I went to a great dinner party the other night in Paris. It was given by a (book) editor, and what I loved about it was how mixed the guests were. There were writers, editors, journalists, people in politics, some in business, a diplomat, a movie producer, and it was a very interesting group.
What I loved most about it was that our host and hostess had bravely crossed all lines with their guest list. Instead of all middle-aged people, or any one age group, the guests ranged in age from 25 – 80, were seated randomly next to each other, with total disregard for age. And instead of one social group, or socio-economic group, there were fancy looking women there in cocktail dresses and pearls with men in suits and ties, and people in jeans and tee shirts. No one seemed to care what anyone was wearing (nor what age they were), they made no apology for showing up in jeans and sneakers, and the people in jeans were totally at ease talking to the people in suits and vice versa. The only reason anyone was invited was because they were smart and interesting. It was incredibly refreshing, and gave everyone a sense of total freedom to be themselves, whatever their age, income, or dress.
The conversation ranged from French politics to the up-coming American elections (which they were all deeply interested in), to books, plays, movies they were working on, and even some startlingly frank talk about sex between two total strangers who looked like they had nothing in common.
It was a very lively evening. Everyone had a good time. People of all ages mingled and engaged in serious conversations. No one cared what anyone was wearing, or how old the person sitting next to them was. It was the best dinner party I’ve been to in years, and I had a great time. No one left the dinner table until 1:30 a.m. on a week night, and we all hated to leave then. I could have stayed there for several more hours, although we all got there at 8p.m.. It was an extremely interesting evening, and a great format to follow. It was a wonderful mixture of incredibly diverse people.