Dinner in White

On Friday night, we went to a ‘dinner in white’ at a nearby chateau. It was a jolly affair, at an ancient chateau entirely surrounded by a moat.

We set up our table, alongside the others. We gathered for drinks. We saw old friends. And then we prepared for dinner.

Why “white?” The dinner marks the occasion of the Assumption of the Virgin. It’s held each year in this rural area of France. Everyone brings a full dinner service – table, chairs, candles, etc. etc. Then, after setting up outside, under the stars…there’s a twist. Couples switch around so that your editor ends up having dinner with a woman to whom he is not married.

Having dinner with someone else’s wife can be a delight. At least, you have nothing to argue about. But how much of a delight it is depends entirely – or perhaps mostly – on chance.

In our case, we were terribly lucky. In front of us was a charming woman who turned out to be a relative of many people we already knew. So we kept up a lively conversation about cousins, uncles, aunts…family tragedies…and upcoming marriages. On our right, was a cute woman with a bright smile and a friendly manner. On our left, was another charming woman with a shrewd, fast wit.

Time passed quickly. We crossed swords with the woman on our left – over education policies. We chatted with the woman in front of us – about family, the weather, local trends, food and whatever. We flirted with the woman on our right:

“Do you come to these dinners often?” we asked.

“About as often as you do,” came the reply, “once a year.”

“Well, the dinners suit you. You look very nice in white.”

“Thanks…but I really don’t have any choice. It’s a ‘dinner in white,’ after all. If I had a choice, I’d wear black.”

“Why…because you have a black, cruel heart? Or is it because you are in a sad mood? I hope not. And if so, perhaps I can cheer you up by telling you joke. How many Belgians does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“I’ve heard that one.”

“Then why does the guy from Belgium go to sleep with one full glass of water next to his bed and one empty glass?”

“I don’t know…why?”

“Because he never knows if he’ll be thirsty or not when he wakes up in the night.”


Until tomorrow,

Bill Bonner
for Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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Nice post! I didn’t know that EVEN in Australia, there were jokes about Belgian People… Be nice with us! :)

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