Yesterday, feeling stir crazy, I decided to go on a drive. So I went to put flowers on my grandparents’ gravestone. It was nice to be out of my neighborhood, the drive was smooth. At the cemetery, there were people out putting flags in all of the stones (they all have little holes for it since it is a veterans’ cemetery) but no one nearby and everyone was wearing masks.
Called mom to let her know I would be dropping some stuff on her porch. (Mistake #1) She was out waiting for me. She took off her mask. She bugged me to take off my mask. (Mistake #2) She wanted me to come into the house. When I wouldn’t do that – her feelings were visibly hurt – she wanted us to sit on the back porch; me standing several feet away rather than sitting next to her also visibly hurt her feelings. I didn’t want to hug or kiss her and she started to cry. (Mistake #3) She wanted me to stay and socialize, asked me to come inside repeatedly. She asked me to stay overnight. (Even in non-pandemic times, I don’t stay overnight; I prefer my home, which is not far away, and also find the excessive attention smothering, which is weird since she wasn’t a smotherer when I was a kid.)
Mom knows better. I know she does. And yet she was utterly disinterested to actually complying with social distancing rules. Mom kept saying that she’d been quarantined since March so it wasn’t a big deal and okay not to social distance. Ugh. I live in a multi-unit building in which some people refuse to wear masks in common areas; I go for a daily walk while masked and veer out of the way of other pedestrians who often don’t wear masks or make the slightest effort to keep distance. She shrugged all that off. I get that she’s lonely and this is hard. But I am not doing that again; it feels bad to say it, but it probably would have been better if I hadn’t stopped by at all.