Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Like Haunting Something I Used To Know

I'm not at peace yet with "New Normal."
This morning, my daughter and I have appointments over at my husband's dentist office, and I'm dreading it.  Not because of all of that stuff about going to the dentist.  We're just going for cleanings and check-ups.  

It's because I haven't stepped foot in the building since before the Shutdown, at all.  I was always used to striding in as though I own the place, flittering around the waiting room if I wanted to, wandering in to my husband's office to update my phone and computer, and socialize with anybody I wanted to while there.  And my daughter was even more of a butterfly over at that place, seeing if she could befriend anyone after her appointments were over.

Now, we will not be striding in as though we own the place.  We have to sit in our Jeep and call to check in with the front desk.  Someone will come out and take our temperature and ask us a bunch of COVID related questions.  If we pass muster, we get escorted inside.  

And from there, we're taken right to our chairs in the hygiene department, and we have to stay in them until we're escorted from the building.  There will be no bee-bopping around for my social butterfly daughter.  We live in an endless game of "You've Got Cooties!" and we have to avoid, avoid, distance, and avoid, and since we have a particularly vested interest in this game, because it means our safety and the safety of our employees, and the livelihoods of us all, we have to do our part, whether we like it or not, whether we think it's the thing to do or a whole bunch of bullshit.

I hate this New Normal.  I didn't think of myself as a People Person in the days before Pandemic Purgatory, but I guess I really, really was.  I smiled at my fellow shoppers.  I'd strike up conversations with the people who were waiting in the same lines as me at restaurants.  All the little social interactions added up, and now that we're all behind masks and acting afraid of each other- even making eye-contact, I think, it all makes me want to come out of my house less.  Which I think is the very thing "they're" angling for us all to do, to be honest.  (Where's my tinfoil hat?!)

It isn't just the dentist's office that has me bothered.  I'm just particularly bothered by that one because I've been used to interacting with that place a certain way- as an extension of my home - for the last fifteen years.  I'm not the dentist, but that office is mine, too.  And when I've visited places I used to know before Quarantine that I have less of an attachment to, I've been extremely unsettled by the social distancing measures.  I think today is going to be a very hard day, going to something as quotidian and timeworn as a cleaning appointment at our very own dentist's office.

I don't know about you, Friends, but since we went Green (and it feels more like a lemongrass green.  Maybe a pea green, not a True Green), I feel like a ghost caught in a machine I used to know.  I'm half-unseen, unheard most of the time, but here I stand, bewildered at what the world is right now.  And I honestly don't want to get used to "New Normal" if this is "New Normal."  I'm hoping it's more of a "New Normal for Now," getting us through this moment in time and we can get a handle on this virus and how to deal with it, and this will all become just a story we tell here in a little bit.  

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