"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, March 3, 2014


I was watching the Oscars last night and wishing I could hang out with some of the cool kids on the show, like Bette Midler and Bill Murray, and it reminded me of this book I've had forever called "If... (Questions for the Game of Life)". It's a book of questions, designed to make people alone think about stuff and people in groups talk about stuff.

Samples: "What insect would you like to eradicate from the planet?"
                "What one sentence would you have said to Hitler before he died?"

Most writers don't need what if questions in order to write, but we need this kind of crap if we want to have conversations with people (not counting the ones in our heads).

So I started to think about that age-old question, "If you could have a dinner party with any 10 people, living or dead, who would you choose?"

First of all, I don't want to have dinner with dead people. It's creepy.

Second, I can only invite seven people because there are three people in my family and if I didn't invite them it wouldn't be as much fun. And I only have place settings for ten, so I can't invite ten people unless I sit in the middle of the table.

Actually, that sounds like fun... sitting in the middle of the table on a Lazy Susan so I can turn around and get involved in all the conversations.

So who would I invite?

Marcus and Dale, of course. Dale would soak it all up like a sponge. Marcus would jump into any conversation.

My best gal pal, Tameri Etherton, because she's up for any party, and might be able to keep me from freaking out. (P.S. I already figured out this would be catered, so I wouldn't have to worry about cooking.)

As far as the famous folks? I figure I'd like a nice balance, which would be three women, three men.

Bette Midler is the top of the list. I admire her to death and just know she could talk about subjects that are serious and funny and important and mundane and she'd have something to say no matter what.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is next. He's so freakin' smart, yet such an accessible guy. I'd love to get lost listening to him and Marcus discuss some scientific notion.

Lady GaGa. Surprised? I am, too, but I was super-impressed with her when I saw her on So You Think You Can Dance. She's incredibly savvy about her craft AND marketing it. I'd love to just hear her story, and how she takes an idea and runs with it.

Ben Folds. I watch him on The Sing Off and I love the way he talks about music. He sounds like he could discuss other stuff, too.

Connie Schultz. Yeah, she's not a superstar, but she's so danged smart. I'd pretty much love to sit down over dinner, coffee, hell, a glass of water, and just talk.

Bill Murray - I'd like to have him at the party, but I confess this is the wild card, only because I want everyone to have fun at dinner and he might not be comfortable. If he declines, my next pick would be Michael Jordan. Because, well, who wouldn't want MJ at their dinner party? BTW my house would look VERY SMALL with him in it.

Did I make anyone think, hmm, who would I invite to my imaginary dinner party? Feel free to share!


Tameri Etherton said...

What a great dinner party! Of course I'm flattered to be on the guest list. Thank you!

This makes me wonder who I would want at my dinner party. Wow, it's not that easy to come up with a list, is it?

I don't know who Connie is, I'm going to Google her when I'm done making my comment because if you think she's spectacular, then I need to know her!

Let's get this party started.

Gayle Carline said...

I met Connie at the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop years ago. After listening to her speak, I bought her book, "And His Lovely Wife." We talked about writing humor columns and she signed the book, "Write, Write, Write. We need your voice in the world."

Of course I love her.

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