Can you smell that? It’s the glorious scent of spilt and stepped on draft beer. Oh that feel? That’s a stranger stumbling into you, creating even more aromas for everyone to savor. That sound? Well it’s none other than Journey singing Don’t Stop Believing on the jukebox with the sweet tones of more than a hundred backup singers belting out “born and raised in SOUTH DETROIT.” Despite their plea, you simply don’t believe this is real.
It’s finally summer and you’re exactly where you want to be: in a crowded, dingy bar eating overpriced garbage and drinking watered down whiskey. Where’s COVID? Who the fuck cares?! You’ve been cooped up for 18 months with your nagging wife or your deadbeat husband. You suspect your partner cheated on you years ago with actual Satan because those children are demons of the highest order. You are a sloppy mess, physically speaking, and despite having all the time in the world because you’ve been “working from home,” you shockingly don’t have any clean clothes to wear. But none of that matters today because your democratically elected governor, who you’ve either despised or praised (or alternated between) for the better part of two years, has declared that shit is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
But wait! You’ve forgotten how to behave in public. You’re like a feral wolverine hissing and scratching at everyone and everything that gets in your way. Simply put, you’ve become an asshole. It’s time to collect yourself and recalibrate your public settings. Don’t feel shame; you’re not alone in acting this way. We all have to work on ourselves after this bastard of an experience.
Here are some common situations to be aware of, along with the appropriate way to behave:
You come up to the entrance of a store, but notice they still have a sign asking patrons to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated. Think of it as if you’re going to a friend’s house and they ask you to take your shoes off. You may not have mud on your shoes, but it isn’t your home, and you’re a person who respects the house rules.
You’re enjoying the liberation of mask-free shopping at the local grocery store. Coming towards you is another shopper who is choosing to wear a mask for whatever personal reason they may have. Despite your urge to berate them for wearing a “face diaper,” remember that they didn’t say shit to you a couple years ago when you were wearing that fanny pack.
Rather than take up yoga or meditation, you decided to bottle up your rage, and you’ve finally found the perfect opportunity to unleash it. Another patron at the library grabs for the last remaining copy of DaVinci Code at the exact moment you wrap your unkempt claws around it. Sure, you could bash their head in…OR you could consider that you had damn near two decades to read it before now, and waiting a couple of weeks longer can’t hurt too much. Just walk away.
Maybe you, the gem that you are, are somehow single and ready to mingle. Great! Just remember that your potential mate does NOT want to talk about YOUR pandemic experience. They also might not be as desperate for human touch as you are, so you may need to step your game up. Like, a LOT. People have realized how precious their time is and don’t want to waste it on the same bullshit they might have in 2019.
You’re out. Anywhere. Listen, you’ve been able to enjoy living sans pants for quite a while. It’s nice, I get it. To not have to worry about any restrictive bottomwear reminding you that you could’ve landed in self-fulfilled financial freedom if you had purchased stock in Ben & Jerry’s. But you’re not on bi-monthly Zoom meetings anymore. This is the real world, and you need to wear real clothes. It may take a while to squeeze yourself back into your old clothes, and that’s ok, but let’s make that a goal to strive for. Also, ease up on the ice cream.
We’re all excited about our reemergence into society, so there’s bound to be a few hiccups here and there. Learning how to human again isn’t easy, but remember that we’re all in this together. Now let’s all go and enjoy this brave new world.