Many times during this year I have felt as if I were watching this pandemic from afar. The number of cases in my country are many times smaller than even the death tolls in a lot of countries around the world. The numbers of cases are so small here that the media goes into a frenzy if a cluster reaches double digits.
During May we did have lockdowns and restrictions but honestly, compared to case numbers in the Northern Hemisphere I wonder if they were necessary. The five or so weeks we spent online schooling was seems completely unnecessary when looking back.
Or were they?
Are our low numbers because we were so extreme so early? Or are they simply a result of our isolation? Could we have achieved the same results by simply closing our boarders and not letting anyone else in? We will never know.
Effects of Corona aside, something that did happen this year for Mr. Jones and myself was a reconnection with the swinging community. This was, ironically, an indirect result of Corona virus. We attended a weekend for swinging couples back in September and consequently found ourselves thrust into the whirlwind social life that is the swinging lifestyle. You can read some of my thoughts about this turn of events here.
We had drifted away from this ‘scene’ for a few reasons, my job as a teacher, my mental health, some bad experiences with couples and just the general meanderings of life. Swingers are, for the most part, very social beings. We get excited about meeting people who think like us and the bonus is every now and then we get to be sexy which is a whole lot of fun. Now that we seem to have connected with an extreme example of the socialising side of things our lives look very different.
I started 2020 with a determination to be more social. I had resolved to attend Work Social Club events and generally put my face into as many social things as I could. A look at my calendar showed me that I definitely needed to get out more and I knew, on a very visceral level that I definitely needed to people my world with some supportive people.
Then Corona happened. Ironic really. Not being allowed to visit with friends I didn’t have didn’t affect me that much. But I did kind of feel a bit weird to not be allowed to socialise in the year I had resolved to do so.
I have never been good at making and keeping friends. During primary school I was homeschooled and lived in a relatively isolated situation. The only regular playmates I had were my younger brothers. The school playground lessons in making friends and understanding social cues were unavailable to me. Entering high school saw a complete 180 degree turn, I went from rarely seeing girls my own age to living with about seventy of them 24/7! It wasn’t easy. So being thrust back into a social whirlwind is hard. I want to have close friends but somehow I just never seem to say the right thing and I end up withdrawing.
Dealing with a lot of people in a large group is stressful. One of our ‘new’ friends talks a lot about a trip of a lifetime she enjoyed with her husband. They toured Europe and visited a lot of very crowded places which she absolutely loved! I personally couldn’t think of anything worse! Give me a beach or some remote place, no more than ten people and a campfire with some quiet conversation and I am happy.
So what does 2021 bring for social Gemma? We are continuing to ease ourselves back into swinging and partying. I will no doubt find myself in any number of difficult situations, dealing with new people and having to make small talk courtesy of my new friend. I will have a good time most of the time, I am sure. I am also sure that my liver will take a beating.
The other big thing on our horizon is our six month sailing adventure. Sailors are like swingers. Well, actually I think some of them ARE swingers. Time will tell. Whatever their sexual orientation, they are also very social and tend to drink a lot. My liver is going to age, a lot.
So here’s to socialising, making friends and hopefully restoring my tribe.
This post is part of this week’s Wicked Wednesday #448 Looking Back on 2020. To see who else is being wicked click here or on the image below.