Monday, January 18, 2010

Decide My Fate

I feel so vulnerable. My future is in your hands (or rather, keyboards). You have three more days to vote in the Undomesticated Me poll.

Right now, "Throw a Dinner Party" holds a strong lead ahead of "Housewarming Party" in the poll, with "Learn to Knit" coming in a distant third and "Learn to Sew" garnering no votes. But I know how these things can suddenly change at the last minute, so I won't send out dinner invitations just yet.

Still, I am beginning to brainstorm about this theoretical dinner party. I've never actually entertained before. Sure, I've thrown my share of kids' parties before and in my 20s, my housemate and I threw lots of rockin' bashes. But I have never invited adults who are not related to me over to eat good food and engage in grown up conversation.

Before I learned to cook, the question of a dinner party was moot. It seemed awfully gauche to invite people over just to order in pizza.

Now that I've got dinner parties on my brain, I'm wondering who I would actually invite to this thing. Our dining table seats 8, so not including me and Avo, that leaves room for six guests. I've been told that a successful dinner party depends nearly as much on the mix of people as the quality of the food.

Doing research online, I found a guide to dinner party etiquette which suggests:

When selecting guests for your event, you’ll want to choose an interesting mix of characters, but make sure they will all get along. It wouldn’t do to invite people who are known to clash with other dinner guests or cause heated debates. No one wants tension at a dinner party. Your party should be a lively, stress-free event. Invite guests who are good conversationalists, especially those who are known to bring along their sense of humor.

Do you know any charming, sophisticated guests who are good conversationalists with a sense of humor? Maybe I could even write a script beforehand for them to read so I can be sure it all goes smoothly.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Learn to Knit still has a shot. The poll's not over 'til it's over.


Lisa said...

You can SO throw a dinner party. Let me know if you need help!

Undomesticated Me said...

I need help!

Bernie Bernstein said...

It's Me, Mom - I'm still voting for the knitting, but if I can help you with any ideas in the dinner party area, I'll be more than happy to oblige. Anything that is that doesn't entail cooking. (Maybe it's not so bad that we live so far away).

I'm glad your table only seats 8. More than that is difficult because you tend to get 2 or 3 people talking to each other rather than everyone chiming into the conversation. We learned that on a cruise. Six is enough to keep the table chatter going. Eight or more is cross conversation.

Tip: Keep your menu simple and choose mostly things you can prepare in advance and that just need to be reheated.

Good Luck and enjoy your first (of many) dinner parties.

Kathy N. said...

Ha ha. I think you'll find the greatest challenge to assembling a dinner party is find a TIME when 6 or 8 people are all free/can find a sitter/aren't sick, etc. Once you get everyone in the room your guests will be able to take care of themselves!

Lisa said...

I think Bernie Bernstein should have her own column on dinner parties.

Undomesticated Me said...

Clearly, my mom (Marilyn Bernstein) needs her own e-mail address! I do remember her throwing some nice dinner parties when I was a kid.