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Potlucks are the Secret Ingredient to Keeping In Touch


Jerry's Weekly Newsletter

July 18 · Issue #22 · View online

I'm Jerry, a software engineer, YouTuber, and blogger. Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.

Dear readers,
Last week I did a long-overdue “spring cleaning”. This week, I hosted a potluck for a few friends. I’ve never felt so much joy since the pre-pandemic days. It’s been so long since I’ve felt “normal”.
I’m going to share with you why I believe potlucks are my favorite event of all time!

I love showing hospitality. Back in the day (before cars and phones), travelers literally relied on hospitality to go long distances. Otherwise, they would die. So traveling was dangerous back then because if you were unprepared or unlucky, you would die out of lack of supply.
In other words, hospitality is extremely under-rated. I relish the opportunity to treat guests with the utmost best treatment.
Everybody Brings Skin To The Game
A potluck requires everyone to bring something to the event, be it food, drinks, or supplies. There’s infinite possibility and creativity. One can make their own food, or one can buy food. One can bring a main course, a side dish, dessert, or soup. One can even bring multiple items, or none at all.
Everybody brings a part of themselves to the event, in addition to themselves. Participation is built-in. And when there’s participation, people tend to be more engaged.
Built-in Social Icebreaker
My friends are dispersed across multiple circles. For example, Friend A might know Friend B but they won’t know Friend C. I tend to be pretty selective and prefer to focus on those that I believe can be lifelong friends. Quality over quantity. And to find the best quality, I go to great lengths to do so.
The people I invite to potlucks may or may not know everyone else. This isn’t a problem because based on the previous point of everyone bringing some food to the event, everyone already has something to talk about—their food! No need for the host to have an icebreaker event (though that’s always welcome).
Less Effort For Me
Not to sound lazy or anything, but I’ve basically distributed the load across all the attendees when it comes to food preparation.
And also, not that I’m not willing to provide food for everyone. If nobody ends up bringing any food, as a rule of hospitality, I will of course make sure everyone gets fed.
The best part is that potlucks don’t get boring because of the variety that can happen. Each attendee adds to the randomness of the final set of food. Swapping out attendees further adds to the randomness. You’ll never encounter an exact repeat of food.
People Will Rotate Themselves
I plan on holding potlucks regularly. Pre-pandemic, I did so every month. For now, I might try every 2 months to start.
I’ll invite people, expecting that not everyone will make every single one. They are, of course, welcome to.
Makes for a nice group each and every time.
Keeping in Touch
We’re all busy nowadays. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives that we forget to maintain our connections.
Inviting a long-lost friend to a potluck is a great way to catch up. For them, it’s nice because it’s a way for them to catch-up with you, to meet other people, and also to enjoy a variety of food.
Potlucks are a all-around win-win situation for everyone. There’s literally no downsides to it. And as things start to recover back to normal, I will hopefully plan on hosting them monthly. If you’re ever find yourself in California in Orange County and want to join, give me a shout.
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