Over the pulpit comes the announcement, “As you all know, today is Munch and Mingle.” That is the official name. It is also known as “Eat and Greet”, or “Feast and Flirt.” In the Charlottesville YSA Ward the favorite term is “Eat a Cookie and Take a Lookie.”
Eat a Cookie and Take a Lookie, is the once a month event held after church in the cultural hall/gym. You quickly get the picture. Empower a few young women, who are already skillful organizers, and you have colored table cloths and incredibly lovely flower centerpieces. Let the wives of the Bishopric members know they are needed, and you have a main course everyone enjoys. Mention to the sisters the need for salads, and salads appear with pasta, broccoli, oriental chicken, strawberries, pretzels, spinach, lettuce and, of course, Jello. Assign the Elders to bring desserts, and you have a smattering of small fat cookies, a couple of store-bought cakes, and a chocolate pudding concoction with some hard pieces and marshmallows – everyone pokes it, but no one adds it to their plate.
It is fun to watch the development of each table. Social formation at some tables appears to be orchestrated. Most tables seem to evolve randomly, with the occasionally obvious quick movement to land in a certain chair.
The gender arrangement is also interesting. Some tables have more Elders than sisters.
While other tables have more sisters than Elders.
As you can see from these photos there are very attractive sisters and very handsome Elders at every table. They are all bright, pleasant, fun to talk with and overflowing with potential. They are also very good people.
If you watch closely you can sometimes see eyes glance to an adjacent table. Perhaps an opportunity was missed when that last chair was taken. Perhaps an earlier introduction presented possibilities, but those possibilities are slipping away on this particular afternoon. Intrigue abounds.
As previously stated, table arrangements are generally rather random. But the idea is to mix it up, with the goal of forming couples. After all, this is the once a month Munch and Mingle. At some tables it appears they are getting the hang of this “couples” thing.
The best part of every Munch and Mingle is that everyone appears to enjoy themselves. The good feelings obviously go beyond the food.
Our association with these YSA members brings us tremendous happiness. We are always smiling on the inside, and more often than not, we join them in smiling on the outside.
“And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.” (4 Nephi 1:11)