By Tammy Davis
Nothing says “welcome to my home” like a table of cleaning products by the front door. Corona has changed everything, even the way we entertain. For my recent little soiree, we kept the group small and sat outside. No hugging upon arrival. No holding hands when we said the blessing. We used Clorox wipes on door handles. But even with the hand sanitizing and semi-social distancing, my coming-out-of-pandemic-party seemed especially wonderful.
Could have been the weather. Could have been the menu. Could have been the guest list. It certainly could have been the Quarantinis and Corona cocktails. Or, maybe it wasn’t any of those things. Maybe we have simply missed other people. After all these weeks of following the rules and keeping to ourselves, maybe we are just thankful to be together.
We compared shelter-in-place stories and laughed about how different some things already are. When we first planned the gathering we weren’t sure if meat would be available. We had a vegetarian menu just in case, but all agreed that grilled pork never tasted so good. Guests can never go wrong bringing wine or flowers, but the man who showed up with sixteen rolls of high-quality toilet paper? He’s a true Prince “Charmin.”
In addition to a signature cocktail, every good party needs good conversation. We had plenty, most of it related to Corona. Zoom? We’ve had enough. Grocery bills? Way too high. Adventure? We need some and soon. The ocean, the mountains, the open road, or just another friend’s back yard – we welcome any change of scenery after all these weeks at home.
At some point, I realized I had forgotten to turn on some music. I decided not to bother. Instead we enjoyed the symphony of cicadas and frogs and owls. Simple pleasures shared with special friends might make the best soundtrack of all.
Throughout the evening, we kept talking about the things we have missed. Some women miss shopping. I miss having something to shop FOR. I miss the events that make us need to shop. Baby showers, graduation parties, date nights and family cook outs usually fill our Spring calendars. Those events keep us shopping and keep us connected. Quarantine cancelled those festivities and took away our excuses to gather together.
By the end of the evening, we all agreed: the things we miss aren’t things at all. We miss experiences. We miss travel. We miss events. We miss doing things with the ones we love. Quite simply, we miss each other. We miss our human connections. That’s what we have missed the most.
I would rate Friday night’s dinner party as one of my all-time favorites. The pace seemed a little slower, and everything seemed a little sweeter.
I never dreamed I would include hand sanitizer and Lysol as part of my décor. I’ve never been relieved to read a text message announcing that someone found pork. This time last year, I would have slammed the door on any weirdo who showed up with a package of toilet paper. Now, he’s the hero of the day.
Corona has changed almost every aspect of our lives. The way we entertain was not spared, but maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe if we have good friends, an unlimited supply of hand sanitizer, all the pork we can eat, and a mega pack of Charmin blue, we have everything we need. If we have those things, we should all agree. Life is good.
Tammy Davis is a writer based out of Columbia, SC. Visit www.tammydavisstories.com for parts one through eight of The Corona Chronicles.