My friend Mari has lived in our apartment building for 12 years. I moved in a couple years ago and just last week my friend Eve moved in down the hall after a long-term relationship ended. We're three single women living on one floor — or, one script away from our own sitcom. The situation allows us the benefits of having a roommate — impromptu nightcaps, sick-day film fests, and communal dinners, all of which actually happened this week — without the arguments over dishes (more on that later).
The dinner idea, while not new, came up when Eve mentioned that her friend in the Mission District cooks for his neighbors every night, which might be a rare case, but the group of six have become somewhat of an urban family and have been doing it for years (they all chip in on food). We decided on weekly neighbor dinners because a) it suits our busy schedules, b) we like each other and it would be nice to catch up on our weeks, and c) we all like to cook but it's always more fun to have friends with whom to cook and eat an elaborate meal. We'll each take turns buying and cooking the meal with one rule: BYO wine. We also decided, on our first host's insistence, to make the cook do the dishes (we'll all end up doing them anyway and we all get our night off from cooking and dishes). We'll see if our schedules allow us to keep it up, but judging by Sunday night's laugh fest, I'm sure it will.