hidden figures, statistician, maths, numbers, rules

Are you scared of seeing people again?

Going out. At night. Oh God. Before you go out you need to set down some rules of re-engagement. Possibly laminated… like…

  • You want to be invited but you don’t want to be expected to come. Yes you adore the idea of being asked to things but only for that initial 12 seconds until the dread of having to actually do it hits.
  • Please can it begin no later than 6:45, so you can be in bed by 9… you have some lockdown standards to maintain after all.
  • No big conversations –  i.e. God, Karma, life after death. We want to be free of any existential musing. Our thinking is reduced. But do expect lots of politicised shouting about women’s safety, how badly the EU have behaved, some pro-lockdown and anti-lockdown polemics. However no one is expected to make sense, be cogent or will be held to their opinions in the future. These are just first-post-lockdown thoughts and the situation on the ground is constantly changing.
  • Everyone should fully expect you to spend a lot of time staring at flowers, trees, commenting on bird song and squirrels because you have spend the last year channelling Eckhart Tolle and hoping that nature will save you. Narrator: it did not save you…
  • You want everyone to know that you are Pandemic Fine, which means broadly OK but also tired, depressed and unpredictable, heavily compromised in terms of emotional and, also, physical stability.
  • There must be pre-consensus about what everyone is wearing – because your self-confidence is on the floor and if you are either over-dressed or underdressed, you won’t be able to cope. EVERYONE has to agree if it’s elasticated waists or not. The dress code has never needed to be clearer or more adhered to.
  • You are the only person allowed to mention how tired you look and no one is allowed to agree….
  • You will probably spend a lot of time on the loo – both because of social anxiety and also because your bladder has been working from home for the past year…
  • No one should be surprised if you drink so much that you throw up in the flower bed – your relationship with booze is very complicated at the moment: units mean nothing, you’ve forgotten the basic rules like ‘don’t mix your drinks’ and are normally very padded out with bread and crisps having lived in your fridge.
  • Be aware that there will come a flurry of apologetic texts sent late in the evening and really early the next day, as you have an anxiety spiral about how unfunny/shouty/aggressive/silent/teary you were…
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