Connecting During COVID

The Comfort of Old Friends

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Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

During this time of uncertainty and lockdowns and (dare I say it?) fear-mongering, I’ve found myself really needing closer connections. Everywhere we turn, we hear stories of doom and gloom, numbers, stricter orders and mandates, political opportunities to slam the other side and I’ve been prone to simply just disconnect from everything media-related and look for true human inspiration. Of course, doing so during a pandemic does pose its challenges, but when you already know people well, sometimes a video chat, email, or text message can make a world of difference.

The days of meeting at a mall food court, going to a movie, seeing a concert or comedy show, walking through an amusement park, even going to a baseball or football game is not something we can do anymore (for now) going to a potluck, or backyard cookout, sharing a bottle or pint of beer with someone, well, that’s gone too. did we really drink from those dubiously placed red solo cups? Recently, I tossed my hat into the ring of (cringe) online dating, but what I was looking for never really materialized, and after a shocking twenty-four hours, I quickly deleted because I already knew who I wanted, and those guys weren’t it. You know, it’s very difficult to try to establish a friendship or a get to know you period with someone new when you already have that with someone over the course of several years. What do you do when someone knows you better than you know yourself is in your world, but, even after all this time you prefer them over anyone else? Ugh! Have you ever had that dilemma? This is a quick hookup world and I’m not a quick kind of girl. I don’t like answering fifty questions, such as “How long have you been single?” well, how would they like it if I asked in return “How long have you been living in a basement?” because basically they want to know how desperate I am. No, I’m not, but is that really your business? I hate stuff like that. I want someone who feels like home, that I can be comfortable with, and sadly, I’m basically adrift at sea in a place where I don’t necessarily want to be. I won’t do that to myself.

There is value in old friends. They know us, they accept us, they have wisdom that you can’t get from anywhere else. They know all the little cracks and spaces in our soul, but yet, see us in a way that makes us feel whole.  They’ve been there through the tears, the silly thoughts and sleepless nights. They aren’t temporary people, they are the ones who stayed. They love us best, and well, we love them. In the age of keeping people six feet away, I trust that distance won’t change feelings because time never has. I know that when and or if things ever get back to normal, we can continue right where we left off just like the virus never happened. It did, it changed lives, but I cherish the lessons learned and want to sit with a coffee in hand and hear their perspective. It is far better than sitting with a stranger with whom you have to start from scratch to even lay a foundation of friendship with.

Yes, COVID has changed the proverbial face of friendship, but I’d rather look into the warm eyes of an old friend peering out over a mask, then have a blank stare from someone that I have to explain myself to. Zooming with a well-known buddy is far easier than trying to do an awkward dinner date over the internet, somehow things get lost in translation. for now, I’ll just stick with those who still laugh at my zany jokes and who get me. I’ll pass on those flakey-fishy apps for a while.

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