July 3, 2020

We had an Italian restaurant in Wichita only a few blocks from our house that Melissa and I went to at least monthly.  Melissa always got the Lasagna and I usually got the Fettuccini Carbonara.  We used this as a date night spot, but also invited mom along or even my brother and sister in law.  When it was just Melissa and I we would often walk the five blocks to get some added exercise.  Nothing like an evening stroll to get the appetite going.

Yesterday Melissa mentioned mom must be missing the weekly lunches she has been having with my brother and his wife.  Sunday lunch was a tradition started by my dad 25 years ago.  For the last several weeks they have been getting together for Sunday lunch on the outside porches at one of their houses.  They were gone Sunday so no lunch or break from the monotony of stay at home living.  That is when Melissa came up with the idea of having a virtual meal together.  She said several people she knows have been doing this.

I called mom to see what she thought and at first, she did not understand if we were coming to Wichita or what.  I explained the idea and she agreed that we would eat at six.  I called our restaurant and arranged to have a meal of blackened salmon, pasta, and a Caesar salad delivered.  We had spaghetti in the freezer, so I got it out to thaw.  At five I warmed up the oven and made a Caesar salad.  I have the free zoom format but for two callers it has unlimited time.  The meal was good and the conversation interesting.  It is surprising what you can do when you think outside the box.

THOUGHTS:  I saw a story on TV about people meeting for first dates through online chat formats.  Each person sat down to their own meal and got to know the other virtually.  If they made the cut, you could decide whether it was worth the risk of meeting them in person.  The current crisis is forcing us to make decisions about what we are willing to risk.  We can choose to withdraw into our comfortable circle, or we can risk changing past behaviors.  You may even find outside the box is a better way to connect.  If you can, work to keep the conversation going.

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