Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thinking Hurts, Don't Do It!

As we were having our last glass of wine and finishing up a delicious dessert Felipe had cooked up, one of our guest took a deep breath in and said: "I want to have dinner with this group every night".

But let me backtrack to this dinner's preparation, and why I wasn't expecting that beautiful comment to be coming out of any of our guests' mouths. As most of you already know, much of the Thursday experience lies in the connections amongst our guests. Whether romantic, professional, spiritual, we absolutely love it when connections happen at our dinner table. The pleasure of seeing these connections happen I think comes from how hard it is to craft these. First off, since we barely know most of our guests, or only know of them virtually, its hard to know which way its going to go, how they are socially and who they are going to click with. Secondly, these connections can't be over the top obvious, because then they become awkward, forced and plain boring.

How I usually go about finding strangers that can potentially connect:
What I try to do is ask our guests for their life "status", I asked them what's in their mind at the moment and whether professional or personal, what kind of project they are involved in. If I don't get around to asking that question, google is always a good friend! plus it isn't such a bad idea to research at least a little bit, about the strangers who are about to come over to our home. Facebook also can come in handy and help you put a face to a story and maybe even find some "friend of a friend" type of a connection. All of these tricks help us figure out people's personalities, who they are looking to connect with, and how Worth Kitchen might just be that unexpected place where that connection happens.

For dinner #33, I had absolutely no time to plan out the table and it sort of came together organically on its own. While I wasn't sure if the guests were one hundred percent right together, Felipe ensured me they were. How did he know this? INTUITION. While he knew two of the people invited, his hunch was that the entire table would come together very nicely, and that it did. Call it an act of randomness, or Felipe's strange (but almost 100% of the time accurate) intuition, but two of the girls invited shared something very special...they shared a best friend! It was unbelievable to us all! These two girls knew each other by name and by stories, of course, but their best friend "Sarah" had never gotten around to physically introduce the two of them.

As we said goodbye to our guests, it felt so good that no matter how much we could plan for these connections to happen, that they continue to take place regardless, and that this project has an element of randomness that cannot be planned, thought out or analyzed, it just is. It felt so good to think that no matter what happens, if we let this project a little loose, it will still take its beautiful course.

So let the randomness in and the analysis out. Cheers to enjoying the ride!

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