Fooling Around

You guys, it’s a good thing I like my family. I can’t imagine the hardship of being socially distanced with people I don’t particularly care for. This weekend we saw a bunch of college kids hugging and laughing in a parking lot, clearly meeting up after not having seen one another in a while. My first thought was, THAT is not social distancing. My second was, I bet they are starved for companionship after being in classes all spring and then being suddenly isolated with who knows what kind of roommate. Insert judgy brain: DUDES, YOU ARE GETTING US ALL SICK WITH YOUR LONELINESS.

It’s true though, being shut in at all is hard, it must be worse to be shut-in with people for whom you already needed coping strategies or you flat out dislike or even folks who you like a whole lot in small doses. Let’s throw in a kid for good measure. We have a particularly good kid but she’s fond of us and is taking this opportunity to be as close to us as possible (when she isn’t immersing herself in sanctioned youtube videos and games). The closeness is sometimes overwhelming. In fact, I spent at least two hours outside Sunday just to hear my own thoughts for awhile.

My own thoughts, apparently, miss my wife – you know, the wifely part – a whole lot. It feels like there’s always a jealous audience (cue RR) for short moments of connection. It feels like longer moments to fool around are impossible. To add to it, my wife and I handle grief in very different ways. And if this pandemic is grief worthy (which more than one piece proclaims it is) then my wife is never going to be in the mood. Like, never.

I am trying to be respectful of that. I am trying to figure out how to get my own needs met in this situation. I am despairing that this is predicted to go on into the summer. I absolutely cannot think about having to do this again in the fall or even having it extend all summer. I feel particularly bad that I’m thinking of myself when my wife is clearly thinking of more important things, like dying and isolation. Let’s assume for a minute she has the brain space to read this. This is not a giant plea for her to be different or to feel bad or to cater to me in some way. Really.

There’s not an end to this post. Kind of like the pandemic itself. I hope I’m not alone in this. But I know being overloaded with companionship doesn’t necessarily lead to good times. So here I’ll sit, knowing that things will change, eventually. What a dreary closing paragraph! Kind of like everything, right?

6 Responses

  1. I have no words of wisdom. Just lots of hugs – I also love my immediate family, and I am respectful of their boundaries and their needs, and I am going mad when I think about this lasting for more than another month. Thank god the commissary is still open and still has pork and good beer.

  2. I have a spouse like that too. Sigh.

    Overall, I have to say that my teenage only child has been mostly delightful this quarantine. She’s had her moments certainly, but so have we all and given all the circumstances, I’m really proud of how she’s handling this. Of course, we started out letting her have the den and first dibs on streaming whatever, but I can now report she’s sharing the den with us again and lets us watch Ozark when we demand it as we’re too cheap to pay for multiple Netflix screens.

    • What a great opportunity to have enforced together time. I feel like once kids are older they don’t want to hang out with parents as much and that’s a lifetime sort of change. I don’t know if RR is old enough to make this a fully detailed memory when she’s older but I hope that she does and remembers it not as a time of great trauma and uncertainty but as a happy time with her mothers.

  3. Mostly, I am glad that I live alone (with my dog) at the moment. But there are times, and today has been one of them, when I wish I was not alone. I can’t quite wrap my head around this continuing indefinitely. I don’t know when movement restrictions in the UK are going to be lifted but I can’t see it being in the next three months. Which means a minimum of three months before I can have a hug, or even a reassuring shoulder squeeze. It’s hard to think about, so I just… don’t. I think that’s the only way we can get through this. One day at a time, giving each other grace to have feelings all over the place sometimes.

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