I wrote yesterday about the positives of community living. I also said there are potlucks and pooja meetings of the ladies after husband and kids are away at school.
While I do not join these on a regular basis, last month I went to the Christmas potluck. Theme – all sparkly and shiny. So, every month there is a potluck with a different theme in someone’s house. Themes are decided during the previous potluck and then the food discussion happens on the whatsapp group. One of the things for the Christmas potluck was playing secret Santa. The chits were drawn during the November month potluck itself which another neighbor handed it to me. The gift condition was it should be between 5$ and 20$. Thankfully the name I got was a lady I had danced during DeepawaLi with and knew what she might like. Since I went to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving (a fodder for another post,obviously!) I picked up a set of ear rings and long chain as a gift.
The day of the potluck dawned cold with subzero temperatures. So, going warm was the only thought on my mind. Thankfully, I had newly bought a full sleeve sparkly J-Lo top (not sure if I will ever wear again) and paired it with jeans and boots, still feeling cold. Reached there to see everyone in skirts and sleeveless! Wow!
For the food part, it was decided that we would order cake and pizza from outside since it was a Christmas party and nobody wanted to cook. only starters of Garlic bread and chicken for those eating non-veg was cooked at home. Well well, during all this food discussion, someone spoke of bloating caused by so much bread. A huge discussion and sarcastic comments started. Apparently there was no such issues before but was being brought up now. To counter act ‘bloating’ there was garlic rasam too! The lady who had brought this up was made fun of once she arrived. That was the first sign of discord among the ladies that I first saw.
Then came the time for secret Santa gifts. Everyone exchanged gifts and there were some that were not happy with the gifts. There was crying and drama and mentions of gift being ‘cheap’. I wondered why anyone had to have expectation of an expensive gift during Secret Santa! Clearly these women had no idea that it was more about giving and accepting a gift gracefully than expecting a ‘wow’ gift. Another sign of discord – sigh! I realized that there is just no way that a group of 20 women who call themselves friends can actually be free of such discords and skirmishes. I hope these incidents will not mar the group or make people back off from continuing such gatherings. Women need such groups and outlets and communication with other women as stress busters albeit with some masala.