A potluck. Awesome.

Can anyone explain the suburbs’ love affair with potluck parties?

If you live in the ‘burbs you know what I’m talking about. A party invitation arrives. You think, Hooray!

Then you see those dreaded words:

“Bring a bottle and a side to share!”

Newsflash: that’s not a party. That’s an indoor picnic.

Out here in the land of no street corners, the mighty Triscuit is your admission ticket to a social life. When people die in the suburbs I’m convinced they leave behind estates consisting largely of Pyrex dishes and boxes of Bisquick. We suburbanites are a potluck loving people.

Not me. When I host a party, I host a party. That means you come over and I feed you. Why is that so hard?

It’s not a financial thing. Lugging a cooler or casserole dish to every gathering just gets tedious. I also think there’s something gracious about welcoming people into your home and serving a meal you’ve prepared (or in my case, a meal you’ve had catered).

I’m in the minority, though. So I go to parties where crockpot meatballs get served in terrace-level entertainment suites tricked out with second kitchens and walk-in wine cellars. I’ve gunned down warm, communal Two Buck Chuck in the homes of people who travel exclusively on Net Jets. It’s bizarre.

My theory? People have so embraced the Room Mom mentality that every social function becomes a class project. I also wonder if people host potlucks as a way of saying, “I will tolerate your presence but if you want to eat you’re on your own.” We’re a passive-aggressive bunch out here you know.

But mainly I’m flummoxed. What is it with the suburbs and potlucks?

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