You hit a certain age and instead of being invited to house parties, people start issuing dinner party proposals.
Have all of your mates toegther, eating – it’s a lovely idea, right? But what if the thought of being sat around a table, trapped and at the mercy of your so-called friend who *thinks* they can cook, is your idea of a night badly spent?
You might recognise some of these thoughts and feelings…
No matter how many invites to dinner you receive, you always forget you’re meant to bring a gift until 10 minutes before. If only it wasn’t so obvious that you’ve just nipped to the off-licence for a warm, £5 bottle of white wine that still has the price sticker on it.
You just know your host will decide to mix their friendship groups, so you’ll end up stuck next to their best friend from primary school, who eats with their mouth open and spends the whole of dinner insisting you meet their brother because you’d make such a great couple.
There is no guarantee the food will be good – or that there will be enough of it to go round. The blue soup scene in Bridget Jones was a warning for us all…
You’ll be halfway through your chocolate mousse dessert, thinking you’re on the home straight, when someone will mention Brexit… Pudding = totally ruined.
If you’re hosting, you wish it wasn’t standard etiquette to refuse help with the washing up. If only you had a dishwasher. But that person who won’t stop offering to help and chop stuff and pour things and turned up two hours early? Yeah, they will not be allowed back.
There is always one who causally tops their glass up so often they end up shouting inappropriate questions at you across the table. If no one else appears to have taken on this role, it’s most probably you doing the shouting.
You totally respect your friends’ dietary requirements, but you have to admit, catering for vegans, veggies, pescatarians, gluten and dairy allergies all at once is a total nightmare. Best to do themed nights, and avoid any cross contamination.
People who go to the trouble of whipping up starters are clearly doing it as a passive aggressive show of superiority. We just want CRISPS and DIP. That is all.
It’s so hard to know when to leave. Immediately after dessert? Can you ask for coffee? Once the wine is finished? Or just when your host starts turning the lights out?
The crucial question of course is: What’s wrong with just going out for dinner? At least that way you can keep your shoes on, and not have to say: ‘You must come round to ours soon too!’ on your way out the door.