Truth or Lie? Lunch with Sergei Khrushchev

Too Fancy For Me

(Photo credit: vasta)

A few days ago, I posted a list of six things about me. Five of them are true; one of them is a lie. Here is the original list:

Yesterday, I revealed that both #1 and #2 are true.

I did break my toe in Taipei, and I did get married in a Chinese restaurant (the most popular choice for the lie).If you want to see a little evidence, check out some of the wedding pictures here:

Time to move on to number 3: I had lunch with Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev. Only a handful of people thought this was a lie, but I think it’s time to set the record straight.

Sometimes, we attend big meetings and conferences where there is a guest of honor and hundreds of other people sitting at tables around the room. And while everyone is having lunch, it can’t really be counted (in my opinion) as having lunch with someone specific. Besides, it’s kind of sneaky, and I wouldn’t be that sneaky. Well, at least not on a contest like this. .

Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, p...

Sergei Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, presents his books about his father in Moscow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, that was not the case with my 3rd statement. When I said I had lunch with Sergei Khrushchev, I did not mean in a room with hundreds of people. I mean in a room with 14 people, 2 tables. And I was on the other side of a round table with seven people, smaller than the table shown in the photo above..

The year was 2003, and Sergei Khrushchev was one of the featured speakers for our university’s 40th anniversary celebration. That was also the year I became part of the Roberts’ Fellows.* The 12 members of that year’s Roberts’ Fellows were invited to attend Khrushchev’s presentation and to have lunch with him afterwards. BONUS: After the presentation, he autographed books, and I bought one of his books for my history buff son. Score!

On to lunch: As I mentioned, I was at the table of seven where Sergei was seated. I can’t tell you what we had to eat for lunch that day, or even what topics of conversation we covered, but it was definitely a great experience. I do remember, he was interested in what people were studying, what their plans were, and he was gracious about asking questions. To be honest, I think most of us were a tad intimidated to be having lunch with someone of such historical significance. That could be the reason I had a place at the table with him, because I was a little less intimidated than some of the others. But I could have easily just made that part up. After all, we do rewrite our stories every time we tell them.  🙂

As I write about this experience and realize how much of a gap there is in my memory of this event, it is a reminder that life has amazing moments, and that even when we’re paying attention, things fade over time. I used to think that because I had what could be considered by many to be “a good memory,” I didn’t always make notes or record my impressions at the time. I understand now why written reflection on a regular basis was part of the Roberts’ Fellows program. I plan to dig out those journals the next time I’m back in the US to see if there are any more comments about this particular day.

But for now, with the wonderful world of blogging, I can have a better record of what I’ve experienced. It’s still interpretation, my story of what is happening and what I’m experiencing, but stories are a good thing to have.

So there you have it. #1, #2, and #3 are all true. Stay tuned: Tomorrow I reveal the final results!  See you then! 🙂