The last few months have been difficult. Many of us are mourning the loss of loved ones. Important celebrations like weddings and graduations have been postponed or significantly altered. And even though inch by inch, state by state, and city by city we’re trying to reintegrate towards a new sense of normalcy, we all know deep down that the lives of those who survive the pandemic will be forever altered. Maybe the way that we do things will be permanently changed, too.
And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been searching for comfort from day one. I know that watching outbreak/pandemic-related movies is a trending thing to do right now, but you won’t find me searching all of my streaming services for the closest thing to Outbreak. I can’t watch movies like Contagion without feeling like the bottom is dropping out of my world. Instead, I have found comfort in calling my loved ones, attending video chat yoga sessions and happy hours, and practicing mindfulness.
As some businesses start to re-open, there is a new desire: I want to feel cute. Here’s how some of my friends are making the most of new opportunities.
1. Your Stylist is Your New Best Friend
Jessica, an account manager at an ad agency, says: “My salon regimen has been non-existent, and I’ve been living very… naturally. It hasn’t been a bad thing. In fact, it has changed what I’m looking for in myself. But you can bet that I booked an early appointment with my stylist. Cut, color, eyebrows--the works. And it was a very happy but strange day. I was happy because I got to see the girls at the salon, and I got to feel so bloody cute. But it was strange because of how futuristic the experience felt. Like having to wait outside to be let in. Like having to wear a mask. Like how empty the salon was. It was eerie. But I’m glad I went.”
2. Your New Personal Shopping Assistant is on the Internet
Samantha, my friend who shops more than anyone I know, says: “I have developed a new relationship with shopping online, and I think that online retail is going to advance rapidly to meet the new demand. For example, if I want to shop for Gucci online, I’m more likely to use an online shopping service than I was before. I’ve become comfortable with the process.”
3. Dining out is Still a Delicacy
Emily, a friend who manages a restaurant, says: “I think that it’s going to be some time before going out to eat or bar-hopping become casual again. Going to a restaurant is a different experience than it used to be, and some of the more forward-thinking restaurants are seeing it as an opportunity to put together an amazing experience. It bums me out that too many restaurants actually are not. But think about this: When is the last time you had so much face-to-face time with a single table on a Friday night? I guess the real question is: What are you going to do with that face-time? Let it be awkward? Let the server go disappear and hide somewhere? Shame, shame, shame if that’s what you do.”
4. The New Generation Needs to Be Better Cooks
Janelle, a friend who had probably never used the “chef’s kitchen” that came with her house before this year, says: “The coronavirus taught me to cook. As you know, I literally never used to cook anything. It was all prepared meals and take-out. That’s probably why I became an attorney. I wanted to be able to afford to eat out three meals a day, seven days a week. But I think everyone has seen the importance of being able to do creative things in the kitchen. I’ve been learning, and I will teach my children to cook as well.”