Pandemic living has stripped out a whole layer of vital social information. What should we call it?
Without sounding too trite, I think the word for me is "life".
This pandemic has taught me that those moments that feel small on the surface are really what I live for. The barista who encouraged me to dye my mohawk (the coffee shop is now closed), the game nights with Chinese takeout (several new babies in that friend circle), the dinner parties that go on just a bit too long but no one seems to mind (until they do).
I've realized that this was all the scaffolding of life, it facilitated all of the connection I took for granted. Zoom is utterly inadequate.
Lovely post, and right on the nose. I miss friends (of all categories) too. Reading them is the next best thing.
How about calling it what it is when sharing vital information with loved ones and close friends: “connecting”. To me this designates the closeness that is present when sharing with those nearest to us. When meaningful information is shared with others, aren’t we connecting with them? It’s a simple and relevant term that I think really fits these situations well and would be easy to use.
Wonderful reflections on friendship in COVID and non-COVID times. Recently turning 70, I miss friends of one year and 60 years.
Perhaps a term is social sharing; it is not just recounting, providing information, but desiring to hear and be heard by each other.
I compensate a little by reaching out to more people for long phone conversations or walks. Often, our conversations are fluid, delving into childhood and other life stages, then skipping back to today.
Even though I haven’t been to Eastern Standard for awhile my heart breaks over it’s closing. I went there for my birthday many years ago and still remember the remarkable service, food, and especially cocktails. Boston is diminished by it’s closing. Thanks for writing about it. Luckily we can still go to Island Creek in Burlington. Another fave.
Appreciate this post very much. What I miss: hugging, shaking hands, *not* freaking out and stopping breathing when someone at the grocery store inadvertently wanders closer than X feet from me. I'm not sure about a catch-phrase for trading meaningful updates with people important to us, but I do try to emphasize every "how *are* you?" by adding "and I have all the time you need."
the abyss. I miss walking around the corner on Thursday nights to yoga with friends who have taken yoga for the past 15 years together, confiding and consoling and cojoling about our lives, our breakups and parents deaths and love affairs and food, always food. zoom helps us survive but it is not the same, not even close.
This year has forced all our meaningful and momentous occasions online so going forward, post vaccine, herd immunity reached, I'll be using the word 'zoom' for those in person, meaningful conversations... Me to Friend: want to meet for coffee and zoom
Thank you for this. Like many, the impact of this suspended state, and feelings of isolation despite sharing a safe home with my husband and two kids, becomes more real and profound every day. I sort of think about the phenomena of the data you’re describing - from the mundane to monumental - about the people with whom we have shared our lives - as I’d think about a living breathing organism. All that data speaks to the vital signs of the organism that is a full and rich life. Missing connection and true knowledge of my friends feels akin to being nutrient deficient, or having a pulse that has slowed to a point that feels like what bears must do in hibernation. I know I will be ok but i won’t come back to life until we are in the spring of a post-pandemic reality.
Yes, and I miss the places and rituals of friendships. My morning walk and breakfast at Rifrullo Cafe, carmelized french toast, along with deep conversation, and weekly coffee in the warm and sunny kitchen of my friend. One very bright spot has been the weekly ZOOM calls with friends of almost 45 years. The constancy of our connection each Saturday night has been a source of comfort, delight and energy, always learning something new, and laughing.
Love this post - and love the concept of coming up with a term for this category of information-gathering of important new information happening in the lives of our loved ones. It's more than "highlights" but something that says what's new since I saw you, what do I need to know about your life since we last interacted, what did I miss? I'd love to see a discussion of that, and somebody coining a new term for what you're describing here - there's definitely a need for that missing element, especially in these times!