13 Great Conversation Starters For Those Awk Moments

13 Great Conversation Starters For Those Awk Moments

Simple solutions for awkward silences over dinner.
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We’ve all had those meals. You know, those meals, where the people in your company are trying to eat as quietly as possible amidst the clanking of silverware, and the metaphorical chirping crickets become so deafening that they start to manifest on a nearby windowsill. Those meals.

Well, starting today, the era of word-starved suppers has come to an end. Next time you find yourself among laconic interlocutors, try out these guaranteed conversation starters. They’re sure to get your partner across the table talking — or at the very least, making excuses to sit somewhere else.

1. Have you ever had lice?

This could very well elicit a story. But if they feel weirded out, which some people are wont to feel after you ask them about the health history of their scalp, you can always just follow it up with a compliment on the baseball cap they’re wearing. That way, it’ll make much more sense to them when you steal it later.

2. What's your favorite obituary?

If they claim not to have one, just talk about your own, but judge them silently. Judge them hard.

3. Do you prefer eating books?

If you say it fast enough, your interlocutor likely won’t understand the question at first, and their response will probably be something like, “As opposed to…?” From here on out, it’s up to you. You can go the safe route (“Oh, you know — articles, magazines, and the like”) or you can stay true to your original question (“Well, you carry that chem book to the dining hall often enough, I figured you might prefer the printed pages over the Basmati rice"). Either way, you’ve got them talking now.

4. Who did you vote for?

I don’t think the 2017 edition of the Revised Manual for Cordial and Courteous Conversation is in print yet, but I’m pretty sure this particular question is a no-go. Still, feel free to ask at your own risk, although this may be the one that makes them leave the table.

5. Do you ever sing in the shower?

If their answer is “No, never,” then it’s your turn to find another seat.

6. Where's the first place you go when you can't find your phone?

Answers like “the Street,” “my school email,” and “into the realm of my roommate’s personal space” are all indicative of a determined, in-your-face, grade-A college student. (Well, probably more of a grade-C, if we’re being honest.) But hey, they’re talkers.

7. How old do you think Dumbledore is?

If they say “150? Give or take a few?” then you should probably marry them on the spot. If they gently remind you that Dumbledore was assassinated in the sixth book and is no longer living, and, in fact, as a fictional character, never was living in the first place, then you should still at least get their number so you can exchange conspiracy theories together.

8. What's in your ideal basement?

This question could go any number of ways. The ones who talk about flat-screens and pool tables and even meat hooks are okay, but I’d stay away from anyone who wants Hannibal’s corpse, because at that point they’re just trying too hard. I mean, really.

9. Cheetos: Crunchy or Puffed?

If their opinion doesn’t align with yours, you’ve got at least 20 minutes of heated conversation right then and there.

10. If you were alive right now, what would—?

You can take quite a bit of artistic license with this one, although I’m not sure your partner across the table will much appreciate it. They’ll probably cut you off after the first half of the question and ask what you meant by “if,” gradually escalating into a state of anger or confusion, or perhaps some combination of the two resembling an existential crisis. I would be mindful of any airborne utensils at this point, particularly butter knives.

11. Did you like Transformers: Age of Extinction?

The single correct response, for both of you, is laughter. After that, you’ll be bonding over bad puns and embarrassing childhood memories in no time.

12. Do you still wear your retainer at night?

This is how you can tell whether someone’s responsible. Either that, or they just really care about the alignment of their pearly whites, which is admirable regardless.

And finally…

13. Don’t you hate it when they do that thing in spy movies where the two people are sitting a little apart on a bench and staring straight ahead while they speak, as if no one watching them will be able to deduce that they’re talking to each other, but it’s actually super obvious that they’re communicating so it begs the question whether they should even be spies in the first place?

Ideally, your interlocutor joins in sometime in the middle and the two of you recite the rest of the question together. Realistically? They just say yes and reply with another thing they hate about spy movies.

And with that, you’ve got a friend for life — or at the very least, an interesting story to fill the silence with at next week’s dinner. Cheers.

Cover Image Credit: Business Insider

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Forget Halloween Costumes And Trick Or Treating, Inktober Has My Full Attention This Year

Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.

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Besides waiting for October to celebrate Halloween, artists look forward to something else in October, which is Inktober.

Inktober means artists can draw things each day according to the month of October, under the requirement that they must be drawn in ink. Often times, many people will think it is a waste of time to draw during the month of October, but it's not for artists. Other than putting up costumes and preparing Halloween decorations, artists can try out ink for the first time if they have not done so already during this time of the year when drawing. Also, for ink, artists do not have to use expensive or any fancy ink at all, it can just be simply drawing with pens that have ink. And of course, artists need to draw on a paper to do Inktober as well.

In addition, this does not only challenge artists in drawing in ink but also their consistency and time management. Inktober is more fun if you actually do create one ink drawing each day in October. However, many people who are so busy with their lives, have the tendency of not able to have time to draw. Therefore, Inktober dares artists to push some time for themselves to draw at least one drawing each day in their October schedules.

Besides challenging artists for time management and consistency, it is also a time for artists to see and view other artists' Inktober drawings. This is also the best part. Artists will then can see many unique and beautiful Inktober drawings posted on social media such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, all the inspiration will be overflowing within the artists during the month of October. This is the perfect time to do Inktober because this October is a big hype for many Halloween festivities and film anniversaries. Artists will then be in touch with their creativity and imagination this October.

Furthermore, this year is the first time that I have tried Inktober, which is great to do in an hour or so. Although I was cluttered with lots of work and homework, I decided to take a little time off from them and give myself some time to draw a little to celebrate October. It is a perfect way to cope with stress. As I was drawing for Inktober, I already forgot what I was stressing about. Then, I was amazed by what I could draw with ink. After, when I am done with an Inktober, I will have the confidence to finish up my homework. Other than that, you will also be amazed by how your Inktober drawing turns out at the end and the reaction you will get after seeing the finished product of your Inktober drawing.

It's another fun activity that I insist artists should do this October because it's another way for artists to express themselves through drawing. I also encourage artists to hurry to do some of the Inktober because it only lasts only in October, which means one month. Overall, I am excited to see what kind of Inktober drawings there'll be for this year!

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