the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Three Year Old Dinner Party Meme

Three years ago, there was a meme going around online: Pick five bloggers that you most wanted to have over to your house for a dinner party. I didn’t participate in the meme. I found it crude. Why would I want to choose five bloggers over the others, showing favoritism, and hurting feelings? And what would be my criteria for choosing? It also pissed me off that some of my friends didn’t invite me to their imaginary dinner party. Why would someone choose to invite the Pioneer Woman over to dinner, even for an imaginary dinner party, rather than me, a real friend? Surely they knew that I would bring a virtual bottle of wine, even if it was a cheapo one from Trader Joe’s.

Time has passed, and I now “get” how the blogosphere works, uneasily balanced on a tightrope between honest and fake. The whole enterprise seems fluid, changing each month. The five people I might have picked in 2007 are not the same I would choose today. Bloggers treat each day’s thoughts as published in stone, but our words are less like heavy boulders than feathers floating in the air for a day or so, then blowing away.

Most of all, it just doesn’t matter that much. That’s a lie. Of course, it matters. We are all human beings, weak and petty, wanting to attend the “best” dinner party.

But you can only control your own dinner party.

Today, I’m going to finally pick the five people online who I want to invite to a private dinner party at my virtual home. You would be very surprised who I picked. It’s not who you think. It’s an interesting mix. A popular blogger. A new blogger. A woman of color. Someone depressed. Someone funny.

Am I going to tell you who gets the invites? No. Am I going to tell the invites who gets the invites? No. I still think it is crude.

I just thought it was cool that I finally made a choice, even if I don’t tell anyone.

Enjoy your dinner. I will invite five new people to the next dinner party, just to make things fair.


  1. Deb Rox

    Fucking hilarious. I wish I had a three-year-old badge of some sort to award you with.

    And, I’m honored.

  2. Pearl

    Bon appetit, Neil.

    I just want to get invited for a cup of cocoa and a muffin. Can you pencil me in for…let’s say two years from now?

    In the meantime, my social calendar is busy with dinner parties with other bloggers who want me around. Harrumph!

    Actually you’re right…the bloggers I’d choose to eat with today are not necessarily the same from three years ago, but Neil…you’re safe. You can attend my dinner party today, tomorrow or simply whenever. But please be sure to bring Danny along.

  3. Heather

    I love it! That is really, really funny!

  4. Loralee

    That meme got me into a world of trouble so, SNORT!

  5. Philly Jewish Amy

    I’d bring cupcakes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Angela

    I’m glad you’ve cleared this up. I spent all of 2007 believing that there were actual dinner parties going on. (Yeah. Seriously. Also, I wasn’t invited to ANY of them. Bastards.)

    I make hot beef cupcakes. I’m not sure why I need to say that, but I do.

  7. ingrid

    How about funny *and* depressed? (Raises hand coyly.)

  8. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    sorry ingrid, i have funny and depressed cornered. but if you’re funny and depressed and have cleavage, you’ve got me beat.

  9. ingrid

    V-Grrrl: got the cleavage. (check)… but I think that you are funnier than me. I do have other quirks though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Neil

    V-grrrl and Ingrid — With the way you bicker, I’m not sure anyone is going to invite you to their dinner party.

  11. ingrid

    ๐Ÿ˜› i know! you can have two for the price of one ๐Ÿ™‚ all you have to do is feed us and regale us with stories. (see how i turned that around?)

  12. Marinka

    Yes, I accept your invitation!

  13. NeCole Scott

    I’m honored just to be on your “have a drink with in 2010” twitter list. That seems much more fun! I think everyone’s “dinner” list changes pretty regularly.

  14. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    i’ll make jokes about ingrid’s cleavage during dinner, and then get weepy and sentimental during dessert. and i won’t argue about whose turn it is to clear the table and do the dishes. see neil, i’m redeemed!

  15. amanda

    Dinner parties intimidate me. I really dig gatherings with great music that has more to do with sentimentality and quirks than measurable trends, and if the wine and conversation lead to lax-rules charades and then later, slightly drunken talks as candles burn out I am beyond blissed out. I never get invited to those, I host them so I never have to confront exclusion.
    Clearly I ramble.
    Here’s to searing honesty and laughing through tears.

  16. Alison

    I like this. I think I won’t tell you if I invite you to my virtual blogging dinner party (but ya know, if you’re ever in town, look me up).

  17. magpie

    Three years ago, I was new…

  18. teahouseblossom

    I think you just like to keep us all guessing!

  19. Denise

    This is the blogging equivalent of picking a prom king and queen isn’t it. I didn’t care for it 3 years ago either.

  20. angelynn

    To be honest, as I read I was hoping that I was one of the 5. How lame is that? We’ve never even met. It’s an interesting idea because it gets you thinking about the people who surround you. It’s not just about the 5 you “pick.” For me it’s thinking about all of the unique qualities everyone has and what attracts me to them.

  21. Gwen

    I kept reading your headline in my feed reader as a dinner party for three year olds. And at first I thought, three year olds? who wants them over for dinner? But then I realized that since we were talking about bloggers, the kids might be preferable.

    (ba da bum. here all week, folks! etc.)

  22. Di

    Thanks! I love handmade invitations and you did such a great job on the design with the ribbons and hearts!

  23. Stacey

    Five bloggers won’t fit in my house for a dinner party. Unless there’s a Backyard Picnic Meme, I’ve got nothing.

  24. Redneck Mommy

    You totally pussed out. You big wanker.

    Next time, strap on the big girl panties I know you keep hidden in the back of your closet and name names.

  25. nonlineargirl

    I’d invite 5 cook bloggers, because this is a pot-luck, right?

  26. Carroll B. Merriman

    I haven’t any idea about the prior comment. The article made sense to me.

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