I’ve had lots of time to think over the past few days. No email has demanded an immediate response. The phone is quiet. The radio has been on, but in the background and I haven’t listened closely unless I hear one of my favorite Christmas songs. But…I did hear someone (not sure who) talk about a dinner party for fictional characters. That was all it took to get my mind spinning. While washing our dishes last night, I began to imagine the perfect dinner party – with these five guests:
Jonas (Son by Lois Lowry) I chose the adult Jonas from the new novel rather than the twelve-year –old character from The Giver. He has lived a rich and interesting life, and he’s always been wise and kind.
Nick Carraway (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald) Nick is the narrator of one of my favorite books of all time, a Midwesterner, and a thoughtful observer of human nature. Here’s his description of Jay Gatsby: “He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.” Anyone that discerning would be a wonderful dinner guest.
Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief by Markus Zusak) Liesel loves words and understands their power to do good – and bad. She is also a thief, but she only steals books. Of all my dinner guests, Liesel is the most deserving of an evening to be fed and taken care of.
Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman) Brave and imaginative, Lyra would have great stories to tell! She is curious and, like Liesel, understands that stories can change lives.
Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers) Think of the possibilities – not to mention the power to clean up the kitchen quickly! Mary Poppins would keep things lively (especially with this thoughtful group), but more importantly, she is “practically perfect in every way!”
I think tonight’s dinner will actually be enjoyed with my husband and son rather than my fictional guests. They are both thoughtful and interesting people - but guess who will be cleaning up!