I”m a little worried that when we can actually socialize again, we won’t know how to. I mean, will we all just sit around at a restaurant texting to one another on our phones, trying to adjust the lighting like we would on Zoom so we don’t look like zombies? Will we remember how to hug? Will we recall in-person social cues? Will our mouths, so used to being covered by the annoying protection of masks, do weird things?
I miss people. GOD, I miss people. I miss a warm embrace that had become a normal greeting for pretty much anyone you knew. I promise to hug even more when this is over. I will hug the mail carrier everyday, I swear. I miss going out to dinner with friends, the excitement of cutting loose on a Saturday night. I miss going to a special museum exhibit and discussing it afterward at a civilized ladies-who-lunch midday meal. I miss a carefree chat on the street with an acquaintance I miss going to the theater. After this is over, I’m going to plant myself on Broadway and see every damn play there is. I miss music, live music, a big concert, letting my body move with the music. I miss the energy of New York, the amped up buzz I get from people watching and wandering. I miss traveling, packing up and going someplace new, or old, the excitement of learning about a location I’ve never been, the newness, the history, the food and wine, the people. Yeah, I miss people.
This year has been hard, but as Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.” And of course, she is right. But as I wait impatiently for all of us to get our vaccines, I wonder if it will give us the shot in the arm we need to get back to the way we used to be. I wonder if once the virus is under control, we’ll have the space to grieve all we’ve lost, or whether we’ll simply be so happy to be in one another’s company again, that we’ll just cry with unbridled and raucus joy, plan a big bonfire and throw our masks in for kindling. I hope we’ll understand the importance of our family and friends in a new and better way. I hope we’ll put our work in its proper place, that we’ll give more to those in need, that we’ll be more compassionate, more loving, more tolerant. I hope that there will be good lessons that endure from this exile. Those are what i will be grateful for. Those are what I will hang onto from this time. The rest of it, the rest of it, I cannot wait to forget.