This article appears in the February 2012 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit Lou.com.
I think we served Korean-marinated ribs and roasted asparagus, and probably baguettes from Blue Dog Bakery. Maybe I made that easy-but-impressive flourless chocolate cake that everybody loves. I can’t be sure, because what I remember most from that cool spring night was the company around our dining room table.
There was the attorney and his art-critic wife whom we met at our daughter’s school. There was the gelato-making couple who live above their shop in our neighborhood. There was the interior designer who helped us pick out the very table we sat around — a simple, clean-lined walnut six-top — and his partner, a paralegal. There was the teacher and fellow literary nerd (whom I met on Twitter) and her roommate, a writer. None of them knew each other before coming to our house, and we didn’t know any of them before we moved to Louisville two years earlier. But something clicked at the table — you know the way a meal can act as sufficient common interest with the right people — and the conversation took off.
My husband and I had struggled to find friends in our new city. We moved here after nine years in New York, where we had left some of our favorite people in the world. We both grew up in Kentucky but had never lived in Louisville as adults, as a couple. For nearly a year, we really tried, going out regularly and inviting near-strangers over for dinner in the hopes that we’d hit it off with someone — anyone. Just like dating, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. But little by little, we had started to make connections with a few people, and we decided they might all like one another. So invitations were issued, bottles of wine (and bourbon) were brought, and the last guests lingered by the fireplace until late in the night.
It was at that dinner party that I started to feel as if everything was going to be OK here in Louisville. There was one moment when everybody around the table was talking and I wasn’t really part of any of the conversations. I sat quietly and looked around from person to person, feeling grateful for each one, feeling grateful for our house and for the food we had served. Whatever it was.
— Tara Anderson
Photo Courtesy of: Louisville Magazine