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I’ve been getting to the age in my 20s where friends are beginning to do real grown-up stuff, like getting engaged, building linen closets, and hosting dinner parties. I love the introduction of dinner parties into my life. The table is always decorated and there are several different types of glasses to choose from (none of which are red or disposable). Intimate dinner parties are definitively en vogue at the moment, with influencers like Leah’s Fieldnotes and Meredith Hayden posting the behind-the-scenes process of hosting their Pinterest-worthy gatherings. So this Thanksgiving, I decided to host my own intimate little dinner party.
Here is the Pinterest board I created prior to doing anything else, because I’m a horrifyingly online person who needs “inspo” to cook a goddamn dinner. Some of the keywords I searched for were “dinner table inspo,” “aesthetic dinner menu card,” “rustic dinner party aesthetic,” “dinner party core” and “rustic appetizer spread.” I figured something more rustic would be more forgiving on my artistic abilities; if I made a mistake, I could write it off as part of the intended aesthetic.
The core components of dinner parties I see online are usually some kind of shareable spread, next to a floral arrangement and decor like menus and candles. I know it’s Thanksgiving, but there will be no turkey. Turkey will never have a place in my home. It requires so much time, it is so expensive, it takes up the entire oven, and the payoff is, at best, just fine. It is a vehicle for the sauces.
Easily, the difficult part of hosting was making it all look Pinterest-worthy. My main investment in this charade was the menus. I love the look of them. But to give you a sense of my handwriting, I have been asked several times at the post office to verbally clarify the addresses I have written down. One time a post office employee asked me if I was a pharmacist, and then had to explain the joke to me. But I’m actually quite proud of how they turned out. My friends also complimented the doodles I added along the sides, which is courtesy of 18 years of not paying attention in math class. And don’t forget it’s rustic!
One friend very graciously offered to take a stab at the floral arrangements, and even help cook. And as much as I wanted to do this on my own, I admittedly had more fun doing it with friends than attempting to pull it all together by myself. We bought supplies together and played music, chatting while I helped them pare down flowers. They are much better at the crafty, stop-in-your-scroll kinds of artsy things, and it was so much fun to watch them do things that they are very good at. Perhaps one day I will be able to host a dinner party entirely on my own, but it’s sort of a drag to do it all alone. I’m thankful for friends and family this year. Especially the ones who can draw.