Last night a producer friend invited me to a birthday party being thrown in her honor. A two-stage affair, she explained. It’ll begin with a sit-down dinner around 8 pm and then a second wave of friends will arrive for a stand-around-and-drink party at 9:30 pm. A filmmaker friend is hosting, she said, but his home is not a McMansion so the dinner invitees will have to be restricted to ten or twelve. (There’s a concern about seating plus his ex-wife is coming.). She asked me to please drop by at 9:30 and bring my party hat. “So I’m a second-waver?,” I said. “On one level I don’t care but on another level it’s a wee bit insulting. Not horribly insulting — I’m an adult and it’s really not that big of a deal — but you are ranking me…you’re telling me that I rank below others and that casting-wise I’m a supporting player.” She said that’s the wrong way to take it, that she’s just going along with what the host told her, etc. “Can I make a suggestion?,” I said. “Invite the ten or twelve you had in mind for the dinner and leave it at that. Don’t invite the second wave. Because they’ll all feel vaguely, slightly insulted…trust me. It’s better not to invite them than to graciously label them as coach-class.” Thoughts?