So? When? Probably not for years. Possibly not even ever, right?
What we just described once had a name: the coffee klatch. It was popular. Extremely popular in your grandparents’ era.
We should bring it back.
First, some history. The term “coffee klatch” comes from the German kaffeklatsch. (Kaffee means “coffee” and klatsch is “gossip.”) The definitions of kaffeklatsch include, “talking or gossip at an informal gathering where coffee is served,” and “an informal social gathering at which coffee is served.”
We prefer the second definition: a social gathering where coffee is served. Talk naturally will ensue. Whether the conversation includes gossip depends on those who gather.
But our point is that few of us gather at friends’ homes “just because.” Housewives in the middle of the 20th century often met with each other while the children were in school. The hostess served coffee and snacks and the women gathered to talk and support each other through the ups and downs of their marriages and raising children.
This social activity disappeared starting in the 1970s or so as more and more women entered the work force and two-income families became the norm.
Today, even with all of our social media and ability to “be connected” to each other via smartphones, apps and other high tech tools all the time, we’re lonelier than ever before. We’re actually starved for real human connection!
Coffee can help.
Yes, you may meet with friends for coffee at your local café, but real, intimate conversation probably doesn’t take place (you’re in a public venue, after all). Plus, you may meet there to work on a project, not just talk. Or, if you do, we doubt it’s for more than an hour or so.
But meeting for coffee at home? Chances are that deep and lengthy conversations will take place (perhaps not right away, but over time). You and your guests can get comfortable (take off those shoes and curl up on the couch) and stay put for hours, if desired.
If the term “coffee klatch” is too offputting for you and your friends (shades of bored 1950s housewives!) call if a “salon” and discuss issues of the day. Start a book club and dissect the book. Call your gathering a “writers’ group” and share poetry and short stories you’ve written.
The point is to gather. Together. And talk. At length. About your lives.