When planning a dinner party, I usually dream about putting on a soiree devoted to quality conversation, a delicious meal and awesome company. The end result, however, is always a room full of loud adults and even louder music, liquor, beer and enough pizza and wings to keep everyone mildly sober.
The scene is far from picturesque, but it serves its purpose and my guests are always satisfied. I would have gone the rest of my life facilitating and overseeing late-night gatherings of intoxications and dysfunction, but I recently received an invitation to a sophisticated dinner party that changed my approach. Every aspect of the event, from the invitation to the send-off, was foreign and exciting.
Even though a free, three-course meal on a Saturday night is enough reason to attend, I weighed whether to cancel right up to the last minute. A work week filled with respectability politics calls for weekends where you can freely let your hair down and your wild side out. I pictured a bunch of people with no connection seated around the table struggling to make a conversation work. However, I remained hopefully, considered that alcohol was available and put forth the effort to attend.
And I was amazed.
My hostess was extremely detailed. There was various types of wine that paired well with the delicious appetizer, dinner and dessert. Her home was even more appealing than the food, which is something to celebrate because food is always important. She even answered all my home décor questions, which many people usually protect with their life. The final touch was a Pandora’s “Dinner Music” station that played in the background with artists such as Frank Sinatra and anyone that sounded like smooth red wine.
I was instantly reformed.
After all the wine, food and dessert was gone and the conversation ended, no one requested a blanket or pillow to crash on the couch because everyone was capable of going home safely. I felt like I was re-living a dinner scene from a movie and I desperately wanted to press rewind.
I am very much a change woman now that I see how civil individuals party. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a nice kick-back with liters of alcohol littering the kitchen counter and pizza boxes stacked high, unorganized. However, I cannot deny the seed that has been planted. I have seen the light.
I learned the following from my night:
(1) Happiness is not always at the bottom of the liquor bottle, sometimes it’s at the bottom of a wine bottle.
(2) Even though bar food is awesome, it is not life and does not go well with everything, such as wine.
(3) You don’t have to sacrifice fun as you grow older, but the college-party scene will get old and hangovers will become more painful. Wine will help you transition smoothly.