Clarice, tell us how Party of One came to be? I was widowed in 1998, around the same time the movie The Sixth Sense came out. Every time I saw the trailer and heard the line “I see dead people walking around; they’re everywhere,” I would think, “I see lonely people walking around; they’re everywhere.” Fifteen years later, I still do. During the eight years I was widowed, God gave me a heart for single adults—especially those who have slipped through the cracks between active couples and busy families. You know who I mean. They’re the ones who volunteer to help at social events so they have a purpose in attending; the ones who sit alone in church; or the ones who dine out in restaurants at tables, always meant for more than one, trying to look less awkward than they feel. When I dined alone in a restaurant, I would often wonder how other single diners would react if I invited them to join me. I even drew up a plan, picked out the restaurant, and came up with the name “Party of One.” It never happened; I chickened out. In 2006, I was blessed to remarry. When I told my husband, David about my passion for lonely singles and my former plan to create A Party of One fellowship, he suggested I turn my idea into a novel. I did, and its title—you guessed it—Party of One. (My agent is shopping it around to publishers now.) But something was missing: An actual Party of One fellowship.
What is the purpose of The Party of One? So, in 2011, The Party of One, A Fellowship for Those Tired of Dining Alone, was founded. Its purpose is simple: to fellowship with single adults at a communal table. (To be clear, when I use the word “single,” I don’t mean single as in dating, but single as in dining.) Party of One people include men and women of all ages, some single by choice, single by circumstances or “spiritually” single. It also includes others, like my husband and myself who are called to encourage them.
How does your Party of One chapter work? Party of One extends an open invitation to all who are “tired of dining alone.” We do not limit attendees to Christians. We rotate between Friday night, Saturday day, and Sunday afternoon—three of the loneliness times for single adults. On average, we meet twice a month. We change up venues often between reasonably priced restaurants, fundraising events, and potluck meals.
If readers are interested in what you are doing and want to know more, where can they contact you? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-578-1860. http://claricejames.com/my-novels/party-of-one-a-novel/party-of-one-fellowship/