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I am currently applying for jobs. I was at an interview recently and was asked a rather odd question that seriously made me think. They asked me this; given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you have as a dinner guest?
I was caught off guard. I'm very good at interviews. I'm great at answering questions on the fly, but I was stumped. It took me a minute and looking back on the interview, I did not give the answer I truly wanted. Granted, I was caught off guard and taking too much time to think in an interview might not look great. I think I gave a good answer, but if I could change it, I would.
My answer to my interviewer was this; I would have Earnest Hemingway as my dinner guest. Not only because he would match me drink for drink, but because I would love to explore the recesses of his mind. Hemingway is by far one of my favorite authors and as an aspiring novelist, I would love to know the true stories of his inspiration. I want to know the secrets on how he stayed focused. I feel like he would be an outstanding dinner guest for the simple fact that he is a realist and has a sense of humor. Hemingway did say "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk; that will teach you to keep your mouth shut." While that's great advice, it also possesses a joking tone. Reading his works, he seems so wise and I think he'd be a great dinner guest for this reason.
However, as I thought about the question more and more, I realized that as much as I would love to have dinner with my idol… I would much rather have dinner with my mother. They say meeting your idol is almost always a disappointment anyway and I never got to know my mother; she passed away when I was three. My memories of her are slim and some may think that this might make it easier, or that the loss didn't affect me as much as it could have. I can't say if it does or doesn't, I just know that it's hard on me. I would give mass amounts of money to have her come back for one night, to simply have dinner with me. That memory alone would be worth more than I could ever afford. The interviewer probably would not have gone well if I started crying, explaining why I would invite my own mother to dinner- but I don't know if that matters to me at this moment.
If I could have dinner with my mother, I would bring her pictures of her granddaughter and show her the videos I have of her learning to walk. Explaining the meaning behind my daughter's name, I hope, would make my mom smile. I would be able to talk to her about all the amazing things that have happened in my life so far... and all the not so amazing moments; those moments when I craved her presence more than anything. We would be able to have those mother-daughter conversations that I longed to have with her. I could tell her all about my sister and my dad and how far they've both come. I would be able to ask her opinion on things that I'm still unsure of. I would hope that she would have a million stories to share with me. I don't care if I had to make seven courses, I would sit and eat and listen to all of the stories she had to tell me. Explaining the women who raised me to my mom would be the hardest and yet most rewarding part. I know it would probably be hard for her to hear; it would be hard to say to her. But I believe she would appreciate hearing about them.
Dinner with my mom would be the best memory I could think of. The best way to spend a dinner, the best dinner guest, and the best way to stare into the eyes of the woman who made me and open up myself to let her know that even though she wasn't physically there, I thought of her and kept her with me every step of the way.
That is my honest answer to the question; who would you have as a dinner guest. I believe it would be a great form of closure and I don't think I'm the only one who would want to have dinner with a deceased loved one. The desire to talk to someone who's passed away never really leaves you. Many people will say to just start talking as if you are talking to the person who passed. While that can be helpful, it would be eternally rewarding to have them answer and get in one final goodbye.