I coach track for the school in which I work and my team and I are in Cairo for the season ending track meet. I have a couple of good friends who reside in Cairo and one of them, my friend Marc has invited me to his home for dinner after the meet has concluded for the day.
Marc has invited a group of people over and I know most of the people in the group. We are all from different walks of life and the thread that ties us together is that we have all worked and resided overseas for a number of years. The conversation this evening bandied from life overseas with children, to future job opportunities (a favorite topic of conversation of international educators, as is what airlines to fly), lifestyles in different locales, non-working spouses, financial packages, and many other topics.
It struck me after the evening concluded that it was an adult evening (please let me explain). An evening that simply consisted of good conversation (and tasty Egyptian food); at times humorous, informative, but just down right pleasant. I remember as a child my folks hosting dinner parties and all they and their friends would do was talk. I also remember there would be lots of smiles, laughter, and a convivial air to the evening. As a child, I thought an evening such as this was the most boring thing in the world. I didn’t “get it?” How could anyone have a good time without a tv, video game, or some other sort of artificial stimulation as the focal point of entertainment? I just thought my parents and their friends were old. Now, I look forward to evenings of hanging with friends, especially when I’m back in the U.S. Spending evenings catching up with friends over meals or no meals at all.
I recently read an article in one of my favorite publications the UTNE Reader about the lost art of conversation. The gist of the article was about how conversation is dying out and how people just don’t get together and talk anymore. Let’s do our best to bring the art of conversation back!
Yes, I must be getting old, but it’s ok.