Three Generational Views of the New Normal

Three Generational Views of the New Normal

Who are You? View One

“Who are You?” looks keep happening to me.  I think my hair color must be confusing folks to the point of blank stares after I greet them hello in my masked Covid costume.  Some of the looks belong to people I have known for over thirty years!  Three views of the New Normal from a 60-something-year-old, an 18-month old and a 90-year old.

New Normal View 1

I was walking in Wegman’s the other day. Mask and sunglasses rounded off my shopping attire. I moved aside for a lady before we collided.  At the same time, I ran into a person who did not recognize me.  “It’s Vickie Rubin!”  “Oh, hi,” she says in reply.  Meanwhile, the lady I almost ran into screams from the next aisle, “Vickie Rubin!   It’s Ray!”

Ray and I  haven’t seen each other in so long, and by the looks of things, we are still not “seeing” each other. We fumbled through the – would like to embrace but you know we can’t dance. “How’s it going?”, I asked –  her answer was, “This is so strange” (or something like that – I already forgot her exact wording.) I reacted to her statement with the naïve, “What’s wrong?”

She burst out laughing, “You look like a zombie in the mask; I look like a zombie in my mask! We have known each other for 36 years yet walked right by each other in Wegman’s!  What’s Wrong?” she repeated, Gulp!

Is this disguise no longer odd? Are we living the Handmaid’s Tale New Normal?   Is saying “Hi, It’s Vickie Rubin” to people I have known for thirty years (like the other woman in Wegmans) the new normal?  Am I OK with this, to the point where I do not even see what’s wrong?

New Normal View from an 18-Month Old-View 2

Today I took my granddaughter Noa, age 19 months, to Wegmans. I got out of the car, donned my KN95 mask, and removed my granddaughter from the car seat. Noa gleefully raised her arms to be picked up. It’s not even weird that half of Nana’s face is covered by a big white mask!  And not a second thought about all the odd masked people saying hello to her in the store.

I started to think that Noa’s only normal in the community is masked people. She was six months old when we started wearing masks outdoors.  Our uncomfortable Covid costume is HER standard of appearance when in the community. Noa’s brother, age five, and cousin, age, almost five, no longer hesitate to wear a mask in stores.

Noa has not experienced a colossal holiday dinner or big parties yet. I wonder what her generation’s unique perspective of the world will be when they start adulting?

Speaking of adults, here is an  update on the Senior bridge players

New Normal at 90- Bridging the Covid Storm-View 3

Back in April 2020, I wrote about my Dad and his friends who were navigating online Bridge.  At age 90,  my Dad, I believe, is the youngest in the group. 

Last week  I received an email from Dad with the line: – One small step for senior bridge players, one giant step toward normalcy.

What did this mean? That profound sentence celebrated that the group is embracing their old normal as their new normal!

The Bridge Players are Back in the Building! All are vaccinated and ready to look into each other’s eyes instead of texting and calling.  Now, when somebody gets up from the table, a “bot” will not mysteriously take their place.  Bravo, Dad, and friends for weathering the Covid Storm or Bridging the Covid Storm!

Dad, I hope you are right about the giant step towards normalcy. And I hope Noa’s generation gets to experience all the joys!

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