The Dinner Party

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been intrigued by the question, “If you could invite anyone over to dinner, who would you invite?” I’ve always limited myself to living people because I’ve always thought that the shock of being raised from the dead would make any potential dinner guest less interested in being at the table. They’d probably want to be with their loved ones and not eating dinner with me.

When I was ten, I wanted to invite Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.” What can I say? I liked horror films) and Robin Williams.

When I was in high school, Leslie Nielsen was high on my list.

In college, Gloria Steinem was on there.

Now in my mid-30’s, I’ve decided that I would love to invite “Weird Al” Yankovic and His Holiness the Dalai Lama over for dinner.

This might seem an odd combination, but I think they’d actually get along quite well.

They’re both quite eloquent and have unique perspectives on the world, which would make for very interesting conversation. They’re both very tolerant and soft-spoken. They both embrace the joy in their lives and seek to share it with others. I think they would both find my children entertaining and would interact with them compassionately.

I would, of course, also invite Al’s wife and child, if they wanted to come. Hopefully the three kids would get along well, too, since they’re relatively close in age.

The menu would be easy. They’re both vegetarians, so I could make my signature dishes, my vegetarian and vegan lasagnas, without further modification. I’m pretty sure neither of them drinks alcohol, though, so I’d have to decide if it was poor manners for me to drink wine with dinner (I’d probably err on the side of caution and abstain for the evening). But I do have a very yummy non-alcoholic punch recipe that I could mix up for the occasion so we could have something a little fancy to drink.

I think autumn would be a nice time to have them over. It wouldn’t be too hot in the house (no air conditioning + lasagna baking = sweltering in the summer), but it would still be warm enough to eat out on the sun porch where the only table big enough for a dinner party is located. I hear fall is a gorgeous season in New England, anyway, and it would be nice to provide a draw for them in addition to my lasagna.

I don’t know what questions I would ask them, but I’d kind of rather just chat rather than make it like an interview. Afterwards, if things went well, maybe they’d like to play Trivial Pursuit. It’s unlikely either of them plays euchre, but perhaps my husband and I could teach them, and we could all play that while we ate homemade vegan strawberry ice cream.

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