In my life, I have been told that I am “a bit dramatic” more times than I can count. Whether it be my boyfriend hearing me complain over a minor inconvenience, my friends hearing me theatrically narrate a trivial story, or even the McDonald’s drive-thru employee when I told her she ruined my life by not having iced tea ready; some people just don’t get that life often needs a little sprinkle of drama. You don’t seek a bland story about work or a cordial interaction about the weather, you go for that person that is going to say “biiiiiiiiiiitchhhhh” and then proceed to spill the tea. Lately I’ve been feeling blue, especially when Snapchat hits me with those “One Year Ago Today” posts and I see how free, fun, and spontaneous my life was. My mother saw that something was bothering me. Mind you, this is the same woman who couldn’t see that I was gay as she saw me dancing to every track of Madonna’s Confessions on a Dancefloor CD as a teenager. But I digress, in a conversation, I told her that being in quarantine has been hell for me, she rolled her eyes and judged me (presumably in Spanish). I have heard conversations about how quarantine has been a great time for introverts, but as an extrovert, let me tell you, not having a social life, has been a struggle!
I can hear the world’s tiniest violin playing, I am aware of how I sound. “Kim, there’s people that are dying!” I get it. But a very drunk girl with smeared lipstick at Whataburger once told me that it is important to acknowledge your feelings, even the most ridiculous. And let me tell you, that was some of the best advice I have ever gotten. I can feel this story derailing already, so let’s take it back to the beginning. During my teenage years, I found out that contrary to my Taurus personality traits, I didn’t appreciate the concept of “me time.” Whenever all my friends or family were busy, I found it hard to just be by myself in my room. I felt that I was wasting my life away by doing nothing. I would go downtown for a walk amongst the people, I would frequent coffee shops, libraries, or literally just go to the store, even if I didn’t have any money. Once I became an adult and started surrounding myself with like-minded people, my life changed. I finally had a group of people who wanted to be out and about all the time, just like me. And since then, it has been a life of being home as little as possible.
Then COVID-19 happened.
My life used to be a series of spontaneous “let’s go for a Monday afternoon cocktail,” “let’s go to Target and smell all the candles,” “let’s go thrift shopping.” Flashforward to today when my life is a Groundhog Day mess of “so, what are we watching today?” and the classic, “did you bring your mask?” This is the part of the story where I must acknowledge that I’m extremely lucky to be healthy, to have a partner who spends a lot of time with me, and that by not randomly going everywhere, I have been able to save money. But the extrovert in me, still craves the frantic atmosphere of a bar and trying to have a conversation while Bad Bunny loudly plays in the background. I miss the waiting in line at the movie theater, anxious about picking the right overprized candy, complaining about missing the trailers. I even miss running into random people I dislike and giving them a fake smile. My desperation for random human connection has led me to find solace in the meaningless human interactions during grocery store trips, curbside pickups, and… *sigh* work.
As an extrovert, every month that goes by while in quarantine, makes me feel as if my new normal is forever going to be reminiscing about the old times and regretting all the things I didn’t do (I should’ve travel more). So that’s why today I ask you, I implore you, to please wear your mask! I ask to please maintain your 6-ft distance from others. Please don’t party and go to the beach as if everything is ok. “Kim, there’s people that are dying.” Do your part so that this can all be over soon. And if the girl with the smeared lipstick at Whataburger is reading this, I miss you, and I hope you are well.