Never Done: I met Devin
Actually, the Never Done activity I planned (and did) for the day was to go to Fairway for the first time. A real New York rite of passage, no? I think I made the mistake though of going in a hurry, because instead of it feeling like a miracle of abundance, it felt like a crush of overwhelm and confusion. Why are there three different places with the same kind of carrots and two places with the same kind of cantaloupes? I think it's intended so lots of people can get at the produce at the same time, but really, it's quite confusing. Also, why is there a sign for gluten free breads and crackers that points directly away from the breads and crackers? Do you scoop your own coffee? There are bags of nuts -- why aren't there bags of raisins and other dried fruit? But most of all, why is it that with so much to choose from, it's harder to find anything out of the ordinary? I went in with big intentions to break out of my Food Coop routine, but I ended up buying what I always buy: lots of produce, yogurt, soy milk, turkey, smoked fish, cheese, sunflower seeds, almonds, and a bar of dark chocolate. (Welcome to my world. It's actually amazing how much variation you can get with this baseline. At the end of the day I had a surprisingly transcendent tofu and vegetable stir-fry, made with rich mushroom soup stock I had frozen some months ago.)
I think if I had had time, I would have wandered through the aisles with a little more attention, considering sauces and pickles and meats and teas. But I didn't, so I didn't, and instead I walked down the aisles -- every single one of them -- thinking I should want to try something out of my normal realm, but instead feeling that we over-consume, and don't need as many choices as we are offered, and doing what I tend to do, which is to decide I don't really need it, whatever it is.
So I bought my groceries (the same I usually buy at twice the price ... but a parking lot!) and went to my lovely and full day that included not one but two friend dates, one of which brought me to meet Devin. Who's Devin? He's the newborn (18-day-old) son of my friends Jennifer and Lisa. And what is more Never Done than meeting a baby? It somehow feels fresher and more significant than meeting an adult for the first time. Maybe it's because they've hardly met any other people in their short little lives yet. To think of it, they've hardly even done anything at all in their short little lives -- although I'd probably be surprised at how much he's packed into 18 days. I bet to him, it feels like Fairway felt to me -- a whirlwind of newness, so much to take in, not sure what to do with it all. But most of the time I saw him, all he did was sleep, which looked like a totally appropriate response to being two weeks old. You've got my full support on that one, Devin. I followed your example not so long after seeing you (and I bet your parents would love a little of that sweet slumber as well.) In fact, I think that one of the great things we can learn from newborns is that it takes a lot of rest to be human. I'm going to try to remember that.