‘The Dining Room’ (Ruth): “Lately I’ve been having this recurrent dream”

'The Dining Room' by A. R. Gurney

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Ruth, a wealthy woman who yearns for a time when she was closer to family.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's | 60's

Summary: Ruth, about to host a lavish party, talks to her maid about a dream she's been having.

More: Read the Play

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RUTH: Lately I’ve been having this recurrent dream. We’ve giving this perfect party. We have our dining room back, and Grandmother’s silver, before it was stolen, and Charley’s mother royal blue dinner plates, before the moves dropped them, and even the finger bowls, if I knew where they were. And I’ve invited all our favorite people. Oh, I don’t mean just our old friends. I mean everyone we’ve ever known and liked. We’d have the man who fixes our Toyota, and that intelligent young couple who bought the Payton house, and the receptionist at the doctor’s office, and the new teller at the bank. And our children would be invited too, and they’d all come back from wherever they are. And we’d have two cocktails, and hot hors d’oeuvre, and a first-rate cook in the kitchen, and two maids to serve, and everyone would get along famously! (The candles are lit by now) My husband laughs when I tell him this dream. “Do you realize,” he says, “what a party like that would cost? Do you realize what we’d have to pay these days for a party like that?” Well, I know, I know all that. But sometimes I think it might almost be worth it.

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