"Not so much a party, more a gathering…": How to decode that dinner invite

We love Pinkie Pie. We really do. And she's © Hasbro in case you were wondering.

We love Pinkie Pie. We really do. And she’s © Hasbro in case you were wondering…

• “It’s not so much of a party, it’s a gathering.”
I am holding this event out of some kind of feeling of duty. Probably because you invited me for dinner previously and have made several comments about it “Having to be my turn”. Frankly, I can already feel the resentment bubbling. I really don’t want you in my house, I will feed you, but you will also be topping up your own wine glass all night. If you stay any longer than 10pm, I will be calling a taxi for you.

• “It’s not so much dinner, more of a party.”
I neither trust my cooking, nor enjoy doing it. I am secretly hoping you will all be too pissed to care or notice that the first course isn’t brought out until 9.45pm. And is barely edible.

Everyone will notice. And will spend the evening complaining about how hungry they are every time you leave the room. They will probably get a kebab together on the way home and will slag you, and your shit hosting skills off royally.

• “I’ve ordered some takeaway for us all.”
I’m not going to admit it, but I completely forgot that I invited you for dinner altogether. I only remembered when you sent me that Facebook message asking what to bring – an hour ago.

• “I’ve cooked three courses and am holding it on a Tuesday night.”
I don’t have to work. I will also spend the evening fishing for compliments from everyone on every course, so much so that a natural flow of conversation will be impossible all evening. I will expect a handwritten thank you note afterwards.

• “We’re going to invite mostly single people.”
We’re all in our thirties, all randy but unfortunately we’ve shagged half our mates, and fucked the other half over somehow. We’re all living in hope that someone in the group can dig up a new single person to bring for the evening. We know better though, and will spend the rest of the evening banging on about how we’re “working on ourselves”.

• “Everyone needs to bring a course.”
I like the idea of having you all round my house for dinner. But don’t want the hassle, expense or responsibility of actually throwing it myself. You’re pretty much just renting space in my dining room to eat your own cooking. Like taking a packed lunch to school as a kid.

• “Let’s all make an effort and dress up really posh – it’ll be fun.”
We don’t get out much these days. Probably due to having a child recently. This evening is the only thing that we’ve talked about for days, and poring over Jamie Oliver books together may be the only thing keeping our relationship alive.

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