Back at university, I was lucky enough to go to and help organise a few “Conversation Dinners”. That’s odd – you may say – I usually have conversation at dinner – what on earth are you talking about?
A conversation dinner is a meal where you are paired with a stranger and work your way through a “conversation menu” – a menu of questions designed to get past the superficial chat. You choose a question for yourself (which feels much less confrontational!) and learn a great deal about the other person and yourself along the way. A group of friends wanted to try this in London, and so I asked each to invite a stranger to dinner and we “swapped”. It was the first time I’d done it this way, and was a lovely way to meet some new strangers.
My favourite question of the night was “what do you worship?” We had been discussing atheism and then my conversation partner mentioned the David Foster Wallace’s quotation “There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships.” A great conversation ensued!