Sunday, January 29, 2017



     An hour before our dinner guests were to arrive, Mr. Wonderful said, “I don’t even like entertaining. Why do we have to entertain?” I chuckled, as I knew that he was coming off a “I’m-a-crabby-guy” kind of day. I said, “Well, we don’t have to entertain, but that means we can’t accept invitations from others and then not reciprocate.” He replied, “We’ve already reciprocated with the ones who invited us.” “Yes, that’s true, so what you’re saying is that we can’t accept any other invitations.” “Well, who’s keeping score anyway?” he countered. At this point, I knew winning this argument was pointless, but it did give me pause.

     As my parents grew older and entertaining became too difficult or too much trouble, they

began taking their friends out for dinner to reciprocate. I suggested this numerous times, but it fell on deaf ears. I said, “We wouldn’t have to clean the house, plan the meal, figure out who’s allergic to what and buy wine we can’t drink. We could save a lot of work and worry, not to mention the $150-$200 it costs every time we have a dinner party.” Nope. That didn’t fly.

     A perfect dinner party, I decided, would be inviting over one or two couples with whom you have a lot in common and who you know will not judge you by what you serve or how clean your house is. In other words, I would not do the following:

1.  Figure out a menu that allowed for allergies, tastes, alcohol tolerance
2.  Clean the house from top to bottom
  3.  Set the table with my finest china and silver
4.  Be sure the centerpiece was beautiful, and all the serving dishes were placed just so.
5.  Buy groceries and alcohol (Total minimum for 4-6 $150-$200)
6.  Figure out what to wear so I look T & G (trim and glam)
7.  Cook meal and serve piping hot
8.  Keep conversation flowing and avoid politics, religion and aches and pains.
9.  Clean up mess.
10.  Clean house again next day.
11.  Ask myself if it was worth it all.
12.  Answer truthfully.

(Fortunately, the party last night was great fun, and he even admitted he enjoyed it too. This is not always the case.)

     The perfect dinner party would be to invite everyone over in their most comfortable clothing (pjs, jeans, cut-offs, whatever) They would each bring something that required no cooking or fancy preparation. We would eat on our laps in front of the TV with a good movie. After the movie, we would have a stimulating discussion, and the men would clean up the mess while the women talked “girl talk.” Everyone would leave by 9:30, and we would eat the $15 dessert alone and fall fat and deliciously exhausted into our nest.