I want to talk about dinner parties in my thirties.
What the fuck were they for?
Strange rituals sandwiched between the chaotic, structureless, childish roller-coaster ride of my twenties and the puzzling darkness of my forties.
I never wanted dinner parties in my thirties.
But the girl I was with, did.
It was proof to our friends (and ourselves?) that we could organise, cook and entertain in a house that we owned (or rented).
It was posturing.
It was rubbish.
Boys and Girls.
I also seem to remember that they were an excuse for the girls to get together and compare how stupid we boys were.
And an excuse for us boys to get together and prove them right.
One couple would always row.
One couple were often quite newly bonded.
They’d hold hands.
One couple were talking about getting married because they’d just got engaged.
And we’d cluster in different parts of the house or flat by gender.
Girls in the kitchen.
Boys watching football or boxing (back when boxing was good).
This is the thing with couples in their thirties.
The boys want to still be in their twenties doing what they used to do back then.
And the girls want to be in their thirties doing what they think that boys and girls in their thirties should be doing.
OK so here’s a summary about boys and girls in their thirties and just how different they are.
Illustrated by dinner parties and cushions.
Two things that prove boys in their thirties still want to do what they used to do in their twenties, and girls want to do what they think girls AND boys should be doing in there thirties are:
- Dinner parties
When I was in my thirties, yes I used to help my girlfriend prepare for Dinner Parties.
But they just ended up as piss-ups and mess, not the ‘Friends’ episode that my girlfriend had visualised.
And as further proof, girls in their thirties started to talk to me about cushions.
I remember distinctly during this strange decade that bridges childhood and maturity – girls use to ask me what I thought about cushions.
My brain could not compute such a question as a 32 year old boy.
I remember the feeling distinctly.
She’d ask me if I liked this one or that one.
And I’d just stare.
Was I supposed to have an opinion on cushions in my early thirties?
To this day I don’t know.
So I just looked deep into her eyes, trying my damnedest to work out what she wanted me to say.
Because I had no opinion whatsoever on cushions.
I didn’t even know what cushions were for, never mind how to recognise a good one from a bad one.
Girls and boys.
Girls and boys.
They’re just – well – different.
And especially in their thirties.