Blame it on social media allowing you to catch up with your friends without ever leaving bed, or the rise of specific diets, from vegan to gluten free, The New York Times reports that we can kiss this invitation for an at home dinner or party good by. That's ok, we will go to the ones Elle Decor is still planning to host.
The Times lines up very good reasons that would scare any want-to-be host, from the need to offer the best high end alcohol for your foodie friend, to the challenge of having people commit to something (so many options on Facebook, let me check if there is something better to do than writing this article).
No matter what they say, we have nine reasons we hope the disappearance of house parties isn't true - maybe it's because you were just at a charming one and can't wait to be invited again or host one:
1. Connection It's the best way to connect with people. Of course, at a restaurant the host wouldn't have to worry about clearing the dishes, and it may sound like a good idea. But those micro-moments are when you connect with people, while helping, or helping yourself to a glass of wine.
2. Who is good at Math? We don't want to get there, and neither do you enjoy that part either. Remind me, what did you have? Was it the special of the day, and did you drink? No matter how you split it, the bill is a headache. Instead of leaving the restaurant on that sour note, why not leave your friend's place while laughing with whoever is leaving with you.
3. Lounge & Sofas. May be some places call themselves "lounge", but most likely it's to be able to charge a bottle fee and crank up the volume of the music. We are talking about sofas, the real deal, to lounge in. The one that reflects your host so well, you know you are home, from the square box like your OCD friend, to the all curvy one of your bobo college roommate. Want to enjoy an evening, try to stay on those bar stools, or fancy designer restaurant chairs for more than ten minutes. What you need is a real sofa, where you can be yourself, and murmur something to the person next to you, without her laughing politely because she has no clue what you just said.
4. Splurge and enjoy. Granted, a professional Chef will know how to blow you away with his food and you should indulge in it. But your friend can surprise you as well. And to go with it, bring a bottle of matching one, it won't cost you more than the single glass the Chef recommended.
5. Know your friends better. We have set the decor, good food, some drinks, now the people. The great thing about being at home is that you are not stuck talking to just one person, you can enjoy the party while truly mingling and having real conversations. You can be you, there is no other table to shush you because you are too loud telling your crazy stories.
6. Be yourself. If it's a seat down dinner, then respect your host and arrive on time. Even then, there will be some munching time. Your delayed arrival will not be met by your friends telling you about how stern the hostess was indicating that they could not start having fun till the whole party was here. Respect your host, but your host also wants you to feel at home, hence the name, home party. Let us know next time a restaurant recommends you kick off your shoes to relax (unless you are in Japan).
7. Shine as a host. You have been pouring over those Jung Li FÊTE settings, read all of the Beekman boys advices, marveled over Filigree Suppers, drooled and reverse engineered those Neuman's Kitchen pictures so it's time for you to put it all into action. Imagine how good you will feel when your friends the extra mile you went through? Nobody will ever pay a compliment to the cocktail you ordered, but they will do more than that when they sip on your signature cocktail and enjoy seconds.
8. Play Matchmaker and not just referee. That's right, the last time you had a dinner party was Thanksgiving when you had to play referee between Aunt Betty and Cousin Joe. Forget about that, think about what your friends like, who they will enjoy, and have the perfect seating arrangement. Then realize that the connections were not where you thought they would be and smile.
9. A great way to say Thank you Don't tell us the size of your apartment, your limited budget, or your lack of cooking skills. You really think that a restaurant offers you more space than your sofa/bed? do a cost comparison with going out! That's why you can order in. No reason not to organize a party for your friends, there is no better way to tell them you love them, and you are glad to count them as friends.
Now, chop chop, we have to plan a dinner party, we have some friends to thank.