dinner with new couples
Saturday, December 18 2004
Today Gretchen had organized a second dinner party, this one for two other couples, both recently-constituted local couples. One couple was Kathy from the animal sanctuary and her new boyfriend, Quiet David. The other was our lawyer friend Peter and his new girlfriend, the lovely Trini (who sings jazz at BSP's open mike night in Uptown Kingston). This time the party could actually take place at our house. While Gretchen slaved away in the kitchen, I had cleanup duty. Our house is so large and parts of it are so underutilized that the main thing one does when performing a thorough cleaning is lint removal. I also get rid of cobwebs when I'm cleaning up, unless, that is, I see that a specific cobweb is home to a live spider.
So Peter and Trini showed up, Peter bringing a bottle of wine and his own personal bottle of Absolut. Peter is a rare breed, a Jew who drinks like an Irishman. I'd built a fire that was now raging in the woodstove, giving the living room a coziness it normally lacks. I often wonder whether the room's cathedral ceilings make any sense at all given how long it takes for the heat from the stove to build its way down to the floor from up there above the collar ties.
After Kathy and Quiet David arrived, conversation mostly concerned such subjects as abortion, the relative inhumanity of various hunting methods, and which creatures we'd save first in a situation where a variety are simultaneously imperiled. The list of such creatures included a dog, a human baby, a chicken, a mosquito, and a Republican Senate candidate. The order in which I listed the hypothetical rescuees corresponds roughly to the consensus view of the order in which they should be saved, although it's doubtful Peter and Kathy were in the league of misanthropy shared by some of the others or that anyone could match Gretchen's misanthropy.
Inevitably, as with all conversations I've had with others of late, I found an opportunity to change the subject to the This American Life archives and the vast wonderland that it is. I've noticed among my friends and peers that awareness of This American Life tends to be higher among women than among men, whatever that means.
Dinner itself was built around a chicken pot pie made with fake (quorn-based) chicken and Gretchen had baked a fluffy chocolate cake for dessert. When Gretchen invites you to a dinner party, you have to expect a multi-course spectacle of culinary delights. Strangely, though, once the meal was over, everybody got up and headed home.
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