In the last 3 months, socialization has been a dirty word, banned from polite circles. This episode has felt like some black and white science-fiction chapter where aliens invaded and occupied planet Earth.
Direct physical contact with other people was prohibited, or severely restricted. But human beings (like wolves) are pack animals, and deprived of associating with their kind, they languish… and howl at the moon. Yes, I have done it…
Socialization was discouraged mainly due to the lethal threat wielded by the invisible enemy. Harmless looking people could be infected, and like foreign saboteurs, they could wreak havoc on society. The safest way to avoid disaster was then to hunker in your bunker.
But isolation negatively affects the human animal. To remain healthy, he needs to regularly associate with his species. And with time, and with a partial abatement of the pandemic, the desire for socialization has grown stronger.
Every state and every county in the US initially implemented stringent measures to avoid widespread contamination. Slowly, carefully, authorities have relaxed their protective measures, and people are tentatively coming out of their shells.
In Marin County, many stores have reopened and restaurants have been allowed to serve meals outside. This encouraged many people to sponsor these places, and we did too.
Then, following the example of our very social neighbors, we also reached to renew old ties. But some people are still hesitant to rejoin their flocks. My advice to them is as follows:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” Oliver North
Taking Oliver’s suggestion in stride, my wife and I invited Jean-Michel P. and his girlfriend Ellen to share a drink and a bite with us.
Due to intensive construction in my property, we cannot come said Le Facteur, but why don’t you come yourselves to my place? I have a new pétanque court and we could play a few games.
Did you say pétanque? What is it? I vaguely remember something about it… Oh yes, a game I played a long time ago… But I am not sure that I would remember what to do…
Well, we went to Jean-Michel’s lair and we had a great time. We ate, we drank, we reminisced, and yes, we played pétanque on his beautiful new court. Of course, we all wore masks (all created by industrious Tamara).
I had not played the game for at least 3 months, and it showed. Jean-Michel and Ellen trounced us! But I remained polite and professional… even though I briefly of murdering them.
Altogether, a pleasant day of renewed friendship and reexperienced socialization.