I have no time to properly blog today, for I decided to have a dinner party at the last minute, and now have to go marinate some fish. Thankfully, it is a small last minute dinner party.
Dinner parties are my favourite non-ecclesial, non-literary thing in the world because they combine food, wine and talking. B.A. and I have a lot of them, and sometimes we invite married people, and sometimes we invite Single people, and sometimes there's a mix and occasionally there's a priest, although I don't think we've had more than one priest at one time because you never know whether priests are going to get along together, or what. Sometimes we have Old Tories and Old Commies at the same time, and then things get interesting.
One thing we haven't done is orchestrate dinner parties to cleverly throw a lovely Single female friend with a lovely Single male friend, although we have had what I call Youth Dinners, to throw various 20-somethings together and see how they all get along. It is actually a very bad idea for Married people to orchestrate dinner parties to set up Friend A and Friend B; either Friend A or Friend B or both will know what you're up to and be mortified.
No, the thing to do, Married People, is just to invite Single people over for dinner with absolutely no ulterior motive. You invite them over because you like them and because they make a nice change from staring across the table or the sofa arm from your spouse all the time. Don't be embarrassed if you have babies, because most people like their friends' babies. If your children are a little older, you can do the time-honoured routine of giving them pasta at 6, packing them off to bed at 7, and having Grown-up Dinner at 8. Or am I totally naive about children here? I think it's okay if the children creep out and sit stealthily on the staircase after you have put them to bed; as a child I always crept out onto the staircase and came to no harm. In fact, I usually got bored and went back to bed.
Single people should also have dinner parties, or if that sounds to complicated, to invite people over for dinner. The downside is that you have to wash the dishes afterwards, but the upside is that you don't have to go home by yourself (my least favourite part of Single life) because you are home.
Port Pause: La, la, la! Here in the Historical House, the ladies often escape from the table when the port goes around. This is intensely old-fashioned and no doubt should be banned, but I enjoy the chance to sit in a soft chair in my cozy parlour and hear what the women have to say without the men interrupting. For all I know, I am the LAST hostess in Edinburgh to offer this privilege.
Tonight I am the only lady, so I am in the drawing room all by myself, checking my emails and relaxing. After cooking a three course dinner, it's good to relax. Ahhhh! Goodness only knows what the men are talking about, but it probably includes the worst excesses of Oliver Cromwell.
Update: A young priest has written in to remind me that he was to dinner at my house with an older priest. As far as I recall, they rubbed together very well, possibly because they are both very amiable. I will now amuse myself by thinking up impossible dinner-party priest combinations, e.g. a certain FSSP priest and a certain Jesuit liturgist. Snort, snort, giggle.