My kids and I were invited to a Passover seder last week, at the home of a dear friend. The kids all know each other and have a great time together, and the adults, well, we’ve known each other so long, we are family. I dropped my kids and went to park the car. As I was walking to our hosts’ home, one of my kids sent a text that read “There are strangers. Yay!” If you didn’t catch it, that was sarcasm. OMG! There was another family invited to Seder! How dare they expose us to completely unknown individuals? What were they thinking? From my perspective, I’m always happy to meet new people, and I baked, so I’m even happier when I get to feed new people! This “stranger” family was absolutely lovely, with their two kids being the same ages as my youngest two. My oldest son clicked well with the stepdad because he’s a music guy, and the mom and I immediately bonded over parenting issues. Sure there were moments of discomfort as we all gathered around the table, but food is an incredible equalizer. The kids giggled at my youngest, who delighted in the attention, as he munched heartily on the parsley. The grownups recited passages from the Seder pamphlet (religiously and affectionately known as the Haggadah), which was sponsored by Maxwell House, of course. We had a nice giggle at that. Food was served and enjoyed and even though it was not a deeply religious event, the spirituality in just coming together and sharing a meal was truly felt. My kids had begged before the evening to make sure that we didn’t stay too long. Five hours later, with plenty of laughs and full bellies, we were all in agreement that it was a lovely evening spent, even with strangers.
Next time you end up in a room or at a gathering with people you don’t know, open your hearts and your minds, and you may just end up making some new friends! There’s that saying that sounds something like “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!” I like it, and I’m going to try and live by it.
If you’re headed to an event with lots of unknowns, maybe bring a Totem along to help keep you calm. Get one today by clicking on any of the Totems on the side of the page!