Long-time readers will know that I fully embrace my introvert self. I take no shame in Irish goodbyes, consistently decline social engagements and love few things more than reading a trashy Nora Roberts’ novel alone in the wonderfully reclusive confines of my bedroom. That said, even I am beginning to long for a return to the pre-pandemic days of restaurants and parties and people (please note that this wistfulness does not apply, and will never apply, to hugging, because that kind of personal-space invasion is downright loathsome).
So, when my brother-in-law and his wife invited us for chili to celebrate Doo’s birthday, 80 percent of me was truly excited to go. Their entire household had already had COVID-19 at Thanksgiving. It was a Saturday and I literally had nothing else to do except grade history papers on the pros and cons of the ‘50s. Blecht. Bring on the beans and chocolate cake!
Honestly, the evening was delightful. Besides the obvious benefit of having a legitimate reason to shower and apply mascara, I was able to engage in face-to-face conversations with real human beings and enjoy a hearty meal in a comfortable space that wasn’t my own house, classroom, or minivan. Was I ready to leave a full hour before we actually did? Yes. Nine o’clock calls to me with the sweet voice of a lover regardless of my location. And was I utterly exhausted by the time we returned home? Of course. Social interaction drains me to my very core.
But was indulging a brief return to normalcy worth it? Absolutely. Even this introvert is hoping for a swift end to isolation.