It’s Friday evening and my friends and I are sitting at a coffee shop, people watching while trying to focus our free time on getting work done. We spot potential lovebirds on a coffee date, aspiring actors reading their script (only in Hollywood) and good looking, bearded men with fancy lattes. Although, we can appreciate a nice cup of coffee, we decide to go the tea route. At this point, we are concentrated, our heads basically dug into our Apple laptops. I mean is there another kind of device that makes us look like startup entrepreneurs and cool hipsters? I don’t think so.
Getting work done is inevitable, a good looking man grabs our attention. He is slick, friendly and eager to start conversation with us. We discuss with him, the misfortune of not getting the macaroon flavors we desired. As soon as he gets up to order one of the fanciest cups of coffee I’ve ever seen, my friends rally over me. They mean business.
He’s back. I’ve been trained by my posse of matchmaking friends. It’s flirt time, also known as my worst subject in the School of Life. I throw in a compliment, hold on, don’t get too excited, I compliment his coffee.
“That’s the most beautiful cup of coffee I’ve ever seen. It needs to be photographed.” Why? Who says that? A social media, Instagram-loving freak like myself. In the end, we small talk about how he prefers reading books on his phone, I prefer hardcovers. A little after, he leaves, without my phone number. It’s okay, I struck up small talk, I hate small talk.
After much time spent dumping out our creative projects from our minds onto paper (or our screens,) we leave the coffee shop premise. By this time, the streets are crowded, couples are clinging on tight and large groups of young adults are entering loud bars. We make a quick observation: It’s Friday night, we are in our mid-20’s and we never really go “out, out.” Instead, our Friday nights usually consist of working on our creative endeavors and/or watching Netflix. We disregard our slight moment of feeling sorry for ourselves and enter a restaurant. It’s dinner time.
By the time I leave my friends, I have a sudden urge to go “out, out.” You know staying up late and meeting strangers on the dance floor. Except, I’ve never really done much of that or cared to go “out, out” and the thought of writing in my bed and listening to music alone sounded so much better.
As I drive home, I spot a bookstore, Llliad Bookshop in North Hollywood and it draws my attention instantly. Good vibes, late hours and young folks wandering the bookstore halls captivated in their own thoughts. My cup of tea. A friendly, distracted young man runs into me, we apologize for being in each others way and move on with our lives. Of course, as a hopeful romantic, I fantasize the thought of having a great conversation with this guy and becoming soulmates or like-minded friends who hang out at bookstores on a Friday night.
I make another observation, one I had already known through my youth: I can meet new people, without going “out, out.”
Simply, if you want to meet new people, potential soulmates or like-minded individuals, spend time in places these people may hang out. If you like working out, join a hiking group. I mean, don’t get me wrong you can totally meet great people at a bar or on a dance floor, but the chances are slim. When in your environments of interest, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person next to you, no matter how nervous you are. You’ll instantly have one thing in common: You like to spend your Friday nights in coffee shops and quiet bookstores.