A couple of Saturday nights ago, Sam and I were invited to another couple’s house to make pasta and have dinner. It’s not often I’m the initial contact in social friends, but this time I was because I met the wife, Karen, while we both served on a community board. We had met for lunch a few weeks earlier and she told me how she had been practicing and enjoying making pasta. I explained I had tried it once, found it enjoyable, but hadn’t tried again.
When she emailed an invitation for Sam and me to join her and her husband, Greg, to make pasta I was very pleased and suddenly anxious. I like Karen very much. I like her enthusiasm, gentle humor, kindness and sense of a calm inner center. I didn’t trust treacherous social waters of Saturday night dinners and husbands to mess it up.
Sam did have the generosity of spirit to ask me the day before the dinner if I wanted him to behave any certain way. Short of saying, “How about being Regis Philbin for a night?” how is that sort of question to be answered? I was attracted to him because of his enthusiasm, bright humor, kindness to me that was also full of darting challenges to the world, and an exploding inner center with interesting possibility. How was this chemistry going to work? And I had few clues about Greg though I had met him. I answered Sam, “No certain way. Just be your charming self.” What had I let loose?
We arrived on time, bearing a hostess gift and ready to roll pasta. Hellos went well, coats were hung and wine was poured. When it came time to make the pasta, Karen had it to the stage of needing to be rolled out to a smooth pasta length. Turns out there are nifty gadgets that can be hooked to existing appliances that do most of the work. We got off easy on the physical labor and the mental labor smoothed out, too.