Why Sharing Meals Might Be the Best Way to Connect Right Now

"I’ve always appreciated the power of food for human connection. For me, it’s cooking the meal that’s the best part of that process, but the sitting down to eat is where we really relate."

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I’ll join the echo chamber in saying that when I think of the state of the world right now, things feel so disheartening, so rancorous…the vitriol completely misguided, making us feel more vulnerable. This heightened hostility makes me appreciate even the smallest moments of empathy and connectivity.

If we weren’t craving connectivity and community before, we are now.  I’m searching for it actively.  I’ve always sought connections with others.  I’m an extrovert, a yacker, someone who talks loudly and intentionally, often with my hands.  But now, connections that I’m used to, don’t feel sufficient.   I need more from them; I need them to know things will be okay.   It’s not politically charged discourse I crave, it’s the simpler, basic pleasures that I need to feel safe right now.

It’s a moment in nature, it’s a walk, it’s a visit to my farmers market where I can sample every type of citrus segment in the little plastic containers. I have enjoyed these as solo activities, and now, seemingly out of nowhere, I want to do them with others.  For me, that’s a direct response to a larger need for connectivity that feels so heightened right now.

I’ve always appreciated the power of food for human connection. That ritual of gathering around a table, and breaking bread. For me personally, it’s cooking the meal that’s the best part of that process, but the sitting down to eat is where we really relate.

After the cooking, it’s setting the table that’s the final ingredient in the meal. I am obsessed with setting the table; I’ve put in all the work and now I’m ready to break the bread and drink the drinks but I want to it on a beautiful table. I created Table Threads, a collection of tabletop textiles, to celebrate the daily ritual of sitting down to eat, and connect.  More specifically, to make setting a table, that final ingredient, fun easy, and doable.

It’s something small, but if our shared meals are the lifeblood of our connections right now, and setting the table is in fact the final ingredient in our meal, we should take the time to do it thoughtfully!  And even if you’re eating solo or picking up a takeout, appreciate that ritual and connect with yourself.

It can feel like up is down right now so appreciating moments of comfort is deeply important. Anyway we can enhance these moments, I’m all for it. 

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