Dinner Party Conversation

Having a dinner party can change how you feel in the world. Just when things are heading south, a group of friends having fun can change that slippery slope. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as having people in your house who are having fun and you are the baton twirler. Many years ago I loved to give parties and we did it often. The parties seemed too long to me, however, and so I would disappear upstairs during the dessert phase and sometimes not reappear at all. It was never a conscious disappearance but I would find myself distracted upstairs by something I found interesting: a book perhaps or something I was writing, and I would forget there was a party going on downstairs. It never seemed to bother the guests as there was one member of the hosting couple there and everyone was so engaged in what they were up to.

            I am not sure why I did this but think, in retrospect, it had to do with my limited attention span for engagement with other human beings. It amazes me often how long people can engage in a social setting. Sometimes I see them standing there talking to others for what seems like hours to me. If I am a member of such a group I will back out of it much like a horse does wearing blinders coming out of a horse carrier. I can slither and back up as quickly as I need to. I am not sure where I developed this habit but think it may have been in school games which, needless to say, I always hated. I am claustrophobic: that’s all there is to it. There is a “but” in this statement. I am not claustrophobic when I am actively engaged in the conversation as I am very interested in the sound of words, the flow of conversation, and the ability of humans to make associations and jump from one idea to the next. I find this jumping very stimulating and have noticed some people can jump with me and others become stuck and do not see the relationship between the two conversations. I love minds that can keep up and keep on finding parallel thoughts no matter where we go. I can only do this sitting down, however.

I don’t know how people can speak while standing and sometimes for hours. I find trying to do this makes me speak only in superficial thoughts and I have little ability to think on a deeper plane. I hop from subject to subject and from foot to foot. I long for the cozy support of a nice chair so I can relax my body and really focus on what is going on between my conversational partner and me. I find that almost everything important there is to speak of in life is better spoken of while sitting down. So those are my thoughts on this lovely morning. Have a dinner party tonight!

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