The Dinner Party

dinner party, china, candlelight, poetryLet’s invite them over for dinner, my guy says to me 
Nodding at new neighbors we’d met only shortly 
I hem I haw, what if they’re boring or worse talk nonstop 
What if they hate spinach and despise chocolate? 

My guy smiles and rings them up, barbecue Sunday at six? 
They accept, so grinning a chocolate cake I fix.
He’s in charge of grilling chicken, an easy meat for all 
But what if they’re vegans, should we eat at the mall?

cheese platter, dinner party, poemPromptly the doorbell rings, my large cheese platter is ready 
The wine is popped, the talk is fun, light and easy. 
The grill is ready; my guy runs out in the frigid air 
Meat marinated; he’s presented a cook’s care.

Conversation turns to their grandkids, my eyes glaze over 
Leave to steam veggies, hoping we’ll all stay sober
Twenty minutes later the cheese is gone, the table set 
My guy: “I’ll just turn the meat, almost done I bet.” 

wine, red wine, cabernet, poetryMy rice plumbed, the asparagus ready, candles are lit 
The guests pour more wine, then at the table they sit 
My guy races inside to us with pink uncooked chicken 
“Oh no!” he says,” the gas ran out.” His blue eyes spin. 

But the new neighbors chuckle and say “we’re not hungry yet” 
The chicken goes in the oven at three fifty 
We open another bottle and discuss politics 
And aging, travel, faith, even basketball picks.

dinenr party, set table, poetryStomachs begin to grumble so I check the baking time 
I reheat the vegetables and pour more wine 
With potholders pull out the baked chicken that still looks pink 
Oh. Damn. It seems that the oven has a slight kink. 

I realize I’d preheated the oven before 8 
But never hit “ON” button; now past 9 – too late. 
So we sit under candlelight with silverware and a plate 
Filled with veggies and rice – we can no longer wait.

dessert, chocolate cake, poetryThe best part of the meal is the chocolate cake 
Which we devour with glee in a half drunken state.

143 thoughts on “The Dinner Party

  1. You composed this well-told tale cold sober, I assume, which more than makes up for the uncooked chicken. Wine, cheese, veggies, and rice, a nice balance. 🙂

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  2. Sounds like one of my dinner parties. I get distracted when guests are here and always do some weird stuff. Sometimes you can cover it up (like throwing out the burned biscuits) but when it’s the entree it’s a little harder. Obviously our neighbors survived!

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  3. You could not ask for a better dinner party- poetic and successful. The rhyming is entertaining and perfect- just like the party. I have no idea if your poem was based on an reality but what ever the situation, I found it hilarious.

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    • A pleasure to see you here, Yvonne. Oh yesssss, this poetic story was written as total non-fiction; it all happened as rhymed and metered out, asparagus by asparagus, and topped off with a bit of wine and chocolate cake. 🙂

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  4. We’ve all had those “dinner disasters” but one thing for sure–chocolate “cures” anything and “solves” any problems unless someone has a chocolate allergy! Your dinner still sounds like fun and that chocolate cake looks moist and delectable 🙂

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  5. This story is hilarious! Love it. That’s why I quit inviting people to dinner that are not family. I’ll invite a new friend to lunch or dinner out and it will be worth it until they are family enough not to mind the foibles or I stop being so nervous and no longer do dumb things when company is around. My last husband would get tired of dinner guests and go to his bedroom to watch TV and leave me to entertain them. Once the food was gone, so was he even though he was the one that invited them. Your fellow sounds a bit more engaged. 😉

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    • Some people are just not comfortable with “entertaining” or being sociable. My guy and I have our routine down – he grills (usually – haha) and I do the rice/potato and veggie. He opens the wine, I make the dessert. When the company leaves, he cleans while I snuff the candles and wrap up any leftovers. Perfect!
      But when it’s me meeting a friend, I prefer a lunch out. No mess, no fuss, just relax, eat and talk.

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  6. Oh no! That sounds like something that would happen at my house, Pam. But it sounds like you have great neighbors gifted with patience and a sense of humor. 🙂 And it doesn’t hurt to top off the day with a chocolate cake!.

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    • I knew I’d like the new neighbors when I saw how patient and kind they were as the chicken morass went on and on….and on. They were unperturbed and helped us laugh at ourselves, and each other. But I think they enjoyed the evening the most when I served them the cake. 🙂

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    • Phew, thanks Balroop. I was a bit nervous (as in a LOT) about sharing my poetic fun, because I’m not a poet. But I found the challenge of the rhyme and meter quite entertaining as I told my true-life tale. Many thanks for your applause. xo

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  7. Can I just say that I’m loving the fact that your guy took the initiative to invite your new neighbors and plan the main meal… I’m impressed.

    Once, when we had dinner guests (good friends, fortunately), I made a pork roast. Easy, peasy, right? Unfortunately, I misread the cook time… the cook time indicated was per pound, not for the whole roast. Oooops. Needless to say, we ate rather late, but the wine, appetizers, and good conversation held us over.

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    • Haha, a similar predicament. Helps when it’s old friends who know you usually know how to serve a meal. Pork roast is tricky – thus I’ve never tried it.
      My guy and I have a good routine down – he’s in charge of the meat (usually grilling) and I’m in charge of everything else. Somehow he thinks this makes us even, but I will say, he does the dishes after the guests leave. 😉

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  8. That’s why I ‘m not a fan of dinner parties. But if you are in my neighborhood I will set a tea table for you that is so delicious and fun that you will never miss the chicken…Scones and cream, wine on ice, we would be wishing each other a lovely life.
    I loved your poems along the way Pam.

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    • Oh, funny Gerlinde. We do have shared experiences, don’t we? On the other hand, I remember the Christmas Eve that the power went off halfway through roasting the turkey (with 10 guests) and my guy powered up the grill and finished the job perfectly. He got double stars that night. 🙂

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  9. So lol Pam. You may have to pull tough love and fire your guy from BBQ duties as I’ve done with mine years ago, of course for complete opposite reason than your guy. My guy used to get too carried away with conversation and company while BBQing and steaks et al which became as palatable as shoe leather. Tough love still remains. 🙂

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    • Oh, Deb, thanks for the laugh. I did try and ‘fire’ my guy from BBQ duties for the same reason as your shoe leather steak. But he took matters in his own hand (ur, cell phone) and uses the timer on it. So while we’re talking away to our guests, all of a sudden his little phone timer goes off (making us all jump and lose the stream of discussion) and he hops off and goes out to the grill. Next time, though, he better check the gas more frequently. 😉

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        • Debby – I’ve tried to write a comment on your blog post about your first day (traveling to your vacation) four times and it keeps saying the site isn’t secured (and I checked all the buttons). What I tried to say was: I’m wondering why you didn’t have FOUR margaritas on the balcony after that day!”

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          • Arg Pam, I’ve been having troubled on my blog for 2 days now, when I go to my page it gives me an error message then 2 seconds later it opens. I’m trying to figure out the problem, but my site is definitely secure, I pay for that security to have https in my URL and that is fine, just checked. I hope that stuff straightens out soon, I know my blog just had a huge update and that’s when it went gremlinish. Oh, about the margarita, lol, are you kidding me? 4 tequilas = floor LOL 🙂 xx

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  10. Haha! This is too funny, and too familiar. But, you had plenty of other food by the sounds and looks of it! Now imagine you’d forgotten to turn the oven on for the cake! That would have been a bigger drama. 🙂

    You can’t go wrong with cheese and wine. Like Peta said, who needs chicken? Plus, good company is the most important part anyway. Seems like that was all set!

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    • Well, I’ll confess right now that we’ve lived here four years and are just starting to “come out.” In fact, I just took care of our next door neighbor’s poinsettia plant – from December 26 to today, when they’ve returned. They seemed shocked that the plant is still alive, but I couldn’t let it die on my watch!

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  11. A wonderful tale indeed. I’m sure the chocolate cake went down a treat. 😃 You’ve reminded me of the first time hubby and I had family over for Sunday lunch. We were very young and quite poor, so my sister-in-law brought a joint of beef with her. I’d never cooked such a big piece of meat before and popped it in the oven hoping for the best. When time came to eat, out it came, still raw inside and bleeding profusely. I was mortified. We had to cut it into slices and fry it to save time. Not great at all. There was unfortunately no chocolate cake to save the day. 😳

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  12. Pam, your neighbours are lucky to have you and your hubby next door … the warmest and friendliest of people … and to top it all you bake the most stupendous chocolate cakes! 😀Some of the best dinner parties are the ones that go slightly awry but where kinship is discovered! A delectable feast … and as a vegetarian it would have been perfect for me! 😀❤️

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    • To be truthful, this is ALL true. The only difference in “real life” was that I served yams, not steamed rice, but the rice helped more in the rhyming. 🙂 Gosh, I hope you’ve had a similar experience; otherwise, I’d be really embarrassed to show my cooking ineptitude.

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      • Hahahaha… Yeah, I once told a new neighbor of mine that I’d grill them a “Drunken Chicken” on their gas grill (I use charcoal), only to burn the living, you know what, out of it. However, after peeling the burnt, black skin away it turned out perfect. So, yes, it has happened and if I think I’m sure I can find many other incidences… :-)))

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  13. LOL! So glad I am not the only one who has had dinner party oopsies. Especially when it is the first time with someone you barely know.
    I LOVE having people over and entertaining. I am in my element, especially when it is friends and wine is involved LOL! 😉 But when it is someone new I get very nervous. This is what happened to me last Easter. It started out with friends at a restaurant but then morphed into being at our house because unexpected guests came in from out of town and we couldn’t change the reservations. I have to admit, I freaked just a little bit. I won’t go into all of the details but I was OCD about how my table looked, how clean the house was and decorated. I didn’t know these people AT ALL.. had no clue what they were like, what they ate, or what they would think of us. But it turned out great! Whew… Isn’t making new friends the best??? ❤

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