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JANICE WELLS: On relationships and Level 2 in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newman and I can get through this. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY BILL MACDONALD
Newman and I can get through this. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY BILL MACDONALD - Contributed

So here we are, in Level 2, poking our heads out of our shells, well aware that the world has changed and will never be the same again, and hoping we don’t have to poke our heads back in.

Pundits are predicting that we will continue to carry our shells as a protective tool. (I always thought a pundit was someone with a plausible opinion but was not expert, i.e. me. haha. Haha is right. Synonyms for pundit are expert, specialist, authority and analyst. Therefore “I are not one.” Haha again.)

Whether you see the necessity to keep carrying that shell around or not, you’re going to be affected by changes anyway.

Take shaking hands. I’m old school about shaking hands. I can tell I take people off guard sometimes when I put out my hand, but I think everyone likes a good firm handshake.

Or used to. Can the old fashioned courteous handshake be going the way of the dodo bird? What if someone puts out their hand and you suddenly find that you’re not fussy about shaking it?

Having someone say, “May I give you a hug?” still conveys a warm feeling. It will never replace physical contact, but fervent verbal expression of a hug is not anything new in our culture and indeed may be preferable to extreme hugging as in “I could squeeze the ‘poop’ right outta ya.”

Non-punditry notwithstanding, I humbly make claim to the occasional flash of brilliance and I predict that gloves will make a fashion comeback; very lightweight inexpensive gloves will be worn once and thrown into the wash. Note was not trash.

This will add something new to the manufacturing economy, so they just might be on an assembly line near you as I write. Just remember that you heard it here first.

The choice of patterns is endless and fun. They don’t even have to match.

Look what’s happened to sock fashion. It always makes me happy when I see someone wearing socks that are obviously deliberately odd. Any first-year therapist could probably explain what that says about me, but I suspect that the explanation would also make me happy.

And then there’s hugging. As sad as it is, hugging strangers and even acquaintances may never be spontaneous again. This is a tough one. The hugger hugs because a hug says more than just words. However, the scattered hugee might prefer the words.

Not so much here but asking permission is not a bad idea anyway. Having someone say, “May I give you a hug?” still conveys a warm feeling. It will never replace physical contact, but fervent verbal expression of a hug is not anything new in our culture and indeed may be preferable to extreme hugging as in “I could squeeze the ‘poop’ right outta ya.”

And then there’s non-romantic kissing. Thank the heavenly stars that romantic kissing inside your bubble is OK or Newman and I would be inconsolable, as I’m sure would any couple that has been together for years.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But what is the future of romantic kissing outside the bubble? Raise your hand if you have never kissed someone who was unknown to you when you got up that morning. Or is that just me? Ha! When “speaking moistly” is a no-no, what chance does kissing have? I suppose it would be OK if one of the parties was wearing a mask, but I’ll make another prediction. That’s never going to catch on. Romantic kissing is here to stay.

Decisions, decisions. So how about you find someone you want to kiss and you each have kits and test each other and then put off the kissing for two weeks? Never mind “I’ll call you.”

“Would you take a test with me?” will really show promise.

That could catch on. Think about the anticipation, the lust building up. At the very least, you’d have two weeks to change your mind about if you even want to be kissing this person in the first place plus one thing couldn’t lead to another if you didn’t do that one thing in the first place.

If that were to become a new norm, it would prevent all kinds of heartache.

So endeth relationship observations from a non-pundit.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at janicew@nf.sympatico.ca. (or jwelloeo@hotmail.com.)

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