COVID-19, part 59

Getting hard to distinguish the memes from daily life, no?

It’s Friday headed into Memorial Day Weekend and of course, it’s somewhat anticlimactic. There are no big holiday bbq plans. Nobody is really talking about beach plans or trips away. What is the beach anyway? It’s that sandy expanse near the ocean that you’re not allowed to hang out on. What the fuck is a trip?

COVID-19 is sure a trip. And don’t get it twisted! This isn’t a lament. It’s just a memento. It’s thoughts to remember this by. That’s all. Actually kind of funny at this point.

COVID-19 even explains away some of my thoughts on holiday weekends. It’s nice to have a long weekend for sure, but thinking now about the Fridays before Memorial Days past. I don’t have to worry about getting invites anywhere and that precludes making excuses for not attending. You see, it’s about choice. Everybody wants an invite and we introverts are no different. Getting up and going is another story. (Insert laughing emoji here.) I do actually enjoy the socializing once I’m out.

What is not so enjoyable is turning down “just one beer to lighten up” about a dozen times. It’s not about temptation. There is none at all. What there is are the hurt, shocked or otherwise uncomfortable looks. Telling people I don’t drink alcohol is akin to a deep, dark confessional like I’ve committed some unspeakable act or have liver cancer. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable to be a non-drinker at a party. It makes them uncomfortable in their own homes, and that in turn… you can see the wheels turning. You can smell the wood burning as they try to wrap their heads around it. Telling people in our culture that you don’t drink alcohol is like sewing a big, red A to your lapel. You may as well tell the host of your Memorial Day bbq that you can’t wait to smell his terrier cooking on the grill.

And I do suspect that deep into a person’s 8th Corona of the afternoon, when confronted with someone not drinking, they just might start to feel hinky about their own condition. We are a funny lot about alcohol though. It’s so deeply ingrained in our culture and consciousness that it’s hard to imagine not doing it. I don’t imagine it. That’s my life. It started because of health reasons a long time ago. Now it’s not even so much a question of abstinence. It’s a life philosophy. It’s a deeply personal commitment. I don’t judge those that do nor the amount they consume. This is something I do for me. It’s just a choice. I’ve made a personal, spiritual commitment with no crusade. I don’t preach it. Hell, I don’t even recommend it! Living life without a buffer or a safety net can be hard.

It is a drag to have to explain it though. It really is. That won’t be happening this holiday weekend, a little perk of the pandemic.

It would still be nice to socialize face to face and get outside and maybe play baseball or volleyball and grill something. C’est la vie.

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