Dinner with the Stars

“What five people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?”

I have no clue why, but I always feel like these kind of questions are testing me. It really didn’t take me long at all to come up with my list of “stars”.

Let me start by giving you a setting. We’re in a decked up dining room, sitting at an oval-shaped table. In front of us, for no other reason than it’s my favorite meal of the year, is Thanksgiving dinner. The room is bright, and everything around us is white: the wall unit on one side of the room, the book case on the other, and the windows across from me. I sit at the HBIC* seat, and my guests choose their seats.

My first guest sits on my right. I obviously asked Nanny to come for dinner, simply because I miss her and I was given the choice. She no longer has her breathing tube, and looks like she’s ready to go play Bingo. She laughs at my ridiculous set up, and picks at her meal—all the while talking my ear off. I smile at the thought of seeing her again, but with so much more life than I had in a long time. I take the moment in slowly, just content with her presence and the mixed smell of coffee and cough drops.

On the other side of Nan is none other than the Julie Andrews. She’s in some of my most favorite movies, and is such an idol for me. She floated into the room wearing a matching skirt and jacket set, just as she would as Queen Clarisse in The Princess Diaries. She’s quiet and elegant, and listens to what everyone has to say before saying what she wants. I want to ask her to sing so badly, but I know it’s probably a bad idea (and even worse etiquette). Instead, I commend and thank her for all of her years on the stage and the screen.

Across from me, at the other end of the table, is a man that I’ve never had the chance to meet. He is also quiet, but eats as if he has never seen turkey in his life. He is dressed in slacks and a white button up, and looks confused as to why he was invited to the party—partly because he doesn’t know anyone at the table, but mostly because he was invited by the first child raised in his home without him present. He stares for a long time before asking why he is where he is, and sighs heavily at the sight of food. I nervously laugh, and realize how alike my dad is to him. How alike I am to him. I want to ask him questions, but instead I let him tell me what he wants. His laugh booms through the room the few times he does. Everyone around the table sits silent when he speaks, for his words take everyone by storm.

Right on my left side, just a foot and a half away from me, is my longest living crush: Justin Timberlake. I tell him about how I’ve had a crush on him for as long as I can remember, and he is so humbled by that. He’s wearing a smile that never disappears, and more attentiveness than I’ve ever seen. He’s just as star-struck by Julie and my grandparents as I am, and jokes with his buddy on the other side of him. He removes his leather jacket when the two goofballs get up to act out some of their favorite moments together, and even sings a little bit of Señorita for me. His presence both calms and excites me because, hey, it’s Justin-freaking-Timberlake. If you were sitting next to your celebrity crush, you’d be internally freaking out, too.

His buddy—sitting in between him and Opa—laughs at every joke made, and tries to join in on my favorite Timberlake hit. In this dream of mine, Jimmy Fallon does not have that creepy mustache he’s been trying to pull off nowadays. Instead, he has a clean face, and is sporting a baseball tee and jeans—trying to look hip, like the rad dad he is. He keeps the conversation around the table going, and claps at just about anything anybody says. It’s hysterical, and I love every second of it.

At the end of the night, everybody thanks me for inviting them, and I dance around like a little kid after shutting the door behind my last departed guest. Upon the old man’s departure, he leaves me with an unexpected hug, and a message to Oma.

*HBIC: acronym for Head Bitch in Charge


Prompt: What five people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?

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