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The Junction

Conversation with My Wife (194)

Hugs. And other things that have been absent lately.

So Aimée Gramblin wrote about how she got to be back with her best friend after way too long socially-distanced:

[CAUTION: EXPLICIT HUGGING! Oh, you already clicked through? Sorry, never mind.]

Deb has been experiencing some of the same feeling since yesterday, when we got to meet her best buddy Nancy and Nancy’s husband, Alex, after a long, long time with only phone calls, plus a few masked and distant and in-the-porch-with-all-the-windows-open visits last summer.

DEB: Oh honey, thank you! Thank you so much!

ME: You’re welcome! (pause) For… what exactly? I didn’t even make dinner.

We ordered out for pickup, at a local restaurant Deb & Nancy used to frequent for “girls’ night out.” The parking lot was packed — fortunately there were separate spots for people picking up, and someone came out to deliver to our car — and NOBODY that we could see at the place (other than the server who delivered our meals) had a mask on.

NANCY: So, maybe there was a big family celebrating getting their vaccine shots?

ALEX: Sure. Or, maybe there’s a reason why [our county] has one of the highest COVID rates in the state.

Dinner with friends. Not a big deal. Except we hadn’t done that since 2019.

Deb and Nancy met while both were working at a local university, Deb in the Office of the President, Nancy in the Office of the Provost, both as the respective assistants. So they had frequent contact professionally, which led to lunches, then to “walking lunches” which were more walking than lunches. Nice thing about universities with track programs is that they have indoor and outdoor tracks that are perfect for walking around while maintaining conversation.

Even after Deb retired, they still kept in touch, with phone calls and visits and “girls’ nights out.” Those pretty much just became phone calls with the Trump Pandemic, of course. So they both had their calendars marked for the first weekend after the second shots became effective. And it was a lovely day.

Overhead shot of our backyard with landscaping. Yes, I have a drone. Seriously, is anyone surprised? (photo by author)

Alex and I wandered around our backyard to give the ladies time to talk and catch up on office gossip. (Alex has a rule — okay, more of a guideline — that they can’t talk shop while their husbands are there.) Alex is fascinated by our landscaping and plants; he grew up on a farm, so city life (more small-urban life, but still) feels confining. One Of These Days they hope to find a wonderful place out in the country that has room to stretch out and keep critters and (what with the recent real estate inflation) doesn’t cost ten times what their house in town cost.

We rejoined the gals, we chatted as a group, we realized it was dinner time and ordered dinner, we chatted, we got dinner, we ate dinner, we chatted, we called it a night. Just a simple four hour (seven hour, whatever) get-together with old friends.

DEB: We got to hug! It’s been so long since we got to hug anybody but family! It was special, honey! Thank you for helping make it happen!

Seriously, I think my only singular contribution to the evening was spotting the number to call to tell the restaurant we were ready for our dinners. Oh, and I made the actual call. Phew! Hard worker, that’s me!

Copyright ©2021 by Jack Herlocker. All rights reserved, and I’ll come and breathe on on you if… crap, that’s kind of an empty threat now, isn’t it?

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The Junction is a digital crossroads devoted to stories, culture, and ideas. Our interests are legion.

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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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