Doing one thing differently: Start a supper club
Over the next few weeks, we will revisit the idea behind our New Year’s post where we discussed doing one thing differently this year to improve your life. Check back each week to see a new way to incorporate something new this year that may just make a big difference for you or the people around you!
For me, my biggest struggle in this whole moving life is the ever-changing gains and losses of friends. It is the absolute hardest part when I first land in a new town. I’m very aware that I’m an extrovert. I love to be around people and I love friendship. So, when I’m starting all over again, it is just super difficult. And I’m not one to just “play friends” or just have surface-level friends. My true friends are the ones where I can share about the good, the bad and the ugly and they can with me as well. But, how do you find and cultivate these friendships when you are moving to a new town?
A few years ago, I heard about the concept of a supper club. It’s pretty simple really. You gather some friends together every few weeks at an actual home, you cook (or order in) really delicious food and drinks and you talk about different topics! And immediately, I fell completely in love with the idea. There are several authors who talk about their own supper clubs, (Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist are two of my favorites) and they describe the deep, wonderful friendships that have came from such a simple concept.
So, for the last two years, I’ve begun to implement this idea in my life. We make a focused effort to invite friends to our home and share meals and just sit around our table or our living room (for hours sometimes) and just talk about life. Sometimes we have certain books or topics that we discuss, and sometimes we just talk about hard things that someone is going through or celebrate with news of a job promotion or new pregnancy. But, I can honestly say, it has changed how we view our friendships in our new town. We have now developed friendships that we know will last a lifetime, where we see ourselves vacationing together, watching our kids grow up together and being friends way after we may move to a different city.
And honestly, I wonder what took us so long. So, I tried to figure it out and I came up with two things that held me back from hosting people before: first, I didn’t love my home. It was always just “our rental” and it wasn’t the dream home I envisioned when I thought about having people over. Plus, it was always sorta messy because you know, we live here. But, I realized, everyone sorta feels that way about their house. And guess what, the closer you become with someone, the less and less all that matters. And second, I was worried people wouldn’t want to get to know us if they knew our life and guess what? That’s totally and completely wrong. Our friends have proved that!
So, what does it take to start a supper club? It can be as simple or fancy as you like! But here is a basic checklist:
- A guest list – It can be all couples, a mix, with kids, or without kids, but whatever it is, make sure you decide on a set guest list prior to your first gathering).
- Food – Duh, right? But you need to decide if you, the host, will provide all the food, or if you want it to be a potluck. It is easy to send around a sign up and allow people to tell what sort of food they can bring. I’ve heard of supper clubs focusing on different themes (Mexican, clean eating, etc.) or all exploring new foods and trading the recipes after the meal. But most importantly, make it fun and easy!
- Ideas on conversation topics or fun questions – you may just make it easy and open in topics, or you can come up with some fun conversation starters. Questions may be good if the supper club consists of lots of people that don’t know each other to start out.
Try a supper club and let us know what you think! I think there is just something about gathering people around a table and sharing a meal! We all could use that, right?
-by Emily Robertson