Jul 31, 2006
A Four Letter Word Meaning "Intercourse", Ending in the Letter "K"
My friend Erika and I once chatted about our best conversational partners -- the people who we most enjoyed talking with about things with meaning or things without. I was pleased to have made her top ten list -- something I didn't even know she had.
So who makes your list? Or more importantly, what is it about them or you (or them-and-you) that got them there? What sorts of variety do you have in your top ten? Some because they listen and some because they talk? Some because you know them from forever? Some you don't even like, though you like talking with them? And have people dramatically moved on or off the list in the years you've known them?
As for me -- my favorite longtime partners still include Erika (when we can find time), my best friend Dave, Kaudie, and Timmy (on our rare visits). There are, of course, others. And sadly there are those who were once on the list but who are are now gone because we don't ever see each other. For the ones still on my list, I appreciate how most of them speak clearly, teach me new things while still engaged with me as a friend (rather than an audience), and welcome the chance to listen and appreciate what I have to say, too.
I appreciate how they each have broad interests as well as numerous areas of deep knowledge. And I appreciate how they all are (reasonably and usually) modest about what they have to share. They don't think they know everything, or that the things they know are more important than things they don't. And (did I forget to mention?) they're all funny. Lastly, I appreciate that they all care about things and people outside of themselves. I suspect that's at the root of a lot of things.
Illustration: Matisse's "Conversation" from artchive.com
Courtesy of my high school teacher Branson Brown: the four letter word is "talk".
i still look for the same things - warmth, a robust and mischievous sense of humor, true intelligence, a well turned sentence, breadth of interests, ability to range comfortably from topic to topic, ability to give and take, many interests broader or deeper than my own, experiences i've not had . . . and the people on my top 10 list are not necessarily the people i like most in the world, the people whose values i share, the people i spend the most time with, or the people i talk with most often. but they are the people i would pick to be stranded on an island with . . . .
Posted by: e | Jul 31, 2006 10:43:36 AM
Excellent. Your criteria and mine for conversational partners are nearly identical. These days my two adult sons are my favorite conversational partners... and they've always been in the Top Ten. The Second Mrs. Pennington used to be Number One and held that position for over 20 years... not so much now. Not even in the Top 50, actually. :D
Posted by: Buck | Jul 9, 2009 12:54:05 PM