The other day, I was grocery shopping and found myself wondering what the bottom halves of people’s faces look like. It was a random thought, which then lead to more random thoughts. Clearly, I am not entertained by grocery shopping.
My thoughts started to turn more sentimental than anything. In addition to simply wondering what kind of facial hair people were hiding under their masks, I started thinking about how much I miss the little things, such as a smile from a stranger. Smiles are contagious, and we just don’t get to see that much anymore. And we need that more than ever these days.
I was also surprised to find myself missing the “stop and chat” at the grocery store. If you live in a small town there’s never a trip to the store in which you don’t run into someone you know and stop to chat for a minute. These days, it’s not so much that I don’t still see people, but when I do, I just say hello and keep moving. I don’t mean to come across as being rude, but it may be even more rude to stop and talk. These are strange times, indeed.
Also, I can’t remember the last time I shook someone’s hand. Think about that. The new “elbow bump” just isn’t the same. I miss a good, firm handshake. Heck, I even miss a limp, sweaty handshake. And forget about giving someone a hug or kiss on the cheek.
I even miss carpooling. And, if I do share a ride with someone, I miss doing so without wearing a mask. I miss welcoming a food delivery person into my home on a cold day. I miss going to a restaurant for sure. I miss going into other peoples’ homes or having friends or family into my own home. It wasn’t so bad over the summer, but now sitting out in the cold just isn’t fun.
I miss taking a day trip to Pittsburgh or even going to the mall. It’s just not the same. I know I could do some of these things, but I just don’t think it’s worth it. For instance, I miss playing pinball or shooting pool at a restaurant with my son. The thought of touching a pinball machine makes me cringe. I find myself wondering if such thoughts will continue even when it becomes “safe” again. Part of me thinks it might take us all a while to get back to our old habits now that we’ve had to rewire our brains to be less social creatures.
I know things will get better, but I just thought I’d vent for a moment about all of life’s little things I know I took for granted in the pre-Covid world. I hope everyone stays safe and knows that we will get back to normal someday.
I hope that day is soon. I’d like to see your smiling face and shake your hand!