Those intimate gatherings filled with sparkling conversation and mouth-watering morsels you always dreamed of hosting can now come together in a pinch without any of the help and know-how you normally rely on from some overpriced catering company. And if a certain someone hadn’t listened intently as I poured out all my hopes and dreams in a post-coital haze and then stolen them from me, I would be publishing this advice in my very own magazine. But that’s not what this is about. This is about your night in the spotlight. So let’s get back to you. Whether you’re entertaining a party of ten, six or just one, a few simple steps are all it takes. Like, for example, the self-serve bar. It’s a great place to direct your guests upon arrival and really helps to kick-start the evening. In fact, I’m going to help myself to a cocktail right now. One, two, three, four, five parts vodka, an olive, and viola! I’m refreshed and ready to mingle.
Which reminds me of the first time we “connected”. It was during Frosh week on a pub crawl. As clichés go, we ordered the very same dirty vodka martini I’m enjoying right now. This, of course, kicked off an in-depth conversation about our majors. Mine: Economics with a minor in Women’s Studies. Hers: A double major in History and Architectural History. Before we knew it, we were three martinis deep and had been left behind by the group. But when you connect like we did, everything else becomes secondary. And for a while, that’s how life was. We started a book club–for two. We shared clothes. We cooked meals together. Oh, speaking of food, usually at this time, I make sure the savory aroma of dinner is wafting through the air. Like the chicken basted with lemon and rosemary I smell right now. Ooops, looks like someone needs a refill.
O.K., we’re back. Now, once people begin to comment on of the sweet smell, I kindly remind them to get a refill and then direct them to the table. When you read in her magazine about coasters and napkins that match the season and a centerpiece that compliments the main course, guess where those ideas came from? Of course, she’ll deny everything. And why wouldn’t she. No one knows those were my dreams she stole. I was just a young, naïve co-ed who was in love. Now she’s taken those dreams and used them to become an international media maven. As for me, well, no one even knows my name. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is, I trusted her and if she had returned that trust, if she had stuck with me, we could have been bigger than Oprah. But no, I was just a fling. She was confused. Experimenting. Blah, blah, blah, it’s over, but can we still be friends? Goddamn I need another refill.
Oh dear, I’m sorry, it’s just I’m feeling a little emotional right now. Pull yourself together woman. O.K., I’m all right now. Heck, another one of these and I’ll totally forget all about what’s-her-name. Like how, at our dinner parties, she’d re-arrange my seating plan so she could play footsies with me. Or how on game night she always made sure we were partners, so she could cheat her way to victory. Then there was the time we took that weekend trip up to Vermont. It was Fall, so everywhere you looked the scenery was gorgeous. But we spent the whole weekend in our room. Come to think of it, that’s when I really opened up and told her about my plans. At the time I thought it was great to have someone listen to me. Someone who cared about what I wanted. Someone who encouraged me to pursue the dream I had been chasing since I as a young girl. But son of a bitch, it was all a game. I got played. I–oh, shit! Something’s burning. Goddamn I ruined the fucking chicken. Great, dinner’s fucked. I wonder if I time to call my caterer?
Before I make the call (and get another refill) let’s recap. The most important step towards hosting your own oh-so-fab dinner party is to never trust a skinny bitch with a blonde bob. It will lead to nothing but heartache, tears and alcohol. Unless, of course, you’re looking to have someone steal your life’s work and then make millions from it. Other than that, keep you glass full, a box of tissue handy and, most importantly, never take advice on etiquette or anything else related to life from a back-stabbing bitch who’s done semi-hard time.
Happy hosting. And please feel free to write me if you’d like any further advice.