Life is still not back to normal, or what was “normal” before the coronavirus wreaked havoc on this world. So I give myself permission to whine about how different life is these days. I still can’t go into my kids’ school, see their new classrooms, Toviy’s desk, Luka’s chair. I don’t even know what the symbol on Luka’s coat hanger is for this year, — is it a ducky, an umbrella, a little tractor? I don’t know! And, although it would probably not score high on the global scale of the problems that people face nowadays, — for me, it is a big little deal.
Life is just a bunch of little things that happen to us every day and night. And we get used to them. They bring us order and comfort, and peace. And if even a few of those are taken away from us — some sort of brain malfunction occurs. It is subtle, small, but real nevertheless.
So here are 6 things that have changed in my life and have been causing regular glitches in my psyche:
1. The routine of dropping off and picking up the boys from school.
All the parents hang out outside, while trying, in vain, to keep the 1.5 meter distance and peek into the school hall and windows every moment they (we) can. Kids are not able to play outside their school for too long after their school day is over.
“Depressing” is what comes to mind.
2. Hugging and kissing people.
I am a hugger. I miss physical touch from other people. I also miss this wonderful awkward Dutch tradition of three hello and good-bye kisses on a cheek. Especially when meeting new people and trying to see who kisses who first and then putting a wrong cheek for the person to kiss. I once kissed my friend’s husband’s neck because he was so tall and didn’t lean down fast enough for me to get to his cheek. So we both acted like it never happened and carried on talking about our children, avoiding eye contact for a minute or two.
See what I mean? I need more practice.
3. Seeing people’s faces on public transport.
Ok, I admit that I feel safer with everyone wearing masks on the metro, bus and so on, but not being able to see people’s faces does something to me. It just feels…wrong. It looks like we are all going to exit the metro and go rob the nearest bank on our way to work.
Some of the masks look like bras (Sean’s words, not mine) and it is hard to take people seriously when they wear them.
4. Annoyance from not being able to wear lipstick and for everyone else to see my pretty face while on public transportation. Also annoyance from rubbing that lipstick on the facemask when I do wear it.
This one probably raised a few eyebrows. Fair enough. I am a little bit vain and have always been open about it. But wouldn’t you agree that the world is just not the same anymore without the sea of all those beautiful faces and colorful lipsticks (including mine)?
I said it.
5. Going to concerts, festivals, etc.
No need to say anything about this one, is there?
6. Hanging out with a bunch of people at the same time.
With the new rules in Holland, we can hang out with 6 people, excluding hosts, at the same time. So what if a 7th drops by? Do I not open the door and politely shush that person away?
I have a lot of friends that I love and need. Without direct family around (except for Sean’s grandma, who turns 102 next month) friends are our family. I am still trying to squeeze this rule into my head, like a cube into a circle-shaped form.
I really dislike all these anti-social implementations.
I miss life before March 2020.
How do you deal with all the changes directly connected to the coronavirus restrictions?