Day 4 of re-entry remains surreal. After so long, the things my girlfriend and I are able to do again, because we’re fully vaccinated, are without any doubt, fun things to do. We’ve missed them. But we know they weren’t necessities. They’re indulgences. Our life together is built on fundamentals that aren’t extravagances. 4 days of vacation is extravagant. More so after nearly 2 years without one.
Nevertheless, the odd realization is how the normal crowd of people, other patrons, other guests, etc. remains almost invisible. Despite the conventional wisdom that humans are social and we need each other, my response has been the opposite. So for me, if that trope is true, it’s only true in very small, hand-selected doses.
Who I Do See
I’ll tell you who I do see. The hostesses, waitresses, and bartenders. I see the check-in staff. The Latina who brought up fresh towels to our room caught my attention more than a dining room full of people in the restaurant, or a beach full of sun worshippers.
These previously under-appreciated persons who are the engine of our consumer-driven services economy are indispensable and deserve more…attention, appreciation, and pay.
I’ve always been a good tipper. I guess it’s because being a good person to me feels better than being an a** (check that, not good person). But, I’ve become an exorbitant tipper. In light of Covid, and the roles these selfless people played and the price many of them paid, even with their lives, how can any decent human in America re-enter normalcy and do less?
Day 4 of re-entry, and if you’re reading this and your normal gig is service to John Q. Public, like me, I want you to know I see you. I appreciate you. Without you, my enjoyment isn’t as great and my experience of your establishment isn’t either. And if you’re reading and service isn’t your normal gig, come off the hip, Yo!
This may sound really cold after so long under the shadow of Covid protocols, but the truth for me is, I don’t miss the crowds. I don’t miss elbowing around with other people. The crowds don’t increase my sense of sociability or enhancement of “life”.
But the service personnel…they are a different story. You are the ones who make the experience of a great meal out…great, or a fantastic hour of conversation at a bar so enjoyable with your skills hand-crafting cocktails and your wisdom to recommend the perfect drink.
Day 4 of re-entry and I’m seeking re-connections to the madding crowd, but so far, I don’t feel connected. The madding crowd is still just that.