every week i’d like to host a dinner party. and i’d like to do this for a very long time.
i have a specific vision but of course this idea is hardly novel. i’m sharing it because it’s true and emblematic of my social aspirations in life.
one inspiration is my dad’s friend don who hosts pig roasts. one pig roast is a party; a pig roast every year is an institution.1 there are regulars. some of the pig roasts had souvenir t-shirts. i think that’s pretty great. and big parties can coexist, but i would like to see people more often than that. i think there’s more power to it when it is a cornerstone of life rather than a special occasion. so i dream of a smaller gathering done weekly.
i think it’s important not to worry about having anyone in particular any given week. as long as the number of people is in the 4-10 range, maybe even 3-12, you can host a dinner party. but if you get locked into the idea that any specific person or people need to make each one, suddenly you’re meeting once a month. (source: every DnD campaign in history.) and i think having a rotating cast of guests makes the event more lively over time, more like a community than a “friend group”.2
it’s ok to deviate from the schedule once in a while, but it’s best to be predictable. any day of the week will do although some are better than others. mon/tue/wed feel like settling, thursday too to a lesser extent. friday and saturday are best as long as you can get people to show.3 sunday has a certain charm to it as well.
as for the festivities, i think you can’t set the bar too high; it’s important to reach it every week. as i imagine it, you start cooking in the evening, guests file in from 6-7, you eat when dinner’s ready, and then you do whatever you feel like until people go home. if it ends right after dinner some weeks that’s ok. if you have to order takeout that’s ok. no pressure for side dishes but maybe you can get somebody to bring one.
and no need for forced ceremony. the enshrinement of the dinner party as an institution will happen naturally over time. so long as you can keep going for years and years and years. that’s the idea anyway.
obstacles (for me)
- i don’t have my own place. i could host from my parents’ house but it’s not quite the same. this is pretty fixable though because i have a job. and i think roommates are ok as long as it doesn’t get on their nerves.
- i don’t have enough friends who can get to any specific location each week to make this happen. this is kind of on me to make more friends, though i appreciate introductions.4 (it is also on me to live in a more accessible location. or on my suburban friends to learn how to drive. (im not kidding it is invaluable.))
that’s really it for the obstacles i think.
is this going to happen
yeah i think i can make it happen within 2 years. but other people should make it happen for themselves if it sounds appealing. it requires consistent effort but not strenuous effort, and it is its own reward.
don is old and now they’re every other year ↩
the party truly becomes an institution when you can have a rotating cast of hosts as well. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. ↩
i’m not beating the secular shabbat allegations ↩
part of the goal of this website is to eventually meet people who discover it. it hasn’t happened yet but it could. this is part of why the message feature exists. ↩