IIs it “Independence Day” yet? it seems every time wife Promises a new easing of restrictions, what he is actually promising is a whole new layer of confusion. I have no idea now what should I do. Going to the office at Amber Destination or working by the poolside? Limiting my social contacts or licking all the seats in the stadium? Are we legally allowed to leave our masks on now? How should we make that call?
The way this latest Independence Day unfolded (or should it be settled) reminds me of when my brother first started dating his wife, Helena. When she was offered a ticket to see England play against South Africa at Twickenham on Helena’s birthday, she asked if she would object to taking it. “Do whatever you want,” he told her, so my brother went to Twickenham and Helena refused to see him the following month, when she upgraded her birthday bracelet to an engagement ring. With freedom comes great responsibility. And the potential for ugly results.
My neighbor Brenda, who had been double-masking long before it was fashionable, faces a dilemma. She wants to continue wearing her masks, but worries that she may be subscribing to the idea that Bozo is getting it wrong by giving us the option to unmask while the Delta version is still furious. Brenda really needs to realize that Government knows what it is doing. do not we all?
“what are going to do?” She asked me when we met outside our house (Brenda was cleaning my plants – uninvited, but everyone helped). “Will you continue to wear them?”
I told her I definitely wouldn’t get rid of my masks just yet, as I knew there was no point in dry-cleaning my puffa jacket during that brief summer back in early June. I knew I would reapply that puff after a fortnight.
“Maybe we should have a street WhatsApp sweepstakes,” I suggested. “We can all chip in a pound and bet how long before the mask mandate comes back.”
The Street WhatsApp group has been very quiet since the night of the Euro 2020 final, when Scottish management consultant Joe, who recently came in at number six, changed his avatar from a picture of Mel Gibson to the Italian flag and posted a complaint about it. From number two, Rockets lace started to entertain his grandchildren after England’s goal. It got ugly fast.
I am not looking forward to the inevitable mask/no mask debate that promises to be every bit as divisive as football. I want to be able to dig myself out for all sorts of reasons – not least because I feel like I’ve lost the ability to read other people’s faces amid the lockdown and the masks. He may have contributed to my mistake with Glenn the Postman, thinking that he held back my growing romantic interest, when in reality he only saw me as a friend. Even worse, he told me that I reminded him of his sister. his elder sister.
My granddaughter Carolyn, who joined us on “That Date That Wasn’t” at Friendsfest, got all sorts of information from Glenn that Glenn hadn’t gotten over the five years of delivering mail down my street.
“He is 46 years old. He lives in Tuting. His sister is much older than him…”
“I don’t know,” Caroline nodded. “Maybe she’s 50.”
I had my own big birthday.
Glenn was a hit with Caroline, although their politics could not have been more different. As we wandered around Friendsfest, looking at coffee cups and other props that were famously hand-held, they covered everything from furloughs to Independence Day and how a Labor government might have done it differently.
“We owe a lot to your generation,” Glenn told Caroline. “No one has been more affected by the pandemic than your age group. You missed out on school and all the things that make being a teenager fun. Don’t hang out with your mates under the shops. Not trying to serve in a pub underage.”
“Why would we do that?” Caroline asked.
“Well, you know,” said Glenn. Caroline didn’t “know”.
I guess considering your every move can be documented on social media forever, it becomes less attractive in public rather than less attractive. Especially if you’re planning on pursuing a career in politics, as Caroline seems to be.
“So, you’re a real member of the Young Conservatives,” wondered Glenn.
“Since I was old enough to join,” Carolyn said proudly. “My parents disapprove.”
I’m often puzzled by Caroline’s thoughts, but there’s no doubt that she has the conviction and dedication to make a mark in the world that I didn’t have as a teenager. I can’t think of any of my contemporaries who did that. There’s a lot of talk about “snowflakes,” but my granddaughter gives me hope that her generation will at least take their leadership of the world seriously. They are considerate and ready for responsibility. Just like the young footballers who stepped up to take penalties last week. What a dare
When I saw Brenda later the same day she cut my roses, she told me she had made up her mind on the mask problem. She will continue to wear it on public transport and in supermarkets and other enclosed spaces. “To everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet.” And that evening the street whatnot resonated again, as Les, the street’s biggest England fan, and Joe, the Scottish management consultant, agreed to bury the hatchet in connection with football. At least until next time.