We don’t love those hackneyed terms like ‘unstable’ and ‘agoraphobic’. Life is more nuanced than that, isn’t it? So we have created a slightly more… understanding glossary. Seeing as we’re all insane, we might as well speak the same language…
Not crazy: Mentally hilarious
You have now self-identified as the ‘fun’ member of your family. The one the kids all aspire to be like, with your whacky home-dye hair and face mask made out of knickers. So you’ve become obsessed with baking and conspiracy theories, but that’s all part of your new charm… isn’t it? Aahahahahahahaha.
Not paranoid: Considerate of others
Observing social distancing is less for my sake than it is for yours, which is why I’m holding a two-metre stick and pointing it at you, so you don’t put YOURSELF in danger.
Not bad tempered: Socially aware
You’re just feeling the world’s pain right now, like you are a channel for it. All those people who had to cancel their holidays or who have to get up earlier than normal to walk to work because the tube is too germy – it’s like you’ve taken on the burden of their sorrow. You’re not ANGRY, you’re UPSET, there’s a DIFFERENCE.
Not neurotic: Just thoughtful
Yes, you’ve taken to wearing a hoodie backwards with the hood pulled up over your face, but there are two little eyeholes in it and now that the heatwave is over and you’ve overcome the near-suffocation incident, it’s a perfectly acceptable way of staying alert.
Not unstable: Merely absent-minded
It’s not that you meant to pour wine on your cornflakes this morning, it’s more that you quite wanted some juice and you got confused because of the grape connection. And then while you were thinking about it, and had stopped swigging out of the bottle, you looked down and it was just in the bowl. Quite nice, actually.
Not suspicious: Good at reading people
Asking in-depth questions is not about trying to trip people up with regards to their social habits during lockdown, it’s about being friendly and establishing that we’re all in it together and all that shit, er, important stuff.
Not resentful: Emotionally vulnerable
So the neighbours had a party last night. We’re all going a bit stir crazy and everyone has to let off steam, which is what I said when I stopped screaming and rang the police.
Not agoraphobic: Just really tired
It’s not that you don’t want to go out, you really do. It’s just that you stayed up late last night rearranging your furniture again/finally trying to sort your iPhoto library into albums/colour-coding your bookshelves/rocking backwards and forwards and staring at the wall. And now you’re so wiped out. Maybe some other time.