What: Are invited to throw a cockTALE party. A cockTALE party is something I invented, well sort of. There are lots of venues these days where you can go and listen to people tell personal stories (I'm participating in one tomorrow! Feel free to come!), but in a cockTALE party you gather people you love and tell each other your own personal stories. Think of it as your own personal Moth.
Why in the world would I want to do that? Because stories are what define us and what connect us to one another. You are the only one who can tell your story, and if you don't tell it it will be lost forever.
How do I do this incredibly fun-sounding thing? I tested it all out for you on Saturday. It was so fun! Here is what you do:
- 1. Gather about six or seven people (or more if some people just want to listen. Anymore than eight and I think people will get too antsy).
- 2. Invite them to come to your house ready to tell a five minute personal story focused on a theme. Our theme was pilgrims because it is almost Thanksgiving, and we heard amazing stories about times in people's lives when they felt they were sort of on a pilgrimage.
- 3. Put out some food and wine (my husband made lemon drops and my guests also brought finger foods).
- 4. Mingle and enjoy each other's company and start your stories when you're ready.
- 5. That is all you have to do! Trust me, you will have a great time.
When: Whenever you want! But you could also incorporate this into your Thanksgiving dinner! How fun would that be! I even have a theme for you. Super easy: Food.
A few tips:
- 1. Keep your theme general enough so that people can interpret it in different ways and not so obscure that you'll scare people. I think now that pilgrims may have seemed too obscure at first, but, really, in the end, it turned out great.
- 2. Mix things ups. I struggled for a while with the worlds collide problem. Should I invite one particular friend group or mix things up? I mixed things up, inviting friends from different parts of my life, and I think it made it really fresh and meaningful. But you do what you think best.
- 3. Don't be afraid to go inter-generational. My teens came, and one of my daughter's friends came and told a terrific story that really highlighted how one word can mean something different at different times of our lives.
- 4. Don't make people tell a story if they don't want to. My husband and younger daughter did not tell stories. People should participate at their comfort level.
- 5. Don't worry if people's stories go over--or under--five minutes. It will all work out.
- 6. Have fun and realize that sharing stories makes us human and it is an honor to have someone share their story with you.
Later this week I'll post the story I shared. If you do have a cockTALE party let me know! I'll be so excited. Tell your friends to have their own. Let's not just OWN our stories, let's share them!
PS: The photo is of the finger food my friend Cathy brought. She got the idea from what she calls The Google. I like to call it the Story Snake.