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Don't Be Weird About it

Okay, so the US is starting to open up a bit again. People are starting to feel more comfortable, the traffic in Houston, specifically is back to being painful. There is hope in the air.

And there has been 15 months of people living in fear, less social, staying incredibly careful, having pods, not hugging, limiting human interaction as much as possible.

This is a recipe for awkward.

Before the vaccine I once got berated for not wearing a mask while I was running on a sidewalk away from people. I once gave a woman the absolute stink eye for eating chick filet in the middle of the waiting room at the doctor's office and don't get me started on the daggers I gave to the couple who scooched way too close to me at the grocery store to get their groceries on the conveyer belt as if someone would have removed them from the store if they didn't have them on there at that very moment.

I had a pod, I was questioned on who I spent time with before I spent time with people I loved. I sat in fear next to close friends who invited me for a drink and got tested for COVID at least 5 times with only once having it be an actual close call of getting it.

I didn't hug people and awkwardly stuck out my elbow to others, I once had someone offer me a heel tap with their shoe. I got real close to writing "Hearing problems" on my mask but decided to fake it until I made it.

In's been a hell of a year. For all of us.

And now, we are being invited to take off our masks, to go out in public with caution but with security if we are vaccinated. And what does that mean exactly? It means, go back to who you were before you locked yourself in your house and gave people death stares and got cotton tips shoved up your nose and stood no closer than 6 feet from strangers and sometimes even the ones we love.

I don't remember who she was before that. I have to relearn getting back into society. Hell, I might even one day have to relearn dating again. But who are we kidding, dating sucks and is miserable enough, I kind of welcomed the long hiatus from meeting disasters who considered themselves normal. They aren't. I mean, really.

So who knows how to be that normal person again? Were you normal then? I mean, all I can propose is try not to be weird about it. Just keep it cool, man, just keep it cool.

This past weekend, for example, I saw a woman post on a Facebook group first thing in the morning a warning for everyone to be careful, that someone tried to break in and strangle her but she scared him off. We all sat frightened for her for a solid 4 hours until she finally responded to our messages of concern with a message that she was sorry to have alerted everyone, she was taking medicine that made her hallucinate. I feel for her, that must be traumatizing. But if you think about it, that 15 months of little interaction meant her first cry for help was on Facebook, not the police.

Secondly, some man of whom I've never laid eyes on before saw me sitting in the grass with my dogs yesterday enjoying the afternoon. He made polite small talk, "How's your day?" "What's your name?" "Do you live around here?" Questions that probably shouldn't be asked, and I shouldn't have answered honestly, but I too have been avoiding people, but I did and he lived down the street, he was more specific on his location, thankfully I was not (hints of normalcy for me). But then he asked me if he could have my number and call me sometime. From how is your day, to can I have your number was in the span of 1.5 minutes. Thankfully, my old self started to reemerge and I was able to answer with a laugh "Oh, No." And he walked away.

The moral of this story, is we are all kind of learning again how to re-enter a normal society, it is going to take some time to understand hugs over elbow taps and handshakes over heel taps and social media to live interaction, but just, well, all I can say is, just don't be weird about it


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