I love hosting dinner parties, but I hate dinner party guests.
This is especially true at Christmas, and fully applicable to my spoiled set of friends. I think they tolerate and indulge my attempt at hospitality rather than truly enjoy the home-cooked festive cheers. Obviously, my little festive gathering can't compare to their VIP dinners with Karl Lagerfeld or Kate Moss. As one of my frienemies suggested as a backhanded compliment, "Darling, I love your party because I can wear something I love for the second time."
The annoying part actually begins way before my soiree. Trying to figure out how many people will come is a drag. There's always someone who RSVPs at the very last minute. "Yes, we're coming tonight!" I guess they assume I am like a well stocked restaurant ready to churn out extra canapes in an instance. Sorry. Reply in advance or you will be removed from my invite list.
An equal pain in the rum-pa-pum-pum are excessively late guests. To me, that's not fashionable, it's just inconsiderate. If you show up for an 8pm sit-down dinner at 9.30pm, you're eating cold turkey and congealed gravy. And everyone else will treat you like the Grinch who delayed Christmas feast.
I also used to do holiday pot-luck dinners but not any more. Call me a gastronomic snob but some of the stuff people brought over was downright inedible. I don't mind the honest effort of an overbaked casserole or my schoolmate confessing she can't cook so she buys a box of cupcakes. But there are wannabes who pretend they know their food but they sure can't cook it.
Worse are the know-it-alls who claim to be foodies. One fool brought over something he claimed to be "a classic Scandinavian recipe". Are you viking kidding me? I know Ikea meatballs covered in Campbell's cream of chicken soup when I taste it.
There are other kinds of dinner guests from hell. You have picky eaters who dissect the food and nibble on bits that are not carb, fat or protein. You have selfish gluttons who mine through a plate of paella digging out most of the seafood for himself. Oh, and never invite the vegan yoga instructor who wants to know if the gingerbread cookies are gluten-free.
Many times I wonder if it's even worth demonstrating my Martha Stewart flair for hospitality. No wonder so many people escape to a quiet beach bungalow for the holidays. Merry Christmas. Now, get the hell out of my house.