Dream Dinner Party a la Kuhn

I like to throw a party. I work myself into a sweaty mess planning every detail and forego the helpful catering to handle the food myself. (No one said I had any common sense.) So when I first dreamt up this lovely little exercise, I thought to myself, ‘Ooh, self. You will have a blast with this one…all of the fun without any of the fret!’

Do you have your invitations ready to send? Here are the details for mine…and no crashers, please.

What would I be serving at my ultimate dream dinner gathering? Well, I know there would be a lot of wine flowing. Lots and lots and LOTS of wine. And even though I prefer white, I’ll have to offer plenty of red because several of my guests have (or had) heart conditions, so I’m sure they would insist on keeping it red. I’ll have to pick up some sparkling cider and club soda for a few in the bunch who I think also may be former alcoholics. Hmm. That could be a little tricky.

Food. I’m vegetarian, as you know. And given that heart condition of a few, perhaps I could go with a light fish instead of traditional red meat options. Maybe a nice salmon for them, and some deliciously stir-fried tofu for me and anyone else who’s feeling adventurous or with an aversion to seafood could clink meat alternative triangles with me. Plenty of veggies…a rainbow of options there. Some lovely textured orzo sprinkled with my beloved Greek seasoning, Cavender’s and margarine. And for dessert, why of course CHEESECAKE. My husband doesn’t like it, but sorry, hon, I didn’t have room at the table for you at this event anyway. Besides, you don’t like seafood or tofu either,  but if you’re really sweet, I’ll sneak you in for coffee and the impromptu concert that I’m certainly hoping a few of my guests will be inspired to give at the end of the night.

So if I could host seven other people at a very special dinner party (guests who are real, fictitious, live, dead, famous or completely unknown to others), I’d be sending invitations to the following:

George Carlin – quite possibly the funniest and smartest comedian ever, in my opinion, and since this is fantasy and ole George would be back with the living, I would love nothing more than to tell him personally how much listening to every one of his comedy albums on my cassette player as a kid (yep, CASSETTES) completely colored my thinking, my humor and my outlook in a way that keeps me laughing even when I want to cry and always questioning authority figures precisely when they deserve some serious questioning.

John Lennon – Why wouldn’t I? Possibly one of the coolest musicians and songwriters ever. And if one of the other guests cancels, I’m calling George Harrison as an alternate to join us, too!

Judy Blume – Much like my affection for George, my love for Judy Blume books and “philosophy” deeply impacted my early understanding of life as a pudgy, shy teenage girl in the 80s, and a nerd at that. I could read her books, and none of that mattered anymore. I’d love to hear what Judy thought about today’s literature and movement to this age of darker, moodier literature that seems to have created a hybrid of Judy Blume, Anne Rice and maybe a little R.L. Stine thrown in, as well. And though I haven’t picked up any of her later adult-targeted works and only recently learned that she’s out there in the blogging world, I’d really just like to give her a hug.

Leonardo da Vinci – aside from getting his take on the whole Da Vinci Code hoopla and the REAL story behind the much hyped and I think OVERRATED Mona Lisa, something tells me that if we could get past the language barrier, he’d provide hours of insight and fascinating though probably broken English.

Bill Clinton – the conversation would never dull as this smart, witty guest launched into topics from politics and history to books, movies and music. And if things really get crazy and we all start singing and rocking, I know we’ve got a mean sax player in our midst.

Jimmy Stewart –  I went back and forth on this one. After all, I was a huge fan of Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, and so on. But they’re all so brooding or tight-lipped (well, maybe not Liz) that I didn’t think they’d be great conversation. But I watched Johnny Carson regularly as a kid, and I remember how charming and chatty Mr. Stewart was when he came to visit. Would love to hear what it was like pulling off the drunken scene in The Philadelphia Story  or talking ad nauseum to carry out the filibuster believably in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And get the goods on working with the Duke in one of my surprising favorite Stewart films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. And hey, I’ve got the perfect host to invite to keep the jokes and conversation flowing and who should have just a lovely old time chatting with Carlin, Lennon, Clinton and dear old Jimmy…

David Letterman – Finally, what party would be complete without a funny, lovable curmudgeon to bookend my guest list with that other albeit deceased funny curmudgeon? I know he’ll always have a good question to pose, a funny remark to make and shares with me that same sincere appreciation for good entertainment and thinkers that I have. And maybe this time, a Beatle will be more polite to the appreciative, doting music fan than McCartney when he showed up at the “Late Show” and seemed completely disinterested in Dave’s pure joy.

Honorable Mentions

Now if I could put in the extra table leaf, I’d certainly love to invite Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Arianna Huffington and George Clooney for their wisdom, goodnaturedness, intelligence and overall general “hotness,” respectively, but a total of eight it is, and I certainly want to be at this table. So there you  have it. My party is ready to begin.


Let’s take a look at your invitations. Who did you invite to your shindig? And is it a big gala or a quiet, swanky soiree? Do tell…



  1. Blog Double-Take 2012 « Kuhn Stories - [...] Dream Dinner Party A La Kuhn (Jan. 27) [...]

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