I belong to a group that decided to have a potluck dinner at the next event, and everyone agreed to bring something to eat or drink. I’m generally not too good at figuring out what to bring, so I asked around, and a friend recommended a cheese-and-cracker tray. I figured this was a safe bet because wine was going to be offered.

The Meeting

The meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m., and I arrived right on time. The food smelled great. One person made his favorite beef fajita recipe, and it was off the charts! A lady brought a terrific spicy salsa that complimented the fajitas perfectly. She made it a point to tell us that she used vegetables from her own garden for the salsa. My cheese-and-cracker option was just okay, but at least I did not walk in empty-handed.

Shortly after I arrived, someone said, “Well, let’s eat! I’m hungry.” As soon as these words were uttered, a group of people made their way to the food table. One guy made a beeline to the wine bottles. Before long, he had uncorked several of them. Even thought it was billed as a meeting, the feeling was festive and party-like.

The Non-Participants

There were three people who sat in their chairs, deciding not to join us for the food and drinks. I quickly assumed that they were embarrassed to participate because they didn’t bring anything to share.

They used the common excuses:

  • “I already ate, so I’m not hungry!”
  • “I had a huge lunch!”
  • “I’m not feeling too well. I’m going to pass tonight.”

However, we all knew they felt uncomfortable because they failed to participate. I suppose they forgot about the potluck dinner. After a little bit of encouragement, two of them agreed to “try” the excellent food and have a glass of Chardonnay.

End of Meeting

As is normal with most potluck meals, there is far too much food. For example, someone decided to bring an entire bucket of KFC chicken. Given the health-conscious nature of people, most of the chicken was still in the bucket at the end of the night. However, the wine was going fast. It’s funny how even when the wine is not the best, it still seems to go first. Weird!

When the meeting ended, Marty, who failed to bring anything to the dinner, was hanging around making small conversation with those who remained. Most everyone took home any extra food that was left. The fajitas were gone, and so was most of the salsa, but the KFC chicken and desserts were still on the table.

Marty asked, “Is anyone going to take this home? If not, I’m sure my kids will eat it.” He was not bashful. Within short order, he found a couple of bags to help carry as many of the items to his car. Fortunately, I was able to get the cheese-and-cracker tray before he could grab it.

I might be overreacting, but it does look a bit unusual for someone to show up without any food to a potluck dinner, and yet walk away with a bag full of goodies. I guess it’s best to take a generous perspective here. When Marty walks into the house with the yummy cheesecake, his wife and kids are going to be happy.

However, I’m unsure how they will feel about the plastic silverware that he threw in the bag.

Oh, well!