March 25, 2013

Dinner Parties or Friendly Dinners?

The idea started a few months ago after we hosted a birthday party in October, we had a huge turnout and honestly, our apartment was too small and crowded to feel comfortable. We realized that the layout of our place is not good for big gatherings so being social creatures we talked about what would be a possible good alternative.

I remember my parent’s house being a gathering place for family and friends and once I moved out on my own, before I was married my little apartment became the place to go to after church, make a batch of whatever we were eating and share with about 5-6 friends. Once I got married I tried to keep this going but busy lives for us and my friends-and our/their wives just got in the way---see what I did there? he, he--they mainly didn't get along with each other so what was the point?; probably best to just leave that one alone. Also while growing up my parents had us kids set the table-it wasn’t anything more than get out the place mats, plates, utensils and drinking cups but it still had the feeling of a formal time to sit and eat together. I’ve gone back and do all those things when the kids come over to eat dinner on Wednesdays or Sundays as much as possible—I don’t know why I lost that and at what point eating with paper plates, and disposable cups became the norm—funny how some things happen in life.

Um...sorry about the tangent!

Back to the issue--Jeff and I decided that we would host smaller dinners with fewer people to get more of the intimate feeling and still be able to have a good time with others once in a while. So we’ve been inviting people over for dinner—at first it was once a week but then it became too much of a production and it seems to work best if we do it once every couple of weeks—typically a Monday night or adjust as needed based on schedules; but we go all out with the good plates, the good wine glasses, fabric napkins, napkin rings, full utensil set up the whole nine yards, what's the use of having fancy dishes if they never get used?—and I LOVE IT!

The best part is that we are able to reconnect with people from different points of life, singles, couples, we had Jeff’s ex-partner; we've also invited the first friend I ever admitted being gay to, new friends and old friends—It is fun to come up with “who are we inviting over next?” and figure out all the details. People are super-nice, we get to know them a little better and have a good meal, dessert, and wine or whatever drinks to share and good conversation. Most important we are back to what both of us enjoy doing, being social and hosting people at the house.

We’ve talked about branching out and consider inviting people we would normally not have over; maybe a married couple from my old days at church, or a couple of people from our Zumba class, a straight couple and yes, even some relatives without making it an official family function--in short invite people and yes, possibly even someone that would very much put us out of our comfort zone (sounds silly in my head, I know but we need to add all of these people to our list). 

I've loved bringing this part of myself back--I really do like doing it. So if you read this and have not been invited yet, or if you’ll be in Salt Lake City soon and have an evening to spare and some flexibility let me know, we would love to have you over and as the old saying goes:  “break bread", share some wine-or whatever your drink of choice is-have good conversation and laugh ourselves silly--really, do it! 


  1. I love having people over for dinner. I have gotten away from it since we moved to New Orleans but your post is inspiring me!!!

  2. My former wife loved to entertain. She was also a superb, skilled cook. We were the party hosters for our wards and friends in married student housing, in our home in UT, and our home in NC. The get-togethers diminished as the challenges increased in our marriage.

    When we settled our divorce she felt I should keep the china and silver since most of it came from my relatives in Utah. (Almost all of her family and friends were in NC.) The china looks beautiful in the china hutch, but has not been used for years.

    My guy use to entertain at his home until the past few years. One thing we would like to do is resume the shared traditions both of us had in the past of hosting dinners for friends.

    Maybe some day we will get out to SLC and meet you and Jeff. Let us know if you ever find your way back to NC. My guy and I hope to host our first dinner in a month or so.

  3. Thanks for your comments Kiley and Dean!

    I highly recommend it Kiley--go for it, you'll see why you loved it so much in the first place!

    Dean--yes by all means if we're ever in that part or you in SLC we will make it happen (Kiley too!), promise! :D