Maybe it was the weather. Yesterday was warm, and we opened up the windows and the doors and the kids played outside for most of the evening. Some people ate on the porch, christening it with red sauce and red wine for the season.
Maybe it was that most of the people there were "regulars." They knew the drill and didn't feel like they were at a party and they knew everybody and the neighborhood kids drifted in and out between homework assignments and just in time for dessert. I didn't feel like I desperately needed to talk to any guests who I hadn't seen in a while. I just hung out. We all did. And, as usual and with no small thanks to the whirlwind neighborlady cleanup squad, everybody was gone and the house was back together by 8:45.
I get embarrassed when the people who come for Wednesday Spaghetti make big pronouncements of gratitude for the fact that I do this thing I do once a month. Obviously, I appreciate their thanks, but I also feel like a bit of a fraud. While they may feel that I'm doing some kind of service for bringing us together and building community and providing an easy and comfortable environment for families to share a meal, I'm pretty sure I get more out of it than they do.
Spoiler Alert: I am a control freak. I know. You're stunned. I'll allow you a moment to recover
Opening my doors to anyone who is interested once a month, on a work and school night, and not sweating the fact that the floor isn't mopped and there is visible dust and there is dog hair on the couch and that I haven't changed my clothes or brushed my hair since 7 that morning or that there is no way on this green earth that I'm going to have time to cook something designed to dazzle the palate and impress the herd has had a profound effect on me. Without dipping my toe too heavily into the churning waters of melodrama, let me just say that as much as anybody who comes to my house for Wednesday Spaghetti thinks he/she loves it, I love it more.