Susan here ~ In honor of my Dad’s 90th birthday yesterday, I’d like to share something he enjoyed doing after a big extended family dinner, usually on a holiday like Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas, though a birthday dinner would do nicely too. We would go around the table and each would say what historical person we would invite to a dinner and why – or, sometimes, who we would choose to be in some long-ago historical time. We’ve passed that along to our kids too, and the game goes on. Every time we have time for a couple of these simple questions, it’s fun, interesting, often hilarious, and we have a great time.
So let’s play – here we are, all gathered around a long dining table after a great dinner (menu—your choice!); candles in the centerpiece still flicker in their holders, the table is scattered with wine glasses, coffee cups, desserts (your choice!) on china plates with silver forks, and napkins are crumpled or still in use. We’re sitting back in comfortable chairs, full and happy, and the question is posed:
If you had a time machine — one that works smoothly, safely by whatever principles and laws of quantum physics govern such things, and which would work perfectly for inviting, transporting and returning guests –who would you invite to visit your home? We could also use this nifty device for traveling to times and places we’d like to visit ourselves, but for now, let’s just try a few guests.
Last time we did this at our house, my oldest son said he’d invite Socrates and
advise him about hemlock, and he’d invite a Shaolin monk from long ago China. The middle son said he’d invite Roland, Charlemagne’s elite knight, or he’d invite Leif Eriksson and ask about discovering North America, or he’d bring in a medieval Samurai lord. My husband wanted to invite Nikola Tesla or Genghis Khan (having seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, I’m not sure I want Genghis in the house!).
My own wish list is pretty long, but I’ll share a few top choices:
— Christine de Pizan, who wrote poetry and treatises in medieval France in order to support her children after she was widowed —she not only made a good living, she was one of the earliest feminists. And she wrote about Joan of Arc – great dinner partners!
Who would you invite, and why? And what would you serve for dinner and dessert?