When we were first married, having people over for dinner made us feel so grown up. Homemade spaghetti, french bread, a nice Caesar salad.  Or a lasagna and buttery french bread. Or burgers hot off the grill with crusty fries. And dessert. Always dessert.  Our favorite to serve has always been strawberry shortcake with thick and buttery biscuits.  Or ice cream. LOTS of ice cream. We felt so grown up, gathered with friends, bragging about favorite recipes.

With such events on the decline, Mike became intentional about inviting the neighbors over.  They said yes to dinner at our place sometime next week.  Now comes the panic.  What do you feed people these days?  Have you tried it recently?  It’s not as easy as it used to be.

Think it about it. Even an extended family gathering consists of the following confusion:

“Oh, thank you, but no bread for me.  I’m low carb.”
“Cool. I don’t eat bread either. I’m gluten free.”
“You guys have what ever you want, but just so you know, I’m counting carbs.”
“Well, I’m counting calories.”
“Pass the meat … I’m Paleo …need meat!”
“Like cavemen right?  Cool! Are you trying to be like those Geiko cavemen guys?”

“I’m weight watchers … everything in moderation.  Do you have a food scale?
“Wait, what?  There’s no dessert!  I’ve been saving points for Mom’s Red Velvet Cake all week!”
“You know about all the dye in that cake, right?”
“Who brought the diet soda?  That stuff will kill you!
“ALL soda will kill you.”
“Well, I’m addicted to it, you’re not going to talk me out of it.”

“Chocolate.  I just want chocolate.”
“Dad’s allergic to chocolate.  I don’t keep it in the house any more.”
“Well you can all give ME what you don’t want to eat.  I’m trying to gain muscle weight. Can I have a class of milk?”
“Gross, are you drinking WHOLE milk.”
“Don’t tell me you drink that filmy stuff they call milk but tastes like backwash.”
“No milk, guys.  It’s not part of Paleo.”

“Hey, is this salad stuff in the fridge organic?”
“Does it matter?”
“What do you MEAN, does it matter?  Do you all want us to be slowly poisoned and suffer an anguishing, miserable death caused by pesticides?”

“I’m hungry. Can’t we just make some spaghetti or something?”
“Not if it’s that cheap, sugary stuff in a jar. There’s no nutritional stuff in that stuff.”
“No Parmesan on it … I can’t eat dairy.”
“Wait! I can’t eat pasta … no grains, remember!”
“How ‘bout gluten free pasta?”
“It’s still carbs. No grains remember?”
“Okay … so let’s barbecue some chicken on the grill.”
“Sounds good, but no BBQ sauce.”
“Are you kidding me?!  What good is grilled chicken without Dad’s ‘fall-on-your-face-and-cry-like-a-little-girl-until-your-eyes-fall-out-because-it’s-so-hot” sauce.”
“Are we having roasted corn with the chicken, because it’s going to kill me if everyone else eats it with butter?”
“I don’t care what kind of Paleo-free, gluten-counting, dinosaur-bait diet you are on!  Would somebody please just make me some dinner?!”

Shouldn’t have written this … now I’m really truly stressed out … better check in with the neighbors and find out which type of American diet they subscribe too.  Then, next time we want to do something social with someone … maybe it will be bowling.