Hot damn! How do I sign up to quarantine with Shawn Mendes?
The other weekend, this sexy stud-muffin and his girlfriend Camila Cabello teamed up for for a live rendition of “What a Wonderful World."
And with all kinds of dramatic hand gestures, scrunched-noses and closed eyes..…it was….an entertaining performance.
But let me tell you. My first thought was…..(see above).
I immediately started daydreaming about what would go down.
He’d wrap aaalllll his muscular deliciousness around me every night. He’d wake me up every morning by softly biting my earlobe and signing me a love song. We’d go for long walks. We’d have intimate jam sessions. And he’d beg me to stay in bed….just one more time, baby.
Sigh……(long sip of cold water….ok I’m back).
But then I got thinking.
Too much of a good thing? Not good.
As much as quarantining with Shawn Mendes would mean a KILLER 3 days (maaaybe 4), I’d quickly normalize to it all. And then get sick of it.
I am convinced that you can OD on anything. No matter how delicious.
Which is exactly what many of us are feeling during this pandemic.
We are so used to spreading ourselves thin…..stretching our figurative dough to the ends of the earth….running here there and everywhere. A mere two months ago, many of us were desperate to spend more time at home.
And now, we are. But…..a little too much.
We are now spreading ourselves thick. And every aspect of our lives is crammed into a mere 1200 square feet.
The conference calls we have.
The push-ups we do.
The people we love.
It is a pressure-cooker version of our lives.
And although I am currently cursed/blessed with single-dom, the company I do keep (two children under chin-height) is waring.
And it’s not that I don’t love them. It’s just that…..I don’t love THIS MUCH of them.
And so there’s this contradictory clash of feeling lonely….and smothered with company….all at the same time.
The physical expression of love
For me, physical touch is my love language (check out the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman!!). If I love you, I’ve no doubt clung to your arm as we crossed the road…..needed to hold your hand when I was anxious……or hugged you when something excited me.
Some of my very favourite memories are grounded in touch.
Getting my make-up done for dance recitals.
Holding my best friend’s hand as we rode The Wild Thing together at Valleyfair.
Breast-feeding my babies.
That kiss. Oh god that kiss.
I love the tangible experience of love. Evidence of closeness.
And so, you can bet your bottom dollar I am all over the morning kiddo cuddles, and bedtime snuggles right now.
But at the same time…..damn, I am definitely OD-ing on this one particular flavour of physical touch.
I miss hugs with friends, fist bumps with cronies at the gym, and the experience of sitting shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers at a coffee shop.
I’ve even gone on a few virtual dates…..and let me tell you….when I can’t caress your arm, rub my foot up your leg, or brush the hair out of your eyes….something is definitely lacking for me. No matter who you are.
And don’t even get me started on the science of touch. There is so much evidence out there around the benefits of hugs, cuddles, and hand-holding. Oddly enough, physical touch actually boosts your immune system….sooo…….huh.
My body aaaccchhhes for contact. And I can feel the effects of this massive void in my life.
It just plain sucks.
And I KNOW I’m not the only one.
And so what? What can we do in the meantime?
Find new ways to experience and express love beyond physical means.
Which….is actually an incredibly beautiful opportunity.
3 ways to explore love (beyond physical touch):
And no, I don’t just mean buying peoples’ affection with diamonds and pearls. I mean thoughtful, personal gifts. Like a hilarious t-shirt delivered right to your buddy’s door, that says, “my pen is bigger than yours.” An audiobook for your sister that can be downloaded right to her phone (might I suggest a comedy, like Trump: The Art of the Deal). Or leaving a bottle of wine on your lover’s doorstep…..like an abandoned baby.
Something to remind the ones you love (and can’t touch), that you’re thinking about them.
Offering your services
There’s gotta be something you’re good at that other people suck at. To this day, I’m still looking for someone with mad topiary skills. Google it.
Maybe you’re a comedian and can do a stand-up bit in someone’s driveway. Maybe you’re wicked at raking….and can incorporate Michael Jackson’s Thriller routine into the job. Or maybe you play the accordion, and can serenade your neighbours.
Do you. Share you.
Lending your voice
All too often, we simply text. Try calling (or Zoom-ing) instead. Record a hilarious Dear Diary confessional voice memo, that you then send to your bestie.
Write a letter. Something beautiful. Something smile-worthy. Something that will make-them-cry….in a good way. Mail that letter with an old fashioned stamp. And revel in anticipation.
The silver lining
During this chaotic time, when our lives are like a pressurized bottle of champagne ready to pop, many of us are feeling the tension.
The silver lining? Those of us who usually depend upon physical touch to show and feel love, are being forced express that love in new and different ways.
This is truly one of those experiences that can broaden your understanding of love, if you allow it to.
But trust me. Once this is all over? You better WATCH yo’self.
I’m about to run-and-jump hug you. And I ain’t holding back.