With summer ending and the back-to-school high wearing off, the season can start to lend itself more to social anxiety than an endless flow of good vibes. No matter how fun of a time you're having amid the wasted throngs on a typical night out, there is always that little existential crisis on the horizon, the narcissistic "who am I?" moment. We live in a neurotic world where everything facilitates isolation and self-reliance: we move off-campus, we keep our doors closed, we are able to successfully avoid many very annoying people. While the social schedule and the anti-social schedule have their perks, don't we all feel, to some degree, that interpersonal relationships could be a little more ... personal?
The dinner party is truly a lost cultural art, more likely to be found hosted by a bunch of black-clad Parisians discussing the death of irony than your average Tom, Dick or Harry. Nonetheless, should the dinner party be able to pull itself out of complete obscurity, it could function to forge the closeness that one sacrifices for the daily stop-and-chat (or the anti-stop-and-chat movement).
Its pleasures are several-fold. For one, it goes without saying that dinner parties provide an infinite amount of cultural cachet; we are talking about unprecedented whimsicality here. Secondly, by the nature of the beast, the host exercises a high level of control over the environment and its guests; this therefore allows everyone to converse comfortably, without run-ins with any of the aforementioned annoying people. And lastly, it provides an appropriate forum to say all the pretentious and obscure things you've got on your mind. For example: Come on guys, we can all have our existential crises together!