COVID: A Gift to Introverts

Hello, I have COVID. And I will forever.

Adeline Dimond

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Hello, I have COVID. No, I don’t know where I got it. It could have been the Elton John concert I went to on Thursday night, or the haircut I had Friday, or the lunch I had Friday, or the meeting with the contractor I had Saturday, or the lunch I had on Saturday, or the fact that I went into work last Wednesday, before all that. All I know is that by Sunday I was feeling a little weird, so I took a test which was negative. So I went on a hike and out to dinner.

I had tried to get out of this dinner for weeks. It was at a fancy restaurant, and fancy food is something I no longer care about. I’ve eaten everything there is to eat, and am no longer impressed by tender short ribs on polenta or precious tasting menus or artisan butter or wherever the salt comes from. Give me a Cuban sandwich and let’s call it a day.

I wasn’t looking forward to the conversation either because if I’m having dinner with more than one person at a time (this was three other people) I somehow can’t talk fast enough or loud enough to get an word in edgewise. This is the lament of every introvert; if we dare to take a moment to think, or pause, or take a breath, someone inevitably interrupts us, steamrolling over our thoughts, even if we were about to get to the best part in the story. Then the conversation is just gone, poof, in the wind.

When this happens to me, I feel sad. I remember the days when I was a shy awkward kid who was obsessed with horses and books and no matter how hard I tried, could not be cool. Knowing this about myself, I told the ringleader weeks ago I wanted out, like some sort of premonition.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of being honest. I explained I was tired, I was worn out, I wanted to hibernate and be cozy in winter, whatever that means in Los Angeles. Then I came even cleaner and explained that the dinner didn’t sound fun to me.

Dear Ringleader wasn’t having it. She’s one of those villians at the advanced level in the do-you-have-healthy-boundaries video game of life. Say you want out, and she will do whatever she needs to to make sure you’re in. She used all the old tropes: it’ll be fun, you’re no fun, we never see each other, this has been planned for a long time, I’ll be hurt if…

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