I’m not the most social of people, preferring a small group of close friends than a cast of thousands. For FB, for example, I know people with over 2500 friends…that number terrifies me. I’m not overstating that. It’s mind-numbingly scary. Me? I have 120 and once in a while, I have culled that to 100. I’ve picked up a bunch of work friends in recent years, so the number has grown and I’m okay with that. A surprise to me, I must admit.
But COVID has knocked even the most basic of socializing on its ass. Outside of family, I have had a total of four “social” visits in seven months. One friend from work, Sanden, we actually were going on meat runs together to the local butchery. We would arrange to meet at 9:00 a.m., stand in line behind each other and chat while we were in line, and then for awhile in the parking lot. A fake “social outing” that felt very rebellious.
Two others have been happenstance…I ran into two different friends on separate occasions while shopping and had a five-minute conversation while checking out.
And then there are our good friends, Paul and Mary-Ellen. Andrea met ME while on French training, Paul and I have a bunch of friends in common, and we get together several times a year. Sometimes it is for board games, sometimes just for Thai food, sometimes just to hang out and go kayaking at their house. Not so much this year, obviously, but back in June, Andrea and Jacob went kayaking with ME two weeks in a row while I sat on a socially-distanced deck chatting with Paul. One other time, sometime in the summer, we repeated the outing. It’s so rare, we can’t even remember when we did it.
Today, we went to their place for a campfire, some conversation, and to roast some marshmallows. Oh, and eat chocolate chip cookies. Our first social outing since August, I think, might even be June, other than family. It was heavenly. We sat around the fire, socially-distanced, and stared at the fire or the stars while catching up. I thought about taking Jacob’s telescope with us, and then realized we wouldn’t be able to let them use it too as ‘scopes require putting your eye to the eyepiece and there aren’t a lot of safe ways to do that properly. Sigh.
It also makes me a little sad that these types of carefree days have to be so formally planned. We didn’t go Saturday as J wasn’t feeling up to it, and we were also worried about me as I had something resembling pink eye. I think it’s just a sty, but we were worried about it initially. What makes me sad is that Andrea and Jacob need far more social interaction than I do, or at least crave it more, and even I am feeling stifled. I feel bad that Jacob can’t just be carefree while we do it, nor do we have an option to do the fire thing regularly. It is one of the few things from my childhood time at the lake that I really miss from time to time. I don’t want it ALL the time, but I do miss it.
Today I choose to spend time with our friends, in parallel bubbles.
What choices are you making?