Have you ever wondered what that best questions to ask to get to know someone?

You know.

When you are at a party and you don’t know anyone and you are on your fourth glass of punch and you are looking around desperately for conversation.  But you’re not sure how to start one? You gulp and sigh and wish you had a question to ask?

I wanted a few questions, too. So I read this article from a website called Conversation Starter about the top 200 questions to ask to get to know someone.

Aren’t you curious about what they are?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

Here are five of the 200 (in no particular order).

1. What is your claim to fame?

2. Where would you rather be from?

3. What’s the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

4. What could you give a 40-minute talk on without any preparation?

and my personal favorite:

5. What do you hope never changes?

Do you think those questions would work?

How did they determine these would get people talking?

Did they telephone survey?

Did they take a poll online?

Did they ask 1000 inquiring minds?

Let’s test the theory. I’ll answer the five questions in this post and you answer one of the questions in the comments.

And then?

We’ll see if we get to know each other better.

Okay.

Here goes.

1. What is your claim to fame?

I know that I write this blog and a few books and try to decorate my house for fall with pumpkins and artichokes.

But that’s not really my claim to fame.

Not even close.

Around here? My claim to fame is that I’m Whitney and Westleigh’s mom.

Sometimes I get stopped in the Walmart produce aisle and I get all excited because I think it’s a reader.

Nope.

Sigh.

It’s just someone who knows the twins and asks me if I’m their mom.

And have I ever cooked spaghetti squash?

2. Where would you rather be from?

I wish I was from England.

Cornwall to be exact.

I wish I lived where Poldark lived and knew how to ride horses and climb cliffs and swim in the ocean out to rowboats and talk with the most amazing accent.

And I wish my hair would blow in the English wind.

3. What’s the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

That’s a hard one.

I had to divide it up into fiction and non-fiction.

(total aside: if you were at the party and I led with that potentially long answer—would you tell me that you had to go get a carrot stick?)

Fiction:  Texas by James Michener

I love this book because my father loved it and made the story come alive for me.

Non-fiction: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This book seriously changed my life. It helped me understand my mother and my husband and my kids and random people throughout my life.

4. What could you give a 40-minute talk on without any preparation?

Umm.

I have a few. 🙂

Blogging.

And more blogging.

And how to take pictures of dining rooms.

And how to shop the side of the road and find spindles from an abandoned chair and make them into this.

And how to apply red lipstick without a mirror.

and last but definitely not least:

5. What do you hope never changes?

I hope I never lose the sense of wonder at all the little things.

Truly.

My grandmother lived until she was 94 and I can remember driving with her in the car as she would exclaim with joy over the smallest things that so many people might overlook. She’d talk about the clouds in the sky and the leaves turning color and the flowers that just started to bloom.

And so I try to be all about the little things, too.

Like the first day of crisp, cool fall weather.

Or the texture of a pumpkin against the antique wood of a rescued table.

Or the textured walls painted a brilliant navy.

Or the brilliant patterns and colors in a rug.

And the tiny polka dots on a button.

And the brilliance of a bird of paradise tucked into a flower arrangement.

And the world turning and changing and spinning from one incredible, glorious season to the next.

There’s so much wonder in every moment.

If you simply look.

I love a good conversation and I love questions, too. I mean, I wonder why the earth is round and why kangaroos have pockets and where do all the extra socks go to and will there be a Downton Abbey sequel?

And now, I’d love to hear a little bit more about you.

Wait.

Hold on a second.

Let me get another cup of punch, first.

Okay. Let’s go. 🙂

PS You can read the entire article and all the questions here.

PS Y’all!!!!!!  I woke up this morning in Texas to a temperature that started with a FIVE.

SERIOUSLY.

Life is amazing.

Comments

  1. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Good questions- I chose the last one:” WHAT DO YOU HOPE NEVER CHANGES?” My answer is curiosity for life. Since I spend the majority of my life studying animals that curiosity leads me to all kinds of interesting observations.....hope you know me a little better!!!!!!!!!

  2. Image for Dauphine Dauphine

    Your answer for question four didn’t show up? My answer to question four would be anything you would like to know about working with parents when they have a baby in NICU

  3. Image for Denise V Cox Denise V Cox

    One of my favorite books is Wuthering Heights!! I will never tire of reading it...nor of shedding a tear(s) along the way. I am still a die hard romantic at heart.... there's always hope... 😉. And, like you, I would love to live abroad in a quaint seaside village somewhere along the coast in England, Ireland, or. Scotland. WOW.... that would be wonderful.. I wore jeans for the first time yesterday!!! YEAH!!!

  4. Image for Janelle Janelle

    I love your answer about wishing you were from Cornwall, England. Made me smile. Love that show and each time I watch it I wish I lived there. ☺️ Also, I feel the same way as your grandmother did. I try to take in everything! Gives me so much pleasure!

  5. Image for Vickie Vickie

    The answer to question 3 has to be The Mitford series by Jan Karon. For me personally, question 3 leads right in question 4 because my answer for #4 is books. I could easily talk for 40 minutes about books. 😁

    1. Image for Cherylb Cherylb

      I too absolutely love the Mitford series!! I’ve read and reread at least 5 times. Such feel good and spiritual hope. These books give me peace and calm

      1. Image for Chelly Chelly

        My favorite book series is The Mitford Series too! They're so sweet! I just attended a tea with Miss Karon & she's as lovely as her books!

  6. Image for Kim Kim

    Ok Karianne, I think my most important claim to fame are my children...all SEVEN of them!! They range from almost 22 to almost 37 and are doing some wonderfully exciting things and just living their best lives! Each one makes me so very proud and I couldn't imagine living a life without them!!

  7. Image for Shannon Gryszkiewicz Shannon Gryszkiewicz

    I love this post!!! Truly!!!! I’m having a cup of coffee and I’m really thinking about my answers! I have to answer two... Ireland..... I wish I were from Ireland. My mom was so I’m half Irish but I wish I lived there. That I could just pick up all of my family and transport us all there. Sigh..... :) Lastly- I hope I never lose my passion to create something new. When I create something whether it’s for my business or a gift or for me personally- it feeds my soul and I’m my happiest self. Thank you again- pondering these questions was a great way to start the week!!!! Xo

  8. Image for Jo Payne-Pierce Jo Payne-Pierce

    If I can't wake up to snow, I'll take a morning like this morning!!! Answers: 1. My claim to fame is that I am friendly, funny, and make people feel welcomed, Also, Ivan's mother, but he has aged, moved on, and now I'm Don's wife and MommaJo. 2. I wish I were from the Cotswolds, with a lovely British accent. 3. The best book I keep reading is the Bible, and Regency Romances (1800-1820). They are adult fairy tales with happy endings. They transport me to England... 4. I could talk about the things that were not funny in my life, but now are so funny!!! 5. Never change: That I stay "Forever Young"/Rod Stewart, and the same for my grand girls. Get delight from the smallest things and express that joy!!!

  9. Image for Lou Ann Lou Ann

    I. Am. Stopping. To reply to one of your questions. Actually your answer. My mother and your grandmother were just alike . Mimi noticed every little thing. Every leaf , shape of a potato chip, clouds ....you name it. It honestly drove me crazy! I was so busy , working,school volunteering, church, civic organizations...well you name it. One day she told me that I was too busy running all around,that I was missing out on the little things that are important. SHE WAS RIGHT! Mimi did all those things with my daughter while growing up , and she remembers to this very day. Some nights she calls me to ask if I remembered to LOOK at the moon. It is just Mimi reminding me to slow down and love what really matters. Now the torch has passed... my grandson and I look at leaves, and rocks, and we swing and we sing. Of course, retiring in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains helps with the slow down process......... well a little.. Back to making all these pumpkin centerpieces for our church dinner. Looks like PAYING ATTENTION wasn’t the only thing passed along. Thanks for writing about life. And....Thanks Mimi❤️

    1. Image for Cindy in Oklahoma Cindy in Oklahoma

      I call or text people to go look at the moon, too! I've done it so many times that now some of those people will call or text me when it's particularly fantastic and haven't heard from me. I also just remembered when it was I started to notice, really notice everything. It was after I received a camera as a gift and began taking pictures of things that caught my eye. Suddenly every little thing caught my eye, especially the little things... which, if I'm completely honest, have become the big things.

  10. Image for Peg Peg

    I think my claim to fame will be the legacy I leave. I have two adult children, one married, the other in a serious relationship. I think my heart is going to explode when grandchildren eventually (hopefully) arrive!! xoxo

  11. Image for david david

    First off I love this post for many reasons but mostly because my grandmother (who lived to 94 as well) was the same way and I try very hard to keep her perspective front and center in my mind. OK, so, The Hardy Boys had a profound impact on me. Along with adventures and camaraderie their aunt was always serving "wedges of apple pie." Not measly slices. WEDGES! I've quested for wedges of pie ever since. As an adult I love a lot of stand-alone books but I think it's possible Tales of the City was the most fun I ever had reading a series. We were living in a studio apartment and my girlfriend and I were trading the first book back and forth. So when she was sleeping, in order not to disturb her, I would go lie down in the bathtub (the only separate room we had) to read. Fun books. Fond memories.....wait! where are you going?!!! I think they are out of carrot sticks!!!

    1. Image for Amy Koepkey Amy Koepkey

      This made me chuckle because my son and I ate reading The Boxcar Children series. We tend to read in bed, right before he gets tucked in for sweet dreams. It seems every single book mentions the children and their grandfather eating apple pie. And nearly every single night I go to bed wishing I had some apple pie!!

  12. Image for Lori Lori

    I could talk for 40 minutes on flower gardening. My hydrangeas in my pots are still going strong and it's time to move em' out for fall :0( Spending time in the soil is just the most relaxing thing.Learned it from my grandmother as she had a lovely garden. She too took time to enjoy the little things. The spindle tree was genius! Something about the texture of wood is comforting and warm. Oh...how do you apply red lipstick without a mirror??? hmmmm?? Lol! Inquiring minds want to know. I've turned to gloss as it's much easier and never requires a mirror...Ha!

    1. Image for Mir Graham Mir Graham

      I want to know about the red lipstick, too. I do not wear lipstick, because I would get more on my teeth than my lips. Does the red lipstick smear or no? Inquiring minds!!!

  13. Image for Sue Sue

    I was having lunch (we meet once a year) the other day with a former co-worker and she asked me about volleyball because I am coaching a JV high school team. So after talking about other teams we have played, about the girls and their different personalities and how some have attitudes and some are so coachable and how some go out of their way to be helpful and how some have a lot of potential that they don't see and I do; I said, "I bet you wish you hadn't asked me how things are going with volleyball. I guess I could talk 40 minutes without any preparation on volleyball. Have a great day and always nice to learn new things about you.

  14. Image for Gina Gina

    1. Claim to fame: I am Michael's mom! He is brilliant and teaches me new things everyday! 2. Happy to be from the northeast, but living in the southeast. As they say, the more south you go, the more north you are ( bc so many transplants)! 3. As a teen, was transformed by the Brittish classics: Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, etc. 4. I could talk passionately about anything! But I am most passionate about advocating for students on the autism spectrum especially those who are also gifted like my son! 5. Never want to change all the wonder my family has for all the blessings surrounding us everyday. Life is beautiful!

  15. Image for Betsy Betsy

    What I hope never changes....is my relationship with my adult daughter and son, that they never stop calling me, taking vacations together, going out to lunches or dinners or just visiting. I always wanted the same relationship with my children that I had with my wonderful mother and I'm so happy to say that I do.

  16. Image for Betty Baker Betty Baker

    I would not ask I would tell you that you have the most gorgeous dining room I have ever seen. My big question is. Hi how are you......and then hope they say fine thank you.

  17. Image for Nancy Nancy

    My claim to fame especially at church is that I’m Karen Davis’s mom. She is a soloist at our church. Through the years in business I was Ray Sharp’s wife. One of the hardest was I grew up a preacher’s daughter. So Rev. Brown’s daughter. In high school my brother was a star athlete so I was Mike Brown’s sister. I could go on and on! Do I have an identity problem. Absolutely not!😀 I loved them all.

  18. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    So love this, sweet KariAnne! As always, it shows your beautiful heart. As a shy introvert, these are great questions. Thank you! Since I don’t get out much (fibromyalgia), these are great questions to ask of my newsletters subscribers and e-friends on social media. Fun! God created such a scrumpdillilicious world for us to enjoy. We shouldn’t overlook anything. So, never miss seeing, and searching for, the little things. For that is where the miracles hide! Every time I see pictures of your dining room and that gorgeous blue, I swoon! Such a beautiful room! And as always, you are amazing! :D ❤

  19. Image for Daphne Daphne

    1 My claim to fame: is that I'm a child of the King... 2.I love that I'm from Newfoundlan,.I'm happier to know were I'm going.(heaven) 3..the book that change my life.. the Bible ...for ever. 4.I could talk passionately about God's love and His plan of salvation.... 5.what I hope never changes is my desire to know God more

  20. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    What a wonderful post and I love hearing more about you!!!🥰 My claim would be that 95% of the time I have a really good attitude and smile on my face. Never afraid to talk to people and say Hi! Customers at work sometimes ask me “What did you have for breakfast this morning? I want some of that!” I’m really mostly just happy to be here, as, on earth, alive and happily married for 30 years with 3 great young adult children and some amazing parents and in-laws ❤️ Easily can talk about landscaping and gardening for hours 😆. Reading Little Women, Gone With The Wind, and The Diary of Anne Frank happened at an important time in my younger life and all three books were gifts, figuratively and literally 💜 I have to agree with you on the wonderment of our world everyday. My Nanny was very much the same as your Grandmother and I hope that never changes for me.....if I could, I would love to go back and spend even more time with all 3 of my grandparents.....each of them taught me a lot about people and life 😇 Thanks again for starting off my week with an inspiring and interesting post 🌞

  21. Image for Nancy Nancy

    OOOh this was such a good read! I love reading all of your answers. I chose to answer the 40 minute talk one. I'm super passionate about finding "your thing" in life. I love working with kids and helping them come up with their plan for life beyond high school and I love talking about doing what you love.

  22. Image for glenda glenda

    Thank you sweet girl for the questions and the opportunity to read everyone's lovely answers. I hope that the things that never change are kindness and love and grace for our fellow travelers in this life. I pray that we can always encourage each other on to being our best selves and we can always be servants of the Most High GOD and bring Him great glory. The awe and wonder that exists in this world is beautiful. I pray we have eyes to see and ears to hear and we can be thankful! Much love to you all......

  23. Image for Mir Graham Mir Graham

    I feel your "non-pain" when it comes to your claim to fame being your children. Mine is "Anabel's mom" or "Coach Chris' wife." When I was younger that might have bothered me, especially when it sounds like a supporting role. However, I embrace the fact that I am a huge part of my family's foundation. I always look at my claim to fame as a silent "Thank you," because my daughter would not wake up even with an alarm to be on time and my husband doesn't have a clue how to work the washer and dryer... nor would I want him to do so. I have had light blue clothes (that were supposed to remain white) from his trying his hand at laundry before. It is the little things that mean the most, and I help make them the best they can be by providing the little things.

  24. Image for cindy@countyroad407 cindy@countyroad407

    I would totally be your neighbor in Cornwall which of course would be a couple if miles away over the hills and beside the cliffs! And I'm a huge huge fan of the 5 Love Languages. It is definitely a relationship changer. Your dining room is so pretty with those new dark walls. I suppose I should figure out my 40 minute blab fest.

  25. Image for Rosanna Rosanna

    Just like you,my claim to fame is being the Mom of my children! So,so many times,it’s ,”Oh yes,your the Mom of ___&___!!” And I especially hear it a lot about our twin sons,our,oldest daughter (who just got married),&who is our “globe trotter “,and our youngest daughter.... and I have been so blessed from hearing from numerous folks,”You have a great family”..or,”You have done very well in teaching your sons how to be gentlemen “..,or”I so appreciate your daughter”..and so on! I..am...beyond..blessed..!! God is good!

  26. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    #2. Where would you rather be from? Answer: Anywhere but here. I grew up here, I loved growing up here, and love it here, so I stayed here, even when I had opportunities to move elsewhere. I travel quite a bit, but love living RIGHT HERE. However, any time I'm asked where I'm from, being from HERE seems to get a negative response; like, "gheesh, you've lived here forever??" "Yup, since I was two..." but just once, I'd like to say, "oh, I'm from THERE, but moved here when I was X-years old."

  27. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    KariAnne, your dining room is beautiful. I really enjoyed the double focus of this blog. Enjoyed the photos as well as the text. I always look forward to your next blog. As with Daphne, I could talk a long while about the Lord, the Bible, and the women in the Bible.

  28. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    Claim to fame: Authored a few books - but also my children! Son Nick restores old cars & trucks, daughter Melissa is a local wedding & family photographer. I'd rather be from the south. I'm a transplant from the northeast Ohio snowbelt to balmy Charleston, South Carolina. I wish I grew up here, or anywhere in the south. Best books are too hard! So many books, so little time! I'll just say the Bible for non-fiction; and for fiction, I love the Beach House series by Mary Alice Monroe. I could give a 40 minute talk on writing or cooking or entertaining without prep. I hope my faith never changes - except to grow! And I hope my love for writing never changes.

  29. Image for Susan Susan

    I had to laugh at your claim to fame being your twins’ mother. My son is 27 (!), hasn’t lived on this side of town in years, and yet, as I was checking out at Target on Saturday, the cashier asked me, “Aren’t you Adam’s mother?” I was immediately transported back about 10 years, when he was in high school, and I was asked that question all the time. It felt nice, actually! I love being my kids’ mom.

  30. Image for PJ PJ

    KariAnne, I love the way you add fall color without conflicting with your blue and white. I so enjoyed reading your answers. Here are mine: 1. Claim to fame: teaching hundreds of kids to read 2 .If not from here, I would like to be from the rocky coast of Maine 3. Best book: To Kill a Mockingbird 4. 40 Minute talk would be on the importance of reading aloud to children from a very young age 5. I hope I never lose my joy in continuing to learn

  31. Image for Veronica Nightingale Veronica Nightingale

    I could talk for 40 minutes about the Bible because I teach a womens' bible study at my church and talk 45-60 minutes each Tuesday morning on some aspect of that. I love the group and love all the interaction. No-one in the group is shy about asking a question, offering a comment or giving a prayer request. It is truly a joy for me.

  32. Image for Deb Deb

    I hope I never lose the wonder of things also. That Harvest Moon! Sunrise on a waterfront! Sleeping babies! Watching my children pass along information about nature, just as my mom and dad taught me. (That’s a small mouth bass. That’s an oriole.) Seeing love in my grown children’s eyes as they look at their mates. Watching the squirrels as they forage in fall. Looking at my husband of 40 years. 40 years?! Has it been 40 years?! Now that’s wonder!

  33. Image for Mary Mary

    I would give a 40-minute talk on the Bible and Jesus without any preparation. Since becoming a Christian at age 28, I've chosen to spend loads of time reading the Bible and praying. So it's pretty much in my head and in my heart. So it wouldn't be hard to talk for Forty minutes - I think I'd start with Jonah ;)

  34. Image for Loryl Loryl

    1. My claim to fame is I was the director of a preschool for 20 years and taught for 25. I could not go to the grocery store without running into a family I knew. Even now it’s years after leaving that position I still run into former students and parents. 2. I love where I’m from but would love to have lived in another time.3. A favorite book is like trying to pick a favorite child! One that really influence my thinking was”One Soul, Many Bodies”. 4. I’m a pretty good ad-libber so I could probably talk about any given topic for 40 minutes. But children and children’s literature would top the list. 5. I hope I never loose my love for learning!

  35. Image for PJ PJ

    This post blessed me, thank you. I need to be more like your grandmother and I need to find my Five Love Languages book.

  36. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I could talk about anything for 40 minutes because I think I have the gift of gab. I thought "Gone with the Wind" changed my life. I have no claim to fame.I love where I am from. I hope I never lose my being thankful for what I have. That's about it!!!

  37. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    I could talk off the cuff about gardening. It's my favorite topic because just being surrounded by nature and it's beauty fills my heart and soul with so much joy. Every little thing about it astonishes me; birds singing, leaves rustling, the buzz of a bee. I can be in my garden for hours. Even when I take walks I notice every little thing, even the weeds in people's gardens. It makes me want to pull them out and let the real flowers shine.

  38. Image for Jan Jan

    My answer to number 4 would be quilting, sewing or my dogs. To the point your eyes would glaze over. Ask me how I know. 😊

  39. Image for Martina Martina

    Beautiful dining room! And I love these conversation starters! Hmmm, I could probably give a 40 minute talk on home improvement DIY mistakes, because I've made a ton, and learned a lot :)

  40. Image for Nicole Nicole

    I'm definitely bad at starting conversation at parties (so I usually try to hang around my husband who is much more adept in social settings :) I could talk for 40 minutes about kids. I taught high school Social Studies for 10 years before staying at home for a couple of years. The last couple years I've worked as a Teacher Aide with students who have special needs. I've worked in elementary, middle and high school. So basically, I know kids!

  41. Image for Kris Kris

    Hmmm, my favorite conversation openers with my patients are 1) do you have any pets? (if they do, my job is done .... pet owners are more than happy to tell you all the virtues of their particular critter) and 2) what do you like to do in your spare time?. I gotta admit, I would find it awkward to use some of these particular conversation starters, but that's just me. :) As for favorite books--normally I'm a fiction gal, but I love love love The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

  42. Image for Rita Rita

    KariAnne, if you remember from this weekend, I'm the one from McKinney. In answer to your questions: 1. I don't have any claim to fame except that I know the greatest One of all, the Lord and I have lots of wonderful friends including one who is famous... you! 2. Frankly, I would not want to be from anyplace other than these wonderful United States and particularly the great state of Texas! 3. My very favorite book that I have read several times is "Jane Eyre". That book fascinates me! 4. I guess my talk would be on crafts in general. I love to see what you are doing with all kinds of things no one else wants and you make it into something beautiful! 5. I hope our wonderful freedom in this great nation never changes and I also hope that I always remember to be grateful for the wonderful people in my life. Thank you KariAnne for being one of those people in my life. I so enjoyed hearing you speak this past weekend.

  43. Image for Elaine Cunningham Elaine Cunningham

    I could talk longer than you’d want to listen about scrapbooking!! But I’d need some visuals which would be no problem if we were at my house cause I have LOTS!

  44. Image for Diane Diane

    Never, ever change? I hope it will be that I never, ever stop receiving and enjoying your posts! And that my curiosity and joy in all the little things never dies away. And that I am able to continue with my trademark positive spins on (almost) everything.

  45. Image for Joanie Joanie

    Waiting for that cool weather to come into Houston sometime today! Your home is so beautiful. I think it is so important to slow down and look at the world and to be amazed by the little things in life! Thanks for sharing your world with us.

  46. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Hi KA! I have a few posts to catch up on - I just returned from the best cruise for a big birthday of mine to Belize with my little sister. It was heavenly perfection! One question? I could do an entire speech about how to host a proper English afternoon tea, or about fine collectible tea china, or dining etiquette or almost any kind. Or - sorry - I could chat about how to cook (would love to teach basic cooking classes) or how to host a happy dinner party. I entertain often and any of these I am quite comfortable about teaching or sharing. I love your answers. ♥ Esp your claim to fame or about your Grandma.

  47. Image for Mikki Mikki

    I loved those questions. We love asking questions like that on girls weekends! Soo000 fun. I have just found your blog and I am so glad. I love your style!

  48. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    My claim to fame.........I guess that would be that my Great Great Grandmother was Lady in Waiting to the Queen of the Hawaiian Islands. And believe it or not I have never even been to Hawaii. Pretty sad hugh. Oh, by the way I love the color blue of your walls in your dining room. Jill

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