Recently, some friends who happened to be in the neighborhood stopped by on the off chance we might be home (which, happily, we were).
It made me realize how rare this is; generally, a ringing doorbell indicates either an Amazon delivery or that our trash can lids have blown open.
In my ever-faulty memory, it seems to me that neighbors used to stop by unannounced with some frequency, especially when we were kids. But this has gone the way of the dodo, thanks to crime, COVID, and other modern inconveniences.
I must confess I would never just show up — I might text to see if somewhere were home or if it was a convenient time to receive visitors — but I kinda think that’s a shame.
Ever wished your partner would spend more time with you? How quaint! This is the universe’s way of testing our relationships. And if the data from China is any indication, we’ll be seeing a wave of divorces once people can get to their lawyers.
Not me, though; one nasty divorce was enough for a lifetime. But since 24-hour togetherness can strain any partnership, I’m trying to follow a few rules.
Spend time apart. Encourage separate activities to create some alone time; for instance, I’ll bake or write while my husband paints or works on his computer. And if you live in a studio apartment, try to at least identify separate work spaces. With luck, this will give each of you something to talk about every evening besides the virus.
Share a laugh: a book, video, joke, photo or film. We’ve just gone through all three Cage Aux Folles movies (note: the subtitled versions are funnier than the dubbed ones).
Plan things to look forward to once life returns to normal — a trip, dinner at a special restaurant, going out with friends, etc. Fantasizing encouraged.
Connect with others. We enjoyed a Zoom cocktail hour with two of our favorite couples the other night and are going to make this a regular routine. Cheers!
Make a big bowl of popcorn and find something fun on TV. We’ve been watching old Nick and Nora movies from the ’30’s and adventure films such as the James Bond, Kingsman and Indiana Jones franchises. Pretty much anything that bears no resemblance to today’s world is a good choice.
Stop obsessing over the news. It helps nothing and makes both parties depressed, which isn’t conducive to a happy home. Being informed is one thing; worrying about anything outside your own control is counterproductive.
Go for a walk. It’s reassuring to see the flowers blooming and hear the birds chirping as if the whole world weren’t going to hell in a handbasket.
Take deep breaths whenever your beloved is getting on your last nerve.
My mantra: “Whatever doesn’t make you want to kill your partner makes you stronger.”
Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extravert? For me, it’s a frequent tug of war. While I love spending time with our family and friends, I’m basically shy and easily exhausted/overwhelmed by constant conversation. At the same time, I’d find it depressing to be a total recluse. Call me a closet introvert — or perhaps more accurately, a “schizovert” (a description I like better than ambivert, which sounds as though you have mixed feelings about standing upright.)
Where do you fall on the spectrum? Are you outgoing, a homebody, or a bit of both?
11 Signs You’re a Schizovert
You dread parties but have fun once you’ve settled in.
Your big presentation went well; now you need a nap.
A lot of people think you’re salt-of-the-earth; just as many think you’re an asshole.
You can whip up something for dinner when the kids bring unexpected friends over… but you’d rather they didn’t.
At any gathering, you’re the last to arrive and the first to exit. (It’s not personal, I promise. We schizoverts just have a short social-attention span!)
When your significant other is away, you leave the TV on to keep you company.
You’re equally spontaneous and rigid.
Going to the hairdresser and doctor qualify as social engagements.
The busier you get, the more you want to take your phone off the hook.
Your ideal number of pets is 0-1.
You enjoy coming home from vacation as much as you enjoy leaving home.
Ironically, as I was writing this, I was invited to something — a result of making some wonderful new friends this summer. Note to P: I really would go if I could.