Eating dinner with strangers

There’s a strange thing about me.

And in contrast to my previous post.

When in my happy mood, I prefer eating with strangers than people I don’t know. I can be whoever I want to be. If things go well, then things can only go up. I can maintain the relationship through social media or the like. If things don’t go well, I can disappear into my anonymity, knowing that it’s unlikely that I will ever run into my fellow diners again.

AirBnB Supper Club

So during the AirBnb Supper Club (perhaps I will go into detail in another post), I chose to sit in a table of strangers. I had the opportunity to sit with Chris who somehow was randomly assigned to another table. From experience, I knew that I would be compelled to talk to only him. The secret language of “please pass the beans” or “I don’t like the food, can you eat what’s on my plate?” So upon realizing that we sat at separate tables, I willingly suggested that we stayed that way. Not like a wedding where the disappearance of a partner was almost unacceptable.

And as a result, we had such disparate experiences. The CEO happened to sit at our table, which for better or worse, affected the conversation and the public eye. Also too, as a result of his presence, the photographers and videographers aimed their trained eyes on us. While we broke bread, passed around the guacamole, break open the large fortune cookie, and other random activities. And perhaps that’s why the table of 10 kept breaking into smaller groups of 2 or 3 struggling against the noise echoing in the warehouse.

Whereas at Chris table. The extroverts all out. “Seconds, please!” they cried and the servers brought out additional plates of food, sampling from all the different cuisines available. They laughed about how awesome the table was and chorused in agreement with rigor. Their conversations were animated and inviting.

When 9 PM struck, a few people said that they were tired. The CEO patted my arm and said that he hoped that I had fun. I exchanged pleasantries. “Thank you for hosting!” I said to the host. Then as a person asked me to tell my story, I was interrupted and the story was dropped. A fan came up to me and asked me to take a photo of him and the CEO. I obliged. In moments, the table dispersed and I was alone.

Where in just the table over, nearly everyone was still at their seats. Laughter trickled. When I arrived, Chris was engaged in a rich story. The kind of story that draws people in—their eyes glazed and in rapture. I took a peek at the belonging card, the prompt to write a memory of belonging. He wrote, “Here, at this table, was my best memory.”

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