Every second Wednesday of the month, literally for five decades, my parents had dinner with another couple. For my whole life, we knew that “Dinner Club” was a sacred time not to be interrupted – as kids we were banished from the living areas and as we grew older, we knew that anything else had to be scheduled around it.

These two couples traded off cooking dinner in their homes every month, often coming up with themed menus, costumes and decorations. They carved out this time through raising multiple children each and living an hour apart, but somehow, they always managed to have that evening together.

As I reflect on the funeral of the final surviving member of the quartet today, I think about how this crazy Dinner Club of theirs modeled what a commitment to friendship looks like. It’s not just an occasional call (or now staying in touch via social media), rather it involves making the time to actually be together in person. It means setting plans on a regular basis and keeping them, despite strains on time, budget or babysitters. It means the children of your friends drive hours to attend funerals because they know what the relationship meant to their parents.

You can have many acquaintances, but it is a gift if you have a few good friends. Treasure those that are in your close circle and make it a priority to laugh together face-to-face.

Hobo-themed Dinner Club November 1961

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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