“I miss my friends,” I told Nurse Judy, my aggravating alter ego. “This social distancing because of the virus has robbed me of my friends.”
“You can still talk to some of them on the phone or by e-mail,” she replies with total disinterest.
“It’s just not the same,” I sigh. “You are the social butterfly. I’d think you’d be the one most upset by this new way of life.”
“I miss the social life, the dances, the parties, the outings and such,” she opined, “but I do not miss sitting around with your friends anymore.”
I am startled.
Nurse Judy was always a favorite of my circle of friends.
“Why not?” I demand.
“We used to talk about fun things,” she said. “We enjoyed the most delicious local gossip. We discussed fashion, and make-up. We shared where the best sales were and how to perk up one’s cocktail hour conversation. It was an interesting and exciting time.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“It began to change a long time ago,” she said, “but it was still mostly fun. As you and your friends married and had children, the talk added some new elements.”
“What kind of new elements?” I asked.
“You frequently discussed child care, schools, housekeeping tips, and exchanged recipes. Some of that was rather boring but we all still enjoyed talking about sales, fashions, gossip and make-up,” she said.
“We were maturing,” I said. “That was a healthy change and you still joined in.”
“Yes, you were still somewhat enjoyable as you got your kids through college and out on their own. From there, the group has gone steadily downhill and now I have nothing in common with any of you.”
“I don’t understand,” I said scratching my head.
“Like I said,” she continues. “I no longer have anything in common with you and your group. Before the pandemic hit, when you met with your friends, the conversation was boring all the time.”
I was beginning to get a little mad.
“That’s a cruel thing to say,” I tell her accusingly. “We were still the same group.”
“No you weren’t,” she said. “The entire focus and tone of the conversation back then was a big whine fest. It is also what I hear when you talk to them on the telephone now.”
“What ARE you talking about?” I ask.
“You whine about getting old. You complain about your knees. You ask each other about your cholesterol levels, your sleeping, eating and bathroom habits. You talk about what you can’t do anymore. You sigh and discuss ways of camouflaging your weight gain. Your recipe exchanges are for low fat, low-carb, low-salt and low-everything dishes, which no one can enjoy. You complain about the state of the world – how it was so much better years ago. You say your waist is getting thick and your hair is getting thin. As for makeup you are only into concealers and wrinkle removers. I truly cannot stand to listen to you. I am still a fun person. I still dress fashionably. I wear make-up, curl my eyelashes and dance around the house. I have nothing in common with you over-the-hill frumps.”
What she’s saying does make sense.
My friends and I really do a lot of complaining.
We miss the way we were and we bemoan it every chance we get.
I decide to be more positive. I will make a list of all the things I can still do. When social distancing is over, I will visit each of my friends and be a positive role model.
This is a good plan. I guess I better wear my ‘I fell and can’t get up’ button before setting out in case my knees give out.
I suppose a portable oxygen tank might be in order in case my breath gives out. I’ll wear sunglasses to hide the bags under my eyes and loose long sleeved shirts to hide my crepey skin. I better wear tennis shoes so my feet don’t give out. I think I’ll push a shopping cart so I can stand up straight.
I am excited thinking about all the positive vibes I will be giving out when they answer that door.