A Coronavirus Misanthrope

I would describe myself as a misanthrope. A nice one. A nice misanthrope who actually has a few friends that I love dearly. I have always been able to entertain myself with no, or very little, interaction with other people. In the past, when I have been betrayed by friends, I was disappointed, but I never felt any life-changing pang of loss when I was no longer friends with someone. I have never felt that deep, saddening missing of someone who was still alive. I have felt deep sadness when someone dies, but a disconnection with someone who is still alive never greatly affected me. Overall, I would describe myself as not having much deep interest in other people…

UNTIL NOW.

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Oh my, my, my, how the tides have changed over the past few weeks. It’s as if the tides heard me boasting about my general, seemingly harmless disdain for other people. And then the tides all got together and conspire against me and against all of humanity, to teach a terrible, long-lasting lesson.

 

Dear tides: I GET IT. I AM SOOOOOO SORRY. WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX THIS?

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The answer is nothing. I can do nothing.

I suppose that whenever the coronavirus-related lock downs are lifted, I should not go out into the world, continuing to boast about how deeply misanthropic I am. It turns out, that although I am still not pining over missing friends who essentially dumped me for no good reason (I’m looking at all you lames who couldn’t get over my personal decision to not drink until inebriation), I am *totally* missing friendly interactions with strangers.

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Do you remember those people? Strangers? The Starbucks barista that you don’t really know but somehow remembers your name. The old lady in Target that asks you where the cat food is located. The even older lady in Palais Royal whose question about which pair of shoes look better leads to a long conversation about where she is going to wear the shoes (her sister’s funeral) and why she is nervous about buying a pair with high heels (she’s nervous that the graveyard soil will be damp and unsturdy). All of these are real things that have happened to me by the way.

I also miss hanging out with my friends. I know, gosh, who doesn’t, right? I miss laughing loudly in restaurants, always saying “yes” to bread baskets, and sharing crazy stories with them. I miss people laughing at my jokes. I miss laughing at stories about other people’s husbands.

I guess some part of me likes some people. Not many people. Only a few of them. But those few people really, really, do count. I miss my people. All five of them.

*all GIFs courtesy of http://www.giphy.com*

A Visit to the Houston Tea Festival

Have you ever been to a tea festival? Have you ever heard of a tea festival?

Well, neither had I until today. Thanks to one of my very best friends, I had the opportunity to travel a little bit south of Houston today and attend the Houston tea Festival.

The tea Festival was held at a hotel near the Johnson Space Center. I have never been to the Johnson Space Center either, but I now have a reason to go back to this part of Texas.

There were a lot of people there, including the driver of this car and owner of this bumper sticker.

Based on all of the dirty Subarus in the parking lot, I was eager to get inside and check out all of the funny free spirits lurking about. I joked that the tea festival might just be a cover up for some kind of fun illegal drug operation, but turns out I was wrong. It was a seriously legit festival of tea.

Our wait in line for tickets was both long and lively. We chatted up a couple of ladies behind us. We talked about the perils of growing up in organized religion and the humor of Sunday school, bible study, and priests who were too hot to be priests. Turns out, female parishioners from every religion have eyeballs, and occasionally, there exists a religious leader who could easily put down his Bible and pick up a leather vest to make serious money entertaining the ladies, if you catch my drift.

However, I realize that you might not catch my drift, so to be clear, we talked about preachers who were handsome enough to do things other than preach, you know, like modeling or stripping. My friend and the ladies behind me had personal knowledge of such gentlemen. I have to admit that there were no such gentlemen at the church where I grew up.

I always have the most odd conversations with strangers; I swear.

Back to the tea…

The first stop was the matcha tasting experience. I call it an experience because we also had the chance to make origami pinwheels. We were given a choice of several different origami projects and the pinwheel was supposedly the least difficult. I asked for something lower than level 1, but the instructor either didn’t hear me or thought I was joking. I wasn’t joking. My pinwheel was cute but completely non functioning.

My friend’s turned out cute and it worked better.

Next, we got to sit down and try the matcha. The instructor showed me how to use the bamboo whisk to make foam. I was decent at it and she enthusiastically said GOOD twice.

The tea came with a tiny cookie, which I arranged to photograph with my pinwheel and another piece of origami, a hat, that a delightful young instructor gave me.

Next, we went to the main area where there were tea purveyors and a terribly unfunny comedian / yo-yo dude. We found out that the poor guy works for free and was reprimanded once for taking off his shirt during a performance. I felt kind of sorry for him after learning that he is both unpaid and must remained fully clothed.

I bought this magical tea, because who can resist magic?

On the way to lunch afterwards, I got this video of the aircraft outside of the NASA area .

What a nice day!

And I didn’t have to write about soap again today!

Until tomorrow my friends…

Here’s to Having a Good Time

I am loved.

Some days, we might not feel like it. Other days, we are fortunate enough to have our cups runneth over with love. Today, I had one of those overflowing with love kind of days.

The worry and heartache of the past 18 months or so have given me a new found gratitude for almost everything. Now that I know what it is like to worry all day, every day, the feeling of being in the present, and recognizing all the ways that I am loved, well, let’s just say it’s amazing.

Even when I am alone I feel loved. Tonight, I had an amazing opportunity to have a new experience with an old friend…to celebrate me being older. You can’t beat that.

I am just so thankful.

A few days ago, driving across town, I got into a short space of an almost meditative state. Even though I was driving on the freeways, my mind slowed down to appreciate the bright blue of the sky, the shimmering glass of the towering buildings whirling by, the flight of the synchronized birds overhead. It was lovely and I felt loved, even in that moment of almost organized chaos.

I am so thankful.

Being thankful and more mindful has helped me loosen up my definitions of myself. Before tonight, I would have emphatically said that I was not the kind of person to go on stage during a burlesque (what they call “boylesque” , since it featured gentlemen) show. But now, there’s video proof that I did go on stage and rhythmlessly girate my huge ass around for about 90 seconds. That video proof my night ever see the light of day, but, it exists.

I am just so blessed, so thankful, so loved.

I hope you are , too.

Until tomorrow, my friends…