Let me reassure you right there, the meetings with friends are virtual, the drinks though are very real, as my expanding waistline can attest.
It all started with my friend Amel’s initiative, who always has excellent ideas: since we can’t go out and meet in person, why not do it on Zoom? BYOB, she added. Do I have to shower and do my hair I wondered? So, last Wednesday evening, Amel, Michael, Renata, Roy, Tom and I gathered to have a drink (or two), some nibbles (I OD’ed on cheese) in front of our computers, all the way from the Upper East Side to New Jersey. And you know what? It was fun! We exchanged news, joked, had a sip of whatever each one of us was drinking, talked about the sanitary and economic situation…and woke up the next day happy but a bit drowsy (at least me).
Then we got the sad news of our friend Steven dying from the virus in Budapest, so a dozen of friends gathered, on Zoom, to remember our friend, cry, exchange memories, and toast him with the Scotch he loved so much. It was a touching memorial, all the way from Australia to North America. My husband and I did not join in the Scotch toast because it was early afternoon in New York…and because that evening, we were having virtual drinks with our dear friends Greg and George, in New Zealand.
We toasted Steven’s memory with a glass of wine and marveled at the joy of seeing, hearing each other despite the distance, time difference and lockdown. All of a sudden, I felt closer than ever to my family and friends around the world. There was no time pressure, no work obligation, we had time to talk and connect.
The next day, we thought it would be great to toast the end of the week with Justin and Robert in Manhattan, so we did set up drinks and nibbles (I skipped the cheese this time), launched Zoom, shared latest news on writing, family and friends, concerns and hope…and promised to do that again.
I have to slow down though, if I keep it up, I will be an overweight alcoholic with bad hair. Talking about hair, got to go take a shower, because tonight we’re having cocktails on Zoom with Bob and Pam in Vermont. Cheers!
Stay safe and healthy, wherever you are,