Skip to main content

Dark side of church potlucks

The potluck is the pinnacle of immigrant church activities. When a critical mass of families come together, the inevitable result is each family bringing a dish to share. It’s economical, communal, and festive.

But there’s a dark side to potlucks. This side gets darker as the number of families involved increases. First of all, there’s little supervision of children. And they run around crazy like a gang of raccoons. They raid the desserts, cherry-pick the best food, run off, snarf it all down, and then wreak havoc in some deserted corner of the house/church/building/park/structure. But that’s not the worst of it.

Adults go crazy. This is especially for large gatherings, where most of the people don’t know each other. Parents cut in line. They pile their plates. People have no shame taking all of a good dish until it’s gone. Any type of seafood always goes fast. Fifty pieces of sushi won’t last more than ten people. They might leave a token piece of shrimp to appease the god of manners. Old people are the biggest offenders. They use their age as an entitlement. They push in front of everyone else. They get overtly belligerent.

And then all the mature and selfless people get a turn. There are two kinds of mature, selfless people. There are truly good people and the posers. The latter group (of which I am a part of when I’m hungry) starts getting angry when we see all the people ahead of cutting in line and taking the best food. And then our anger turns into bitterness and resentment when we see all the food that’s left – plain rice, crap noodles, assorted store-bought starches, just a really depressing array. We silently curse the people who went ahead of us. Finally, the really holy people get to go. They’re practically fasting at this point and they’re just grateful God would allow them to have the scraps. There are like two of these people. And you know they either already ate dinner at home or they’re going to eat later.

The sinfulness of humanity is on full display at the church potluck.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Dad's Review of Passport 2 Purity

[3,100 words, 11 minute read] The sex talk is one of the most dreaded conversations parents anticipate having with their children. To make things easier, an entire industry exists to help parents with sex education. Dozens of books have been written to help parents navigate this treacherous topic with their progeny. One of the best known among evangelicals is called the Passport 2 Purity Getaway package . It is produced by FamilyLife, a division of Cru (former Campus Crusade for Christ) and consists of a five lecture CD package including a journal and exercises designed as a weekend retreat for a pre-pubescent child and his/her parent(s). Passport 2 Purity was not my initiative. Our trip came about because Judy had heard from several home-schooling mom friends how they had taken their daughters on a road trip to go through the CDs. She even heard how a mom took a trip with husband and two sons to through the curriculum. So a couple months ago, Judy suggested we take our two older boy

Why Asians Run Slower

My brother got me David Epstein's book The Sports Gene . It is a fascinating quick read. If you're interested in sports and science, it will enthrall you.  I finished it in three days. Epstein's point is that far more of an athlete's performance is due to genetics than due to the so-called "10,000 hour" rule promulgated by books such as Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin (both which are very good). The 10,000 hour rule states that any person can reach expert level of performance in a sport if they devote 10,000 hours of deliberate and intentional practice.  That's a lot of hours. Most people aren't capable of anywhere close. And that's precisely Epstein's point. Someone who devotes 10,000 hours of sport-specific practice is likely genetically gifted for the sport in extraordinary ways AND genetically gifted in their ability to persevere and benefit from practice. Therefore, a person who can pra

Unsolvable Problems in Marriage I: Lowering Expectations

Different expectations of conflict From a recent Facebook post: Working on a post about unsolvable problems in marriage: For those who have been married five or more years, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much expectation did you have entering into marriage that communication could resolve any conflict between you and your spouse? How would you rate that expectation now? People often enter into marriage thinking that most if not all their conflicts can be resolved. Women come into marriage thinking "I can make my husband a better man". Men come into marriage thinking, "My wife will learn to see things my way". This idealistic view of marriage does not survive contact with the enemy. Even for couples for whom the first years of marriage are conflict-free, raising children is its own brand of unsolvable problem. And then there's sickness and mental health issues, job changes, unemployment, moving, and shifts in friendships. Conflict in marriage is inevitable. A number