It’s hard to go back into what was before the pandemic. Even going out to lunch can be fraught with emotional trauma.
The Ladies Who Lunch had made plans to meet in December. One has died. One has lost both parents within a 6-week period. One would be vacationing on a remote island. One would have another engagement. One would have a serious medical checkup and would be running late.
That said, four of us arrived at the destination, a very new, upscale eatery, just as its doors opened for the day. Along with about a gillion others who wanted to eat in this very trendy, very large restaurant. We snaked through a long line, ordered our meals and were seated by a delightful worker. All of the staff was delightful. Very young. Very cordial. Very accommodating.
My lunch, fig pizza, was superb. So good that I would like to name it the signature dish for Fresno where we have grown figs for over a century. A hibiscus tea was also superb. Food and service were great. The surroundings, not so much.
It’s a large building, with high ceilings, all hard surfaces. It filled to capacity within the hour we were there and the noise level just kept ratcheting up. The line at the front was still serpentining with people waiting to order and get seated as there were no more seats. As it got harder to hear, one of our party suggested moving to another site, quieter, for coffee.
I don’t drink coffee mid-day, nor did I feel the need to move as I could hear fine and my hard seat was comfortable for my well-padded derriere. The thought of moving through noontime traffic in one of the busiest parts of town made me shudder to what would undoubtedly be another full parking lot. I headed home. Exhausted.
Social interaction in the time of COVID is not easy.