It’s a fairly common question. Whether it’s asked in a beer garden by a mate, a prospective employer at an interview or at gun point by a madman (probably the least likely scenario but we’re talking dinner parties with dead celebrities so should we really set boundaries here?) In any case it’s a tricky little question designed to expose your inner personality.
There’s no right or wrong answers (unless you pick someone like Clive Palmer then you’re both wrong and about to have all the food in your house eaten or thrown directly at you). But let’s stretch this scenario further, let’s imagine you had your dinner party. The décor was on point, the food was delicious and you had an entire world, living and dead, to choose from. So who would it be…
Personally I don’t need to give my family any further ammunition to trash my life choices. From a full sleeve to a nose ring, or the fact I spent three years at University only to work in Sydney’s bar scene for the past 7 years, I’m used to a head shake of disappointment rather than a hand shake of congratulations.
So my choices would be strategic; an attempt to improve my own profile. When you’ve got Joseph Stalin sitting to your left tearing into a chicken Parmy do I really look so bad? I haven’t killed millions of people, hell I’m not even in the hundreds, and that moustache?! Come on Stalin, it’s so cliché and 9 to 5, don’t you know hipsters drown in the mainstream.
While this scenario is obviously a fantasy, in that Stalin wouldn’t go for a Chicken Parmy, he’d have red meat for sure (yeah that’s a communism and a culinary joke put together, I don’t give a fuck) it does provide food for thought, what does our answer to this dinner party question reveal about us as twenty somethings?
For me it’s about who I most admire and respect. If I’m completely honest I’d bring my Dad along to this dinner party, because there’s no bloke I look up to more. It’s a frustrating irony given the fact he’s been at every family dinner since time began and I probably could have used that time to pick his brain rather than lament over the fact that my mashed potato was too lumpy. Still, if I have three of those invites, his name will be on one.
When I look at that decision I realise it’s because I want to be like him, even though I haven’t sorted out my shit yet, one day I will. That’s obviously just an example, an insight into my thought process when in reality the other two choices I make aren’t really important.
As you read this you’ll already be zoning out of my responses and thinking “who would I bring…” and if you stop for a moment once you’ve chosen your 3 names and ask why you chose them you might find some really thought provoking insight into who you are, and more importantly who you look up to and who you want to become.
I think I draw on a common thread to say this period, between those potentially awkward teenage years and the imagined emotional maturity of our thirties, can be pretty fucking rocky, and any help as far as identity and direction can go a long way. The most common way of finding this is to turn to a mate or a family member, seek advice and look for help from outside. But as this question shows, there’s a lot of answers already inside you, you just weren’t asking the right questions yet.
At the end of the day the worst case scenario is you invite three party animals and have the best night ever. Sure you might wake up the next day with a dick drawn on your forehead in permanent marker while Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and River Phoenix are crashing on the couch, but at your next dinner party, you’ll have a hell of a dinner party story.
Image: Gemma Van Heyst
Alexander Porter is a 27 year old with a degree from Sydney University. Getting it in a frame is on his 30 before Thirty list. He has a Back to the Future tattoo and is available for party hire. When Alex isn't writing he is watching his beloved St George Dragons let him down, drinking flavoured milk and planning new travel adventures. You can follow him on instagram @alexander_le_great