By Sara Paul
So, we all have things we really miss since this social distancing dance. Handshakes and hugs, family and friends, restaurants and bars, human contact and normality.
Yearning for these things as I do as well, there’s one thing I can still do. I can still smile. This has not changed, this is not banned, and this is not dangerous. Hence, I do not miss smiling.
Sadly though, as I was out and about briefly this week, picking up some goodies from the farmers’ market, grabbing a coffee, and of course, hitting up my beloved wine store, I realized that though I have not given up smiling, in a way smiling has given up on me.
That is to say, with my face mask securely donned and dark sunglasses in their ocular spot, I am smiling at my fellow shoppers, walkers and community members, but my facial creases are all for naught.
With this cloth over my mouth, no one can see the non-verbal gesture that I have always depended upon to let friends know that I am happy to see them; let strangers know that I am glad to be in town with them; and let children know that I love and acknowledge the silly things they do.
So, now what? Do I alter my silent gesture from smiling… to waving, to air hugging, perhaps a quick impromptu jig? There must be a way to continue to acknowledge my fellow humans whilst we are cloaked in safety wear.
I’m at a sad loss, but for now, if you see a crazy lady with huge sunglasses and corona hair, waving wildly with gloved hands, launching air kisses from six feet away, and dancing the Macarena just to get a smile… yes, that shall be me.
It’s the new norm. Well, my new norm for now. Be well, and stay safe everyone.
Sara Paul plans to continue to smile during these uncertain times.