The Definitive Guide to Manic Moms

Man'ic: adj. characterized by frenzy, uncontrolled by reason

Symptom: Organizing Potluck Dinners

When is a potluck dinner not a potluck dinner? When it is a perversion of the original intent of a potluck: bringing people together to have fun in a way that makes it easy for everyone.   When a potluck dinner is suggested by manic mothers it actually accomplishes just the opposite (making work for people who don’t really want to eat together at all and would rather be doing something else and eating other food). In addition, when organized in a thoroughly manic way, a potluck dinner must include at least three rules (ie. no kids, or must take place in the next six weeks, or no cold entrees).

Potluck dinners require manic mothers to utilize their best attibutes: organizing other people for the sake of their mutual offspring, showing a sense of commisseration with the burdens of other mothers and subtley raising the bar for other parents by highlighting her own willingness to committ to her child’s life by incorporating it wholeheartedly into their own social calendars.  Sports teams and PTAs are often the catalysts for pulling together a potluck.  The illusion that the potluck creates is that it is easy,  because no one person has to do everything.  Instead, everyone is assigned a food or food category they don’t really want and never actually asked for.  However, participating in the potluck with good cheer is essential, because Everything is Great (see link for more information).

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