I could get used to this law school summer life. During my journalism internships, I worked for experience (and ok, a few pennies toward my rent, thanks mom and dad!), and for a lot of fun. These law school kids do it much better. The firms host bowling nights, wine tastings, weekend getaways, and, the coup de gras, the progressive dinner.
I'd read about progressive dinners. Goodness, I've even written about progressive dinners. Not that that means I've ever been to one, at least not until this summer.
I'd always pictured the streets of Mayberry with women in 50s-style skirts spilling out of colorful front porches carrying casseroles while their husbands, in casual suits walked alongside carrying the wine. It seemed like a block party, only indoors. My kind of block party.
So when B showed me the 10 page packet for our first PDP (progressive dinner party, stick with me), I was amazed. Appetizers at one home, dessert at one home, and, for dinner, the 150 or so of us would be divided up around the surrounding area to be seated at real dining room tables with a dozen or so of our soon to be dinner buddies.
The first PDP was fabulous. The food was great, I'm sure, but the truth is PDPs aren't about food at all. Ok, so they're a little about the booze, but the food is so secondary to the getting to know you and dinner conversation that it's almost comical. You forge a little bond with the people at your table, so much so that the firms have regulated the food served at the events. No more making your own. Now everyone gets the same dishes from the same caterer. Otherwise, the filet would always top the salmon, and who wants to discover that their seating at the PDP was anything but first rate?
Last night was our second go-round, though this time with a different firm. The beauty of the PDP is that they're always running late and everyone is totally ok with it. No one (we know) made the food, so it doesn't matter when it gets served, or if it's perfectly presented. Everyone just has fun. So drinks started at a local restaurant and went from 6-7. We left the bar at 8. By the time our host served dinner, we were already 30 minutes late for dessert. I talked B down from the rooftop in downtown where the gourmet cupcakes were being served at 12:30 with the reminder that we both had to be at work the next morning, in his case by 8:30 (and yes, his coworkers were all still there).
Needless to say, I'm now a huge fan of the PDP, save the fact that everyone's drinking and driving around all over town looking for homes they've never been to. So maybe Mayberry did have it right. Share in the fun and festivities of PDPs, but keep them close to home so no one has to worry about the keys. And make sure to sit by someone you don't know. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy it.