with discrimination, and coping with serious illness. At the same time, we also leave room for topics that are not as dense –such as how to clear out a bat infestation!

dinner with friends KinfolkThrough the monthly potlucks with Book Club/Wine Club, a group of people who I just knew as smart classmates five years ago have now become so much more to me. They’re people who are so caring, fun and full of wisdom that I feel like I have many older sisters and brothers here.

It gave me a sense of home to be with people who I already knew when I first moved to Boston, and in deepening our connections I found that they are a group of people with whom I can just be myself. A single person in a new city can meet many new people easily but there are only certain instances when friends come to feel like family. This closeness really comes from our commitment to setting aside time for us to meet up and share meals and conversation together. Without a doubt, the Book Club/Wine Club is a highlight of my life in New England and is truly time well spent!


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