Re: Question about "dining clubs"
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2013 10:41:01 -0700 (PDT)
I actually don't consider that an extreme and do consider it relevant to
the subject under discussion.

We don't have the situation described so I have no specific experience to
offer.  But that idea of a small group of friends who want to spend time
together sharing meals does not seem like a foreign concept to me...nor
does it seem "rude". And I think labeling it such is unproductive.  It
implies that those doing it are just wrong and the solution then is
obviously to convince them of their wrongness and rudeness so they will

Personally I see a situation in which some folks are making reasonable
personal decisions and making reasonable use of common space...with the
unfortunate effect of making the whole community less vibrant.  The
problem as described by the OP wasn't so much that these dinners are
happening in in the common house and "rudely" excluding people, but that
they are sapping the common-meal energy of the people most likely to
participate in community wide meals.  This would still be happening if they
all decided to do it in individual homes or off campus.

I read the original mail and thought, actually that sounds kind of
awesome...regular meals with a small set of close friends.  Neat!  If I had
that I'd probably be loathe to give it up in the in the interest of the
larger good.  :-(  but being told my desire for smaller gathering with
closer friends is "rude" would sure not help the process.

Mosaic commons Berlin ma

On Saturday, September 14, 2013, Sharon Villines wrote:

> On Sep 14, 2013, at 12:11 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at] 
> wrote:
> > For example, I have formed a few very close friendships with some people
> in
> > my community....I don't think I'm required to be BFFs with everyone just
> > because I am with a few!
> I think this discussion doesn't have to be taken to extremes and loses its
> value when it is.
> The original question was about eating clubs that have gone on for years
> that are exclusive, not inclusive. That would never happen here. I haven't
> polled everyone on this issue so I can't swear on a Bible but it has never
> been raised. I can't imagine that anyone would even suggest it. It would be
> considered hurtful and not what cohousing is about. I don't know another
> definition of "rude" in our society, meaning the American middle class. Not
> another part of the world or another time in history.
> This has absolutely nothing to do with having best friends. Everyone is
> close to some and rarely has contact with others. That isn't the same as
> telling someone they are not welcome at a dinner in the commonhouse because
> it is intended only for some community residents. It also has nothing to do
> with reserving the commonhouse for private dinners with extended families
> or friends who don't live here, even if another member is included.
> Many people socialize together in their homes or off site and do not
> invite others.
> But in the piazza or the commonhouse, other people join in. It's "public"
> common space. It's the space we designed for people to be together and to
> bring people together. That's its purpose.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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