In Danger of Extinction: The Dinner Party

The New York Times

When I think of society dinner parties, I think of nights filled with good food, interesting people and fascinating conversation. And I think of the host and hostesses of these parties as the masterminds that set the stage and allow the evening's events to unfold.

Earlier this week, The New York Times published an article stating that dinner parties are becoming extinct. "What a shame," I thought. Not because society's elite are throwing fewer parties, but because as a society in general, we are allowing this type of evening to disappear from our personal experience.

Four years ago, my now fiancé and I brought our separate friends together for the first time. It was for a cocktails/appetizers-driven movie night (rather than a dinner party), but we were nervous. We carefully planned the guest list, mulled over shared interests between guests and debated possible conversation starters. The food and drink were important, but successful mingling was paramount in our minds. In the end, the evening was fantastic. Nothing went according to plan. Those we thought would get along, often didn't have the chance to talk to each other, so engaged were they with talking to other new acquaintances. There were connections we couldn't have fathomed, and the cocktails and conversation just flowed and flowed. (So much so, that we had to force our guests to adjourn to the patio for the movie, which started 3 hours later than we had originally intended!) It was one of those wonderful, magical evenings that often happens whenever new and interesting people are introduced.

I believe that these types of experiences are to be valued. They're not about how much money is spent, or how complicated of a menu one serves, but rather about the delightfully unexpected chemistry that occurs between new acquaintances over a shared meal. They're about unforeseen events that derail best laid plans and become nights to remember. I for one, think that these are occasions worth saving; not for the elite few, but for socially-impoverished among us all.

What do you think? Do you enjoy dinner parties? Are they a disappearing breed?

Read More: The New York Times

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