“A toast to the cocktail party—where olives are speared and friends are stabbed.”
“The cocktail party—a device for paying off obligations to people you don’t want to invite to dinner.”
Charles Merrill Smith
“…what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.”
“Cocktail party: A gathering held to enable forty people to talk about themselves at the same time. The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host.”
A holiday cocktail party is where some stranger will learn more about you in an hour than your spouse has learned in a lifetime.
“To get into the best society nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people.
“A woeful hostess brooks not merry guests.”
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
“Entertaining is about celebrating connections, and I think that’s what makes life worth living.” Ina Garten, Cooking for Jeffrey
“When I am a good host, I can order the world precisely as I believe it ought to be. It is a world that I have created in my mind and in my own image, and it gladdens me profoundly to see it unfold without original sin, without expulsions and floods and disobedience and illness. When I am a good guest, I have returned to Eden, where everything I need is provided for me, including companionship and a benevolent deity at my shoulder serving me and protecting me. The concept of paradise may be backward-looking but the concept of heaven is anticipatory. Perhaps this is what heaven will be like? A great table of oak worn smooth with age and candle wax; a dimly lit room, a quartet of angels playing Sarah Vaughan in the corner; this blissful throb of quiet, intelligent conversation; bubbling pots and aromatic stews that no one seems to have worked to prepare; and you – you have nothing to worry about, not now, not here, not for all eternity. Leave it all behind at the threshold, forget everything, for here in heaven, you are my guest. ”