I'm A Dinner-Party AnimalCommentary • nightlife • Opinion • food • parties • ISSUE 37•04 • Feb 7, 2001 By Stephan Tewksbury Stephan Tewksbury Whoo-hoo! It's Friday night, people! Time to shake off the week, crack open a carafe of Zinfandel, get my hands in the canapés, and let loose. It's dinner-party time!After a long, hard week at the office, I am ready to let off some serious steam at Ethan's dinner party tonight. A buddy of mine invited me to a cheese-tasting on the West Side, but I was, like, "Sorry, Oliver–tonight's my night to rage." From the mouth-watering hors d'oeuvres to the palate-cleansing sorbet, it's going to be one full-throttle banquet. Shit, yeah!Ethan's blowouts are where I first earned my rep as the ultimate dinner-party animal. I'm the guy who arrives with a bottle of Chardonnay and Pinot noir. I'm the guy who gets the Debussy pumpin' on the stereo when things slow down. There's no greater compliment than a high five from yours truly for a beautiful centerpiece or for having enough two-pronged escargot forks for all. Those are the things that make a dinner party a dinner par-tay. Otherwise, you might as well be having people over for an after-dinner grappa.Man, I cannot wait for tonight. I am going to be dinner-partying 'til the break of 11:30 p.m. When I see lit candles, folded cloth napkins, and matching place settings, it makes me want to throw my hands in the air and shout, "Come on, all y'all dinner-party people in the house! You ready to make some pleasant conversation? Let me hear you say yeah!"I've lived this dinner-party lifestyle so long, my friends say my heart pumps bouillabaisse. Some people think my stomach's going to fail, or I'll become lactose intolerant and be forced to give up this 24-7 dinner-party lifestyle. That's never gonna happen. I come from a long line of over-the-top gourmands. My dad was–and still is–a dinner-party animal, even though he recently developed a seafood allergy that's taken a bit of the gusto out of him. But back in the day, man, he could really put away those ladyfingers. I'm the same way.I remember this one time, my friend Hamilton came down to visit from Newport. We went to this dinner party my friend Chance was throwing. Now, Chance throws a mean dinner party, the kind that sends most pot-luck wimps crying to Mama. But I don't think even anyone there was prepared for the dining-room roof Hamilton and I would raise that night. It was insane. Hamilton out-ate, out-toasted, and out-chatted everyone in the room. He's a dinner-party legend. Even the so-called "Dinner-Party Kings" were humbled by his knowledge of flatware placement. When everyone else was slumped in the couches with their belts loosened, Hamilton and I were still scarfing Russian tea cakes.Yeah, I'll probably slow down someday. But until then, I'm gonna rock out at every dinner party I can. So, if you wanna kick your own dinner party into high gear, just send me an invite and strap yourself in. Because I don't stop until the last slice of lemon-meringue pie is gone.Just don't call me if you're throwing a cocktail party. They're for pussies.