Friday, 21 January 2011

Singles For Dinner

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.


Drusilla said...

Hi Seraphic -

I learned you were blogging again as SS through a friend. Welcome back. I hope your book is a great success (I plan to buy & read it). God bless,


Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

I don't have enough married friends I live near for this to happen, but a few of us try to get together just to hang out on a regular basis, go do something, cook, etc. Four other single ladies and I had a fantastic new year's eve cooking (too much food for) dinner, watching a holiday classic, and going to see the fireworks.

I don't like packing children off, though. My folks never threw dinner parties per se, they just had friends to dinner, and all of us (up to 8 kids) were expected to eat dinner together with the guest. We also occasionally played musical instruments for them (it's a Slovene thing), or Irish step danced, etc. We were part of it. I guess if it's a late party, sure, and at monthly religious discussions, the kids usually watched a movie, but we were welcome to join if we were ready to participate in a mature way.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

oh, darn, I'm so sorry, I forgot to wish you a good time! but I hope it was lovely. :)

Mary Rose said...

Hello, Dorothy. I found your blog through "The Crescat" and love it. Congratulations on the book! I was single until I married for the first time at 39. At that point, I thought I'd be single the rest of my life and had accepted it. I enjoyed my singleness in many ways but also enjoy marriage.

I love your entry here about dinner parties. I think I'd like to host more in 2011. I have had family members over but never really invited other people. And you know what? I'm into creating hand-crafted cards so I just might make a big event out of it!

And the old-fashioned tradition of the ladies adjourning to another room to leave the men to their port (and some, cigars), I love this! I totally believe in it. Let the men hash out over topics that interest them and the ladies discuss what they like. It's perfect, in my opinion, and only has disappeared because some think it's sexist. I don't. I think it's perfect.

I also love the word, "poppets." :-) Enjoy your weekend!

Julie said...

Do the ladies get to drink the port? In ye olden dayes I'm sure the answer is no, but how does the Seraphic household do?

Ginger said...

Growing up, my parents sometimes did the separate meal for kids or we were (or my younger siblings were, once I was old enough for my presence with the adults no longer to be in question) allowed at the table depending on who the guests were. I think that's a generally good policy since it doesn't make sense to pack off the kids when their beloved aunts/uncles/teachers/friends-of-the-family are coming, and it can also be a neusance to have them pestering you about dessert during the heat of a philisophical discussion with people they don't know well anyway.

As for dinner in general, I have a first date tonight. :)

Lynea said...

If I ever were to be invited to one of your parties, as much as I'd enjoy the chatting with the women only, I'd be untraditional and not miss my chance for a glass of port.

Lynea said...

I think you should start a new tradition: women should go into the other room only AFTER they grab their glasses of port.

healthily sanguine said...

There could be port in the other room too . . . or other, even better things :)