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