Meet someone new. Meet them because they are interesting. Meet them because they have an enticing smile, an interesting tattoo, or stomped in a puddle with more vigor than you've ever seen. Meet them because you wouldn’t normally talk to them.
Simply have a conversation with someone you’ve not met before.


This is as much for the people you're meeting as it is for you. We're starting The Brave New with a simple challenge that may be the most important of the entire project, as it involves breaking down social walls for you and, to some extent, the people around you. Why, as a society, haven't we made a habit out of knowing the people around us? Nothing bad will happen, to put it simplistically.

Bonus points!

Make a friend. Make three friends! Make five friends! Don't make four friends. Four's a terrible number. In China, they don't have a fourth floor on most elevators, because the word for "four" sounds a lot like the word for "die". True story.

How many people that you meet can extend into actual relationships? Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook adds, and home address if you're so inclined, and don't if you're not. Remember, the world's not always a safe place, so use your discretion here.

Bachelor Coma in the Supermarket

One artist's rendition of me in the supermarket. Presumably that's what the artist intended.

It seems the most difficult place one can possibly endeaver to meet another human being is the super market.  This is problematic for me, because I’m a confirmed bachelor, and often have difficulties navigating the complexities of super markets.  Buying groceries requires the kindness and direction of strangers, lest I cook myself up a nice big box of generic soap flakes which I thought to be grits.

Tonight, I found myself staring blankly at a selection of pears.  I had no idea pears had so many variables.  Apparently one must consider the variety of pear, the ripeness of the pear, and, furthermore, what you’re pairing the pear with.  Once homonyms got involved, I just couldn’t cope.  I went into a bachelor coma, hoping that someone would leap in and announce which pear I should buy, freeing me from my catatonic state.

I noticed a woman fondling pears next to me, so I issued a weak “Umm, excuse me.”  The woman froze, eyes darting around in a panic.  She set down her pears and quickly walked away.  I can’t judge the woman, the world isn’t a safe place, but this particular Trader Joe’s is not in a hotspot for produce-related assault and battery.  I was wearing pants at the time, and can’t imagine I looked like anything other than a well-dressed, albeit slightly pathetic, business man staring at fruit.

I eventually abandoned the fruit, and noticed an older woman struggling to open a bag of coffee beans.  I helped her open the bag of beans so she could grind them, and she explained that a past broken thumb has largely rendered her hands useless for opening bags of beans.  I introduced myself, shook hands, and she seemed like a nice woman.  Her name is Carrie.

While nothing particularly fruitful came of this, pun somewhat intended as I stare at the spot on my plate where a pear should be, I’m hopeful that maybe Carrie will help the next young man struggling in a supermarket as I helped her.  Now I’m going to watch Monty Python until I understand why one must worry about weaponized produce.

One Comment to “Struggling to Meet People in Trader Joe’s”

  • genius.

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Brave Newbie Writers

Phil WarrenPhil Warren (81)
Founder and editor of The Brave New, Phil Warren is now an accordion player, a minister, a sonic weapons expert, a director, a photographer, a public speaker, and a bunch of other things. Mostly he's an adventurer though. An adventurer who smells nice. Except when he doesn't.
NickNick (6)
One part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.

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