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For the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve spent a day or two or month in our little downtown. My business has an account at one bank; JY and I do business at another across the street. Our car payment was at the Wells Fargo a few blocks south.
COVID shut all the branches down, so I finally got on board and made all my payments online.
I don’t think I noticed how much I missed it until today.
I was at work, bored to tears (boss is out of town), and walked to the post office to mail my daughter her mail. (At what point do you stop receiving your children’s mail? Fifteen years and counting for me.) Of course, it was closed because of Columbus Day. At the first locked door I figured it out and hollered “Columbus Day” to a woman with her granddaughter who approached the door after me. We chatted for a bit … long enough for her to ask me if I thought she should get her long hair cut, and how gray was it in the back? She admired my haircut, and I shared the name and phone number of my hairdresser. I inquired about her accent, she shared that she was a war bride from Malta, where some of my relatives have vacationed!
We bid each other adieu when I was approached by someone stymied by the locked door, desperate to get something shipped. I gave her directions to the UPS store where I have a box.
As I headed back to work, I ran into an old boyfriend of my daughter’s who shared our dinner table often. He was thrilled to share he was married and had a daughter on the way. I popped into a restaurant to order a sandwich to go and ran into one of my favorite tellers from a shutdown branch. Her four kids are fine, and she has started her own business and is doing well.
I have prided myself that COVID has not stopped me and my family from one moment of gathering and celebration. We had Thanksgiving and Christmas and a crawdaddy boil for the books. Easter included an egg hunt for the little ones and a beer hunt for the bigger ones. We went to Texas for birthdays and Utah to celebrate the Fourth.
But I didn’t realize until today how much I had missed talking to strangers. Unforgivable, as I’ve always said it was my favorite part of being an adult (that and eating between meals).Published in