Thursday is our annual holiday potluck in our office. Now, I know that the holiday potluck is not just a Minnesota phenomenon, but since most of my working life has been spent here in the Twin Cities, I can’t help but to view this event through the lens of Minnesotan quirkiness.
Each year, as the holidays roll around, a date is circled for our annual potluck, and a signup sheet is posted by the copier. One by one employee’s will write their name under one of three columns, for salad, entrée, or dessert, noting what it is that they plan to bring. And yet each year when the day arrives and the buffet table is set, we seem to end up with 50 plates of cookies, 15 bags of crackers, 2 pounds of cheese, one stick of venison summer sausage, two crockpots full of meatballs with barbecue sauce, and a plate of vegetables that no one eats. Seriously, we should just buy a plate of plastic vegetables that we can set out every year to give the allusion of a balanced diet, and just call it a cookie exchange.
And each year, despite my best intentions, the morning of the potluck arrives and I find myself without a dish to share, or a clue. In the last 5 years I have just run to the local White Castle at 11 am, and brought back a 30 pack of sliders as my contribution.
I wish I were kidding.
Unfortunately, this year our White Castle is in the process of being
deloused renovated, so I am without my usual safety net. I’m sure my fellow employees will be disappointed, because even though they laugh each year at the sight of my 30 pack of hamburgers I have noticed that within 10 minutes the box is empty.
White Castle is like the National Enquirer. No one admits to buying it, but when someone puts one in front of you, you just can’t help yourself.
I really dread these potlucks, and not just because I am lazy. I dread them because I have absolutely no self control and when faced with a buffet table full of cookies, brownies, cheese and crackers, I will gorge myself like a Roman Senator. Then I will sit in my office for the rest of the afternoon, holding my stomach, and moaning.
The best part about being a man is never having to learn from your mistakes. We are like dogs that way, returning again and again to eat our own vomit, and expecting a different result each time.
However, despite our own stupidity, it is clear to me that women are solely to blame for the concept of the potluck. Men just aren’t capable of organizing something like that. Nor would we have the desire to put in that kind of effort. (Case in point the 30 pack of sliders) No, surely it is the women that organize these things, then stay up until midnight the night before, mixing Ore Ida frozen potatoes, and cans of Campbells Cream of Something Soup into a hot dish casserole that could have been used by the pioneers to seal the walls of their log cabins.
So dear readers, by the time you read this I will most likely be 5 pounds heavier, and suffering gastrointestinal pain from consuming fifty eight chocolate chip cookies, and a cheese ball the size of a watermelon.
Please humor yourselves by sharing your favorite potluck dishes, while I go throw up in the restroom.