Thursday, November 16, 2006

The envelope was even distinctive to the touch. I wondered when I picked up my mail if it were a wedding invitation. The invitation was addressed by hand using a fountain pen; I didn’t recognize the return address. Turning it over I saw that it that it had a wax seal, how wonderfully archaic, I thought. Opening it I found a card, with an intentions card and a posted envelope for my reply. Opening the card the invitation was handwritten. I glanced down at the signature it was from Lydie and Emile.

A dinner invitation to Lydie and Emile’s is a sought after social coup in some circles and I’m surprised to be invited. Though I’m more curious than pleased about the invitation. I’ve never met him, but she is a regular at several of the business meet and greets that I attend and we’ve talked numerous times. They both have their own businesses that would fall into the ‘creative’ category. As she explains, they are trying to maintain or perhaps revive the idea of salon society where interesting and stimulating people are brought together for what hopefully will be highbrow conversation and the dinners are the vehicle.

We were ten for dinner with Lydie and Emile being the only couple. An idiosyncrasy of their dinners is that they’ll invite one partner in a couple but not the other if they don’t feel that he or she will add to the evening and I bet that makes for some interesting household discussions. Of the guests I was the youngest and the only single person and the only American. The remaining guests ran the gamut from academics to business to the arts and government.

Politics was a big topic with the recent US elections and here the Socialists are selecting their presidential candidate (go
Segolene) for the elections in the spring. Perhaps you have heard about the UMP’s promotional condoms? The party logo stamped on the package. Oh and the UMP is the conservative party and I’m wondering about the Socialist response. I was asked for my analysis of the US results, which was kind of a trick question, as I hadn’t paid a lot of attention. Fortunately I had reviewed some of the commentary after the election and I had a long conversation with Dad.

Their big question was whether the US Iraq policy would change with the Democrats now in power. I pointed out that under the US system foreign policy is really the province of the executive branch (thanks for the insight Dad) and that legislative tools to address FP concerns are pretty crude. This realization caused some chin scratching as some had hoped Bush would be forced to change his approach. Then someone surmised that the politics of the situation would cause the change and brought up some study group.

A popular punching bag, the Musée du Quai Branly came up and we agreed that we liked the concept and hated the execution. The architect in our group went on a short rant about how Jean Nouvel who designed the Musée failed Paris. A writer changed the subject by mentioning that she had recently been in Minneapolis and loved the new Guthrie Theater, also by Nouvel. After which the conversation switched to the Paris theater season. And so the evening went.

All and all I had a good time. I would invite any of them, well maybe not the architect, to a party that I would have. If invited I’d definitely go back but I hope that I wait awhile for my next turn. At one point during the evening I longed for the easy and supportive interactions of being with my friends. At times this was much too competitive.

Kim

3 Comments:

Blogger desert diamond said...

That sounds like a perfect evening to me!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Pete from Cal said...

Ha, so that's what an intellectual dinner party is like. :) People from different walk of life sharing their knowledge. I guess it can be exhausting because you have to be on your toe and be ready to answer questions when it's your turn. :) Thanks for sharing.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous A said...

"Their big question was whether the US Iraq policy would change with the Democrats now in power. I pointed out that under the US system foreign policy is really the province of the executive branch (thanks for the insight Dad) and that legislative tools to address FP concerns are pretty crude"

Congress controls the funding and therefore can if they choose to take control back by not allocating monies to Iraq (since they are the only constitutional body that can declare "war", not the president).

Trouble is there are many pro-"war" Democrats.

8:35 PM  

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