Re: [diningout-362] Dinner and Discussion

From: Ken
Sent on: Sunday, June 8, 2008 8:33 PM
My two cents:  I have occasionally been invited into a friend's "salon."  Granted, these are all couples with a similar background who have known one another for 20 years or so - but the idea is very nice: they agree on a topic for discussion, they meet monthly on a rotation basis, and the host/ess provides refreshment.  They start by 7 or so, and do a round robin: everyone has their 10 minutes of fame (although many people go on and on).  Topics could be to agree to read a book and then present thoughts - or even something a la Toastmasters: pick a word like "smiles" and then you can do a poem, a painting, music, read a report - whatever.  

I found it delightful, even though I was an outsider - they felt I had something to contribute.  It may be hard to replicate if people aren't established and have homes that can accommodate a group.  Meeting in a cafe / restaurant is difficult: most want to turn the table over and move the next group in and out, and the cost of food and drink is a consideration (at least for some of us).  

Potlucks favor the cooks and inspired.  Often guys (yes) will bring a six-pack. a bottle of wine, or some takeout.  Hardly in the spirit, but it satisfies the "letter of the law."  And then there's the unforeseen: bad weather, crowds, parking, bugs, nowhere to sit/set a table, all the paper plates and cups (unless it's all finger food), and the inevitable vegan or kosher or macrobiotic or organic-only dietary restrictions as a group gets diverse.

Just the same, it's worth a shot.  Go for it.

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