As more and more people are getting vaccinated and the pandemic is beginning to subside, I’m slowly emerging from my cocoon to socialize. Moving to a new city during the pandemic was a challenging experience, but as an introvert who loves spending time alone, I was able to adapt. But once the school year ended, I suddenly had more time to fill (projects keep me busy, but it’s on my own schedule). And staying in all the time just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
I was revitalized on Friday night by going to a Tennis Meetup at the Dwight Mosley Playground and Taft Field in Northeast DC. And Saturday morning was lunch with fellow happy singleton and blogger Christina Diane Campbell of Onely fame.
I was in a bad car accident back in October, and as a result, driving has been a challenge. I could have taken Metro to this spot, Plaka, in Falls Church, Virginia, but I decided to step up and drive, and while I do get testy with DC traffic, once I hit the Chain Street Bridge, it was a nice, picturesque ride, filled with verdant landscapes and, yes, churches. “Exposure therapy.”
When I reached the spot, I pictured the area being a more walkable, a la Old Town in Alexandria, but it was still a cool spot. I tend to be early to most things, especially when I’m exploring a new area. I got there at about twenty to noon, and grabbed a table. Christina was not far behind. She got a nice-looking salad. Sadly, I had some fillings done the day prior, so I couldn’t eat anything crunchy. I did, however, indulge in one of the best gyros I’ve ever eaten. Due to all the outdoor tables being occupied, we were “relegated” to a newly created patio in the middle of the lot with AstroTurf where we talked about our work, our cat children, toxic masculinity, the sheer awesomeness of Planet Word, and the possibility of a local CoSP meetup in the future (I’ll probably do something in the fall).
After we finished eating, we walked back toward the restaurant, and suddenly, the tables were all empty (interesting how that works, right?). We talked about book launches (Donna Ward is having one on Monday), and Christina helped me gather some ideas on how to promote my book, How to be a Happy Bachelor. It came out in 2020, but between moving and starting a new job, that fell down the priority list. Fortunately, our conversation inspired me to create a Virtual Book Launch, happening August 14.
A long-haired dude at the next table commented on my Phish shirt, and he talked about his work with the Washington Scottish Pipe Band. Normally, I’m not that open to random strangers just talking to me (I feign politeness nicely), but the conversation brought me back to “pre-pandemic” times when we could talk with each other.
Of course, after a bunch of socializing, I was happy to get back to my cocoon. Movies, Chester, couch.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.