In January ten years ago, my friend M. went off to a writer’s retreat near Chicago to work on her poetry for a month, leaving behind her husband, B. B. is a human resources consultant and trainer and is often on the road, but things were slow that winter, and he was very bored. He likes to do long-distance bike rides and has done several “centuries” in his spare time. But that winter was a harsh one with lots of snow, so he was cooped up inside a lot.
I didn’t realize how bad it was until he called me and said, “Do you want to go to the mall?” A sure sign of desperation, with most men. I invited him to dinner instead with my friend Diane. I had met Diane a few years earlier in a fiction writing class. She has great tolerance for my limited cooking skills, and at that time was an assistant district attorney, with a lively perspective on local happenings.
So I cooked dinner for the three of us. I don’t remember what it was, but I’m sure it was simple. It turned out that we all enjoyed murder mysteries, had similar political views, and were interested in the arts. B. declared that we should do this on a regular basis. “Let’s have a supper club, and take turns cooking,” he said. Diane and I agreed this was a great idea. Our first official action was to vote M. in as a member.
We’ve been meeting for the last ten years. Sometimes it’s as often as weekly, or every two weeks. It tends to be less often in the summer, when folks vacation. They all have more vacation time than I do, since they don’t work 9 to 5 anymore. But we’re still faithfully getting together.
We each have our favorite meals that the others cook, and ones that are our old standbys. Occasionally the host will order out for pizza, because the main thing for our club is not the food–it’s the companionship. That said, we have had some excellent meals, but this is not a gourmet supper club. We’re as likely to have meatloaf or sausage and white beans as we are to have Julia Child’s beef stroganoff recipe.
This week we are celebrating 10 years, and M. is back at the same writers’ retreat. I hope she turns out some wonderful poems. And I hope we can keep cooking, laughing and talking for at least another 10 years.