Was all that swiping, ghosting and general incivility of Millennial dating as good as it was going to get?
Now I work from my childhood home and turn my webcam off during Zoom conferences to save my colleagues from witnessing my dad vacuum right behind me in his underwear.
Well, this is bleak.
Who could have predicted that us single Millennial thirty-somethings with self-maintaining succulents would reflect on 2019’s dating scene with longing? What with the swiping, and the ghosting, and the general disregard for basic civility — that was, in hindsight, potentially as good as it’s ever going to be for the foreseeable future.
Yep, bleak. Dire, even.
Winter in Chicago historically fails to yield much choice in the way of meeting a match. But at least we had restaurants, bars and weddings, and the ability to linger a little bit longer over the produce at Whole Foods without fearing for our mortal survival. And even then it was near impossible to locate someone amidst the crowd capable of forming a coherent thought worthy of attention.
But now? What kind of sick joke are grandmothers playing on us from the grave to remind us that they were right all along and that we should have hustled at this game a little bit more deliberately when we had the chance?
I’ll remember March 13, 2020 forever. Though it was hardly climactic, it’s the day everything changed. I went to the orthodontist in the morning to get my retainer fixed because I know how important straight teeth are as a clear marker of youth and fertility and then — well, then I went inside and never really came out again.
On March 16th, my parents told me to leave my 750-square-foot cell in River North, take my things (including my checkbooks, passport, prescription medications and any other personally identifiable information for fear of potential “looters” — every Jewish mother loves a good apocalyptic looter story), and drive the 20 minutes north to the suburbs. I guess that’s when I never really came out again.
Now I work from my childhood home 12+ hours a day, turn my webcam off during Zoom conferences to save my colleagues from witnessing my dad vacuum right behind me in his underwear, get disproportionately excited for the governor’s regular 2:30 p.m. press conference, eat dinner around 4:45 p.m. (The Boomer Special), watch reruns of “Wheel of Fortune” at 6:30 p.m., get into bed around 8 p.m., and generally use words and phrases like “neat” and “remember when” and “let’s look at old photos” and “can I get some of that fiber.”
Living the life of a quarantined 64-year-old isn’t bad and you really shouldn’t knock it until you try it — but I can confidently say it’s not doing anything to help source future romance for this single Millennial thirty-something with succulents.
And though my immediate situation is not permanent (I think), I have to wonder — how will finding love or even tepid companionship shake out post-coronavirus? Where will we meet? How will we meet? How will we greet? Will we share food? Will I ask you to submit to a nasal swab before we share food? Who will prepare this food we likely won’t share?
As with any norm-changing event, these are questions we may not be able to answer until we’re far onto the other side of it.
Shoot, gotta run. June 5, 2017’s “Wheel of Fortune” is on and Vanna is wearing something I swear I’ve never seen her in before.
Jennifer Rosner, Ph.D., works as a marketing researcher within the healthcare industry.
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