I read something online yesterday about being authentic. About embracing who you really are. Showing the world your true self, yadda yadda, yadda. At first I thought it was a lot of syrupy crap, but then I realized that it made a certain amount of sense. I should embrace who I really am. And sometimes, I’m grumpy. My oldest granddaughter says I’m becoming a grumpy old man. Not becoming, I’m thinking. Just being more authentic. Just being my true self. And my true self is grumpy.
So with that in mind, here’s my rant for the day. I don’t like social distancing. I don’t. And I think many people are with me in this. I don’t like it, but not for the reason you may think. Since we’ve reluctantly gone into this lock down, people are changing. There’s no sports to watch on T.V.. There’s no events to go to, no bars to congregate in. No cafe’s or coffee shops to hang out at. It’s driving people nuts to not have the social contact that they’re used to. And so they’re changing. They’re changing their habits, changing the things they do. And that’s driving me nuts.
I used to be able to count on taking my dog for her early morning walk and not seeing anyone. Now suddenly, The early morning hours are filled with people. People doing things. Like walking. Or jogging. And biking. And worst of all, being friendly. Now, I’m seeing people every morning who want to talk. Yes, talk! “Good morning,” they say. “How are you?” My solitude is being invaded by friendly people! They’re absolutely mad to get outside and do something. Anything. And they want to talk. Yesterday I was sitting on my deck, enjoying the pleasant morning. My dog Sophie was outside with me and I was enjoying a morning cigar. Suddenly a man walks by and stops in front of my house. And the next thing you know, he starts talking to me!
“Do you notice how many people are out walking and biking now that he have to distance ourselves?” he asks. Oh yeah buddy, I’ve noticed.
Sophie looked at him like he was nuts. Then she looks at me as if to say, “What’s the matter with this guy? Nobody ever stops to talk!” And she’s right. No one stops to talk. I used to be able to count on sitting on my deck and being left to myself. Now, I have to worry about people interrupting my solitude with conversation. “Yeah I’ve noticed,” I said. “They seem to all want to talk, too.” He laughed and nodded his approval, wished me a nice day and ambled on down the street. I’m doomed.
So here I am, in the middle of an introverts dream world of social distancing, being inundated with people wanting to talk. Normally when I have to go somewhere, I pick a time of day when the fewest number of people will be out and about. That way I can get into a store, get what I need and get out without encountering anyone I know. Now, even when there’s only a couple people at the grocery store, they all want to be friendly because they’re absolutely starved for human contact. Most people are pretty good at maintaining 6 feet or more of distance, which is good, but they still want to be friendly. They smile at me. They wave from across the store. Complete strangers waving at me.
This has got to stop. We’ve got to beat this virus so people can go back to their sports on T.V. and leave me alone. I don’t trust friendly strangers. Remember the “Stranger Danger” thing people used to teach their kids? I embrace that.
So this is me, embracing who I really am. How do you like it? I think we should all be our authentic selves. And myself is grumpy.