Reasons Why 'We' Can't Attend Elegant Dinner Parties
A Few Scenes Of Elegant Dinner Parties
Someone much wiser than I, told me years ago that we were not just put on earth to work, play, eat, sleep and pay taxes. I looked stunned at this wiser-than-a-Tibetan monk as he laid out his doctrine. He continued to tell me that we are to learn things along the pathways of our lives. Then he walked away--head held down in a humble fashion leaving me with a frozen, stunned look still on my face.
Okay. I will play the game. I admit it. In my 57 years of both hard, and easy living at times, I have managed to learn a few concrete facts about myself. Things that I do not share with strangers. But friends, old and new.
The Few Things I Have Learned About Myself is . . .
1. I will never date Bette Midler.
2. I will never go to dental school.
3. I will never own a ‘57 Chevy.
4. Britney Spears will never stay over at my house to rest from a tour.
5. I will never win the Nobel Peace Prize.
And “the” most-astounding fact that I have learned about myself is: I will never be attending any elegant dinner parties. Never. You can take it to the bank. Bet the farm on this, friends. I may not know that much, compared to Stephen Hawking, but this fact I do know. I will never, and I do mean never, with right hand held high in the air, no elegant dinner parties for me. Even if I suddenly come into Bill Gates-like wealth. No elegant dinner parties for this old man.
Some people are made for certain things. Highly-intelligent people are, I believe, destined for positions such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, and humanitarians who win the Humanitarian of The Year Award. And often. And some people, namely me, are not destined for such positions. While most on this list of highly-intelligent people touch, change and many times, save lives, they also are prime candidates to attend elegant parties. And people, common people like me, more common than your average welcome mat, are not destined for this successful level of living. But I am not going to let this ‘eat me up,’ and if you will pardon that pun, I will tell you why people such as I do not attend, or will ever attend, elegant dinner parties.
There are three types of elegant dinner parties.
1. There is the “no reason” elegant dinner party that some wealthy-but-warm-hearted socialite throws for her equally-wealthy and elegant friends to just gather in one huge banquet room of their five-story summer house mansion in the Catskills, to talk about elegant dinner parties they all have attended lately. Sounds like fun if you are an elegant, wealthy man or woman, right?
2. The other type of elegant dinner party is disguised as an elegant dinner party for the same type of people--noteworthy, famous, rich, popular, and in-demand from those like me, who live near the bottom rung of the ‘society ladder.’ I need a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, who doesn’t? These special individuals I have mentioned are at this fundraiser by invitation only, to act like they are actually eating from the $2000.00 plate that they have just bought. And look like they are having a great time. Some of these upper-class people actually have a good time at fundraisers, while a select few do not.
3. The third type of elegant dinner party is strictly for mega-famous, mega-wealthy celebrities, film stars, authors, television talk show hosts, and famous chefs who have their own shows on the Food Network. This type of elegant dinner party is for these sometimes-lonely celebrities to have somewhere to be that evening--to meet, mingle with their own, compare bank accounts, clothing designs, and stock investments. Hey, the mega-rich like Bill Gates are only human. They too have social needs.
The reasons why I, or people like me, will never go to, or be invited to an elegant dinner party of any design for any reason are . . .
1. We commoners cannot afford the luxury clothing worn by the men of this chosen group of elite people. The guys at elegant dinner parties, brag fests or fundraisers or not, do not rent their tuxedos, but own them. And their tuxedos are specially-tailored by a famous French or Italian tailor known the world over for his tuxedo designs.
2. We commoners cannot pronounce many of the wealthy, successful, elite names of people who thrive on attending this type of party. And that reminds me. An elegant dinner party is a party, not a get-together.
3. We, the common men, would have to discover a new planet, design a car that runs on water, or find the cure for poverty to be successful, popular or wealthy enough to get our name on the secret lists of people who love to act smug as they attend one elegant dinner party after the other. We haven’t the proper social contribution to be included with these highly-enlightened people when they have an elegant dinner party at one of their ten-story mansions in Oyster Bay.
4. We common people fear that we do not know how to eat the specially-prepared delicacies eaten by the ‘social superior,’ for we would probably mispronounce the name of a cut of meat that a Chef Le’ Pierre la Gust of Italy, had specially-prepared and flown-in on his private leer jet just for this elegant dinner party and when our tongues got tied up, all those around us would burst into muffled giggles and try to restrain themselves from a real laugh. You see. People who attend elegant dinner parties do not laugh like your or I. The beautiful ladies cover their small mouths with Chinese silk hankies and just sound like a kitten sneezing.
I want to go on public record, in front of God and everyone, and state that I do not have anything against anyone who plans, attends, or pays for elegant dinner parties anywhere, anytime and in any fashion. Probably the truth is that the people connected with elegant dinner parties are salt of the earth, good Samaritans, humanitarians and good neighbors, but that will not sell my common folks and me on the idea of why “we” need this social outlet in our lives.
The closest to an elegant dinner party I’ve ever come is attending an all-day singing and dinner on the ground that we usually had at the small, country church my family and I used to attend in 1973. My family meaning my mom, dad, sister and her husband. The name of this quaint rural church was New Hope Church, a church building and surroundings that would have made famous Americana artist, Norman Rockwell’s mouth foam with excitement for its quiet beauty and solid peaceful atmosphere.
The dinner-on-the-ground was in fact, a lunch served on cement picnic tables behind the church at the noon hour. I enjoyed southern fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, black eye peas, cornbread, and some delightful peach cobbler followed by that famous rural favorite: Lipton iced tea. I was in heaven. Literally. I am so sad that those days of my teenage years are now only caloric memories.
Let’s look at some serious facts about elegant dinner parties. These facts are applicable for “just” an elegant dinner party for enjoying expensive and hard-to-pronounce foods, but any elegant dinner party.
Fact: it takes hard work to plan, prepare and promote an elegant dinner party. Whether the wealthy, aloof hostess does all the planning by herself or dictates to her highly-paid and also aloof staff the plans for her elegant dinner party, you can bet your last appetizer that someone is going to do some tough work. If she is any wealthy aloof hostess, she wants everything to be perfect.
Fact:there are security measures to be in place for any elegant dinner party. Bet you didn’tknow that. Yes. If you were an aloof hostess living on Fifth Avenue, New York, in a luxurious townhouse apartment, would you trust just anyone who came to your elegant dinner party? No. Security measures mean that whatever security company this hostess uses, she has the background of every guest on her invitation list checked, rechecked, and checked again for any personal discrepancy. No one wants a militant, overly-sensitive politically-minded person or persons at their elegant dinner party. This is a gala event. Not a Republican National Convention.
Fact: at most elegant dinner parties, there are no circus acts--dogs riding ponies, clowns juggling chicken eggs, knife-throwers, or 22 clowns piling out of a yellow Fiat. None of these things are evident at any elegant dinner party. But in all sincere terms, sometimes when an important guest has too much champagne, they begin to talk irrationally, tell humorous stories that were not to be shared by the public and dance on the pure mahogany dining table. But none of the other important guests will scorn this intoxicated person for they do not want to be removed from the hostess’ secret by-invitation-only list. After the fun-loving guest has melted down, crashed, and is resting. The hostess will tell her men servants to gently take the now-embarrassed guest upstairs to one of the 65 fully-furnished with lavish décor, bedrooms to ‘rest.’ Common people like me, call this ‘sleeping it off.’
Fact: if you are a common man or woman and even have the most-remote idea that you will ‘crash’ an elegant dinner party, think again. The security people can spot you three city blocks away. They have your number. You will not get past the ‘hello, we’re on the list,’ for you will first be asked politely to leave. If you insist on bucking against those who run security, then you will be escorted off the property by two city policemen and given a free ride in their police cruiser--courtesy of the taxpayers.
Fact: the cost on average, for an elegant dinner party, depending on number of guests, and spending habit of the aloof wealthy hostess, range from $65,000.00, American, to as high as $1.5 million dollars, in Kuwait where ultra-wealthy oil sheiks celebrate everything from life to the birth of children. And do it with style. The food at one of these sheik’s bashes cost more than the President of The United States makes in one year. Think about that one.
And in closing, let’s be face-to-face, heart-to-heart, honest with each other. If we were invited to one of these gala events, just what would we talk about? The latest news about the NBA lockout? Our economy? The latest film released by Disney Studios? What? I tell you that we would be totally-lost. In the dark without a flashlight. Dumbfounded. Numb with humiliation when a few of the wealthy, important guests at one of these elegant dinner parties were to accidentally mistake us for real people, and ask us a question like I have mentioned a few sentences ago. Is that how you want to feel--out-of-place, not wanted, shunned by people who have servants to dress them each day. No, the men do not put their designer pants on one leg at a time. A salaried valet does that for them. Commoners, these are not our people. And vice versa. It’s best we just stayed in our place.
But we can show some compassion and pity on these wealthy, aloof, self-absorbed people who make up the elegant party scene. If by some quirk of nature, they are forced to dine at a McDonald’s or Burger King, and the drive-through is shut down for maintenance making them leave their Rolls Royce to actually walk inside this fast-food restaurant, and we, a group of common, blue collar, callused-handed people are there dining on Whoppers, fries and a chocolate shake when we see these tuxedo, patent leather designer shoes, mink and pearl -wearing people come stumbling in due to their fear of getting grit on the soles of their shoes, and then try desperately to make sense of the food menu saying things like, “Uh, yes, my good man, uh, teen girl, We will have the ‘WHUUPER, with France frieees, is that Whuuper made with real meat or seaweed? Never mind, and a bottle of processed water from Los Angeles, please,” we can wipe our mouths on the white paper napkins we were given, walk up to these obviously-struggling important people who would feel like us if we were in their world, and say to the person behind the cash register . . .
“Excuse me, sir. We’ve got this.” Order their food. And to further blow their minds, pay for it.
Compassion makes the best foundation for a shaky society.