Dinner with Friends

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…it’s never too early to plan for your future. Check out this post for three people you may want to have at your table later on down the road. 

By Erika LeGendre, ’14, ’17

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Hello, holiday season!


Yes, 2020 has been a whirlwind, and yes, we are still in the thick of it. But nothing puts a smile on my face and an extra pep in my step quite like the holiday season.


Although the way some major retailers go from Halloween straight to the December holidays gives me pause, for many, Thanksgiving is still a significant holiday grounded in the virtue of gratitude. Whether you’re surrounded by family, friends, a combination of the two, or comforted in solitude, gratefulness is the name of this game.


Fellowshipping over food is a great part of the human experience and I am thankful for it. I often learn a lot from conversations over food, and since I am committed to lifelong learning, there are three people I would warmly welcome to my dinner table this holiday season. No Mean Girls energy over here!


These people CAN sit with me.

A Hungry Historian 


Whether it be a family historian like a grandparent who keeps everything or a Black history historian who can illustrate the Black Freedom Movement, history tells us so much. Something that clicked for me this year is that we can all be historians in our own right. We are living in a historic time right now and one day our tweets, IG posts and journal entries will serve as primary sources. In a year when uncertainty has been a central theme, I think knowing about the past can help inform the present and future — just as the Sankofa bird symbolizes. My historian guest would need to come hungry because it’s holiday dinner after all!

A Funny Financial Advisor 


I understand talking about money is generally frowned up in social settings, but I’m willing to make this exception for my table of four. This year has made me understand the importance of being smart with money — specifically by saving up for a rainy day, week, month and year. In fact, a recent CNBC + Acorns survey showed that 46% of respondents said they are “more of a saver now” than they were before the pandemic. It doesn’t matter what your financial goals might be; an advisor can be a good consultant when planning your future. I’d appreciate a funny financial advisor because some money talk can be a bit dry for me. Overall, I’m all about learning more, so to my financial advisor guest I would say, “pass the green(s), please!”

A Smart Storyteller 


One thing I remember from an early communication theory course at CofC is Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm. Fisher speculates that storytelling is our oldest form of communication and that humans’ ability to tell a story makes us unique. I believe a good story can make us laugh, cry or contemplate for days on end. And you know the great thing about stories? Everyone has one. Stories make us question and imagine alternatives to current realities. I appreciate a coherent and (mostly) true story at a dinner party, as well as what they offer to the human experience in terms of connection. A smart storyteller knows how to incorporate humor and how to make the unbelievable believable, and that’s who I’d want at my table. Bonus points if it is Issa Rae.

And there you have it. My table for four would hopefully teach me many new things and I hope I’d be able to offer something to each of my guests too. Who would you have at your table of four? I wish you all a relaxing holiday break. You deserve it.

Erika LeGendre ‘14 (‘17 M.A.) is the associate director of marketing and communications at the College of Charleston School of Business. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>