Twenty Friends

Imagine that you’ve just won a free buffet dinner at a five-star restaurant for you and twenty friends, who do you invite? If you have equal to, or less than twenty friends, that’s a pretty easy question, but if you have more than that, it gets quite tricky – especially if you consider the fact that family could also be included.

If it was just a buffet dinner for two, that’d be easy, I’d invite MrFodder and nobody would bat an eye, if they even found out about it. Dinner for five or six, would probably be close family, or very close friends. Considering I asked Sharon to be my maid-of-honour, again, nobody would think twice if she was invited to this dinner and they were not.

Twenty is a big number that’s actually a small number. If you didn’t pick one of your friends to come to this dinner, you are basically saying to them, “You are not in my top twenty list”, and not being in a top twenty list sounds like a big snub at the face of it. However, if you consider that many people will have partners by this stage in their life (or even someone close that they’d bring as a plus one), that’s really only ten people that you are inviting to this dinner. I don’t think that thought would cross people’s minds though.

Also, the more people who are invited, the more likely it is for word to get out that you have an invite to a free five-star buffet dinner. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, someone is bound to say, “So excited to go to Fancy Buffet tonight, all for free thanks to Fodder!” or snap some pics of food. Especially as a lot of my friends are uni students who are unlikely to be throwing around that kind of money on a single meal for something that isn’t a special occasion. Questions will be asked, and eventually, the story will leak, no matter how hard you try to get everyone to keep a lid on it.

I’ve been thinking about who I would put on my list of twenty. Free five-star buffet is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but one that I went to with MrFodder’s family for Christmas one year was amazingly good, and I think the only buffet I went to where I didn’t want to leave despite being so full. Perhaps I’m spoiled by regular buffets though, as we had one at work once, which was also free. Perhaps I should change the question to just a generic restaurant. I sometimes forget that not everyone loves buffets as much as I do. Food preferences aside, the question boils down to if you were to get some unexpected windfall, who would you most like to celebrate it with? Unlike winning the lottery, or bigger things like that, this is a once-off event that is hardly going to be life changing, so the only difficulty for my list is picking people I’d actually enjoy sitting at a dinner with, and trying to balance that list without making other people feel jealous that they didn’t make the cut.

Maybe the advice is to make a top-twenty list, don’t allow partners (unless you also like their partners), and screw everyone who is jealous that they didn’t get invited. Though if you consider that I wrote messages to twenty-six people who I believe have made a big impact in my life, I think even that is going to be tough. Although, I guess a lot of them are no longer a part of my life, and I don’t even know if we’d have anything to say to each other after so many years – especially some of my teachers from high school. I also tried tracking some of them down, because I thought it might be nice to drop a line and thank them for making such a difference to me, but a few of them came up with dead ends. I hope they’re not dead.

OK, I have my list. When I took the no-partners-I-don’t-like and jealous-be-damned approach, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I’m not going to post it though, because I don’t want people to hate me. Sorry for the anti-climactic ending to this post.

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