Have you ever been out to dinner and taken a look around, you know, people watching? Come on, we all do it. Have you ever noticed the people who sit there for hours and look all around and don’t engage in conversation? What’s up with that? Seriously, how can you sit at a dinner table and not have conversation?
One of the simple pleasures in life for me is going out to dinner or even better, having dinner at home with my friends, sharing a bottle of wine and having a conversation. When my friends and I go out or stay at home, I often think back on those moments and laugh to myself about that evening. Anyone who knows me knows that I can outtalk a radio and I love to laugh.
I often wonder what could be going through a persons mind when they just sit and ogle at their food. Or even worse, the person who is constantly looking around not engaged at all with the people they are with, more concerned about their surroundings. Maybe it’s just me but that seems so rude. When I am out with my friends or on a date, I often forget there are other people around, unless of course my wine glass is empty, then I need to get someone’s attention.
To me, whether at home or out at a restaurant, when I sit down it is time to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of conversation and being present. Yes, being present, it’s a gift, why not unwrap it and enjoy. During a 21-day prayer and fast I had recently done for Lent, besides going on a strict diet, I had also given up FB and TV. What I came to realize within my first week was just how disengaged I often become when around other people and how rude that was. It made me even more aware that being present in the moment is the only way you can truly enjoy the company of the people you are with, you know, being present.
One of the things that made me so excited about creating the ‘Social Chef’, was that to me cooking is far more than preparing a fine dinner, it was about sharing it with the important people in my life and being social. And even though I do not know many people personally that will be tuning in time to time to see what I make, the fact that I have the ability to share with others my passions in life is what makes the whole idea of what I am doing so enjoyable. This entire process has created awareness to me just how short life really is and how I really need to be even more engaged with the people I am with. And if I can make others aware how sharing your time with others is so important and that more and more people start to appreciate the time they have with each other while cooking or out to dinner, then that would be a very cool thing to me. Because cooking, entertaining and going to dinner is an opportunity to share time with the important people in our lives. It’s all about being ‘Social’.
So next time you invite friends for dinner, might I suggest instead of preparing the meal for when they arrive, have them come a few hours early and have them participate. Make it an event, not just dinner. And even if they have two left hands they can still set the table, and they can certainly hang out with you in the kitchen, share a bottle of wine and engage in conversation. Ahhhh, the simple pleasures of life!!!