Last night I was able to attend event with Outstanding in the Field and it was, indeed, outstanding.
I've admired this group for a long time, both for their ability to gather in unique locations and for the deep love of hospitality. So it wonderful (and surreal) to attend one of their events right here in Des Moines, just fifteen minutes from my apartment downtown.
The table for this gathering held around a hundred, but everyone was sort of divided up into groups of eight, so it ended up feeling quite intimate. I'll admit: I was the only person there without a date/friend group, so I initially felt out of place, but once the food began being served (and the wine started to flow) I felt more comfortable.
At first I couldn't think of conversational topics (I didn't want to discuss people's work because that's boring and predictable) so I reverted to my Conversational Old Faithful: do you have any big trips planned? From there we discussed favorite restaurants around the city, Chef’s Table (duh!), and this creepy app. I noticed halfway through the evening that these strangers felt like long lost friends and that feeling is genuinely priceless
Walking back to my car afterwards, I thought to myself how the world needs more of this sort of thing: more gatherings, bridge-building, and nights spent beneath the summer sky surrounded by potential future friends. I’d RSVP “yes” again in a heartbeat.