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Life as performance art

Life as performance art


Introverts have never had it so good. People who used to think we were standoffish because we don’t like to hug or mingle in crowds now almost applaud us for adhering to social distancing. 

They don’t realize we have always been more comfortable with at least six feet of personal space. We get a break from bear hugs with the requisite three taps between the shoulder blades, and no one is trying to mug us with an air kiss. We introverts are purring like kittens with a bowl of cream.

We also know that not everyone is the same way. Extroverts are cut off from their friends and favorite haunts. They’re at loose ends and suffering from cabin fever.  Parties, events and other activities are cancelled or postponed.

I am sure many students, especially ones active in sports as well as juniors and seniors in high school, are dismayed and hurting. Parents are scrambling to find ways to look after their younger children and still keep jobs.

Seniors who enjoy getting out and connecting with others are finding socializing opportunities more and more limited. We introverts feel for the extroverts.
  My friend Moe Beitiks posted a video of an Italian grandmother giving her advice for both “I” and “E” personality types. Fortunately it comes with English subtitles.

It begins with the usual advice — wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes — but she isn’t impressed with the elbow bump. Instead, she says we should keep our distance and wink. I like that idea, and it is different.

Her next advice: don’t discriminate. Italian immigrants to this country were on the receiving end, so don’t be like that. Don’t discriminate against anyone. The time may come when there is a vaccine for the C-virus; there is no vaccine for discrimination.

She concludes by noting if she is quarantined at home, she will be in the kitchen cooking and she’ll share.

Maybe sharing cooking isn’t the brightest idea right now, but we all have something we can share with others — a telephone call, card, letter, e-mail … Think about it, you’ll figure it out. 

A recent news clip showed people creatively sharing themselves at a distance. One group stood out on their balconies and had a community sing-along. Another group exercised on their porches, just to boost morale. 

Come up with your own ideas; don’t make me get out my accordion. Or still worse, my bagpipes.

Another friend from my hometown sent a video made by her church pastors. “It’s our job to make God look good in this,” they said.

It’s a paraphrase of advice parents gave their children before they went out the door: “Be careful, and remember to make your family look good.” In other words, don’t embarrass yourself or the family name.

We’ll get through this virus business with a bit of creativity, compassion for others and making our own names look good. Oh, and winking.  It makes people smile, especially the winker because it pulls up face muscles.