Two from Ohio, one each from New Brunswick, Maine, Massachusetts, New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Los Angeles and a third-generation Tucsonan. Watermelon salad with feta and mint, pasta with veggies and fresh basil from a Trader Joe’s plant, freshly husked corn salad, local tamales (from the native Tucsonan), homemade brownies — with or without nuts, easy kale and chickpea salad (should have gotten the baby kale at Costco), yummy oatmeal-type cookies, outstanding roasted baby peppers with goat cheese app. Three new bottles of red wine appeared, I know not from whom.
All this at our first house party in five years of living in our hood. All but one couple — who come from way far east near Le buzz — have no need to come to our neighborhood Starbucks, where we stroll every morning, where friendships germinated over strong coffee.
An age span of 40 years among 11 guests: actors and playwrights, a pastor, two engineers plus a retired one, four mamas — one new and three older, a photographer and other artists across the board — from graphic designer to avant-garde jeweler to writer. Four of the artists were also teachers and peace corps volunteers from Peru to Nepal. Two of the mamas have the same birthday. Two women chose Chicago as their favorite city. The photographer discovered that years ago she had taken professional photos of two of the actors. The writer had watched one of the actors perform in Maine 25 years ago. There was even one NRA member!
Crossing boundaries of friendship and place of origin. What a wonderful evening.
And why — across 3,000 miles of these United States — can’t we all get along?
These wonderful people were already sort of hand picked, living in the same neighborhood I presume and enjoying coffee, well educated and well traveled. Then there are those who have little education, no life experiences that propel them forward, noone who cares if they live or die, illnesses both physical and mental on top of poverty, blah blah blah. Why can’t people get along? This is the same question I ask myself more often as the years go by, and I always come back with the same answer which is to level the playing field for all (and to serve watermelon, feta and mint).
Of course you’re right, other Sheila. But still. Although the middle class is being eliminated by the mean-spirited, selfish, uneducated Republican members of the U.S. Congress, among others, and the poor are being lost in the widening wasteland of poverty — with no watermelon, feta, mint salad — I enjoy acknowledging similarities among people. I believe they exist in all levels of society.