By Sophia Yakumithis
A lot of people have died in the past few months due to careless people acting like, for lack of better words, idiots. Seriously, how hard is it to wash your hands with vigor and to wear a face mask when you leave the house for supposedly “essential” reasons? You know, like to binge-purchase peanut butter at 2 a.m.?
When the chips are down and minimally-numbered interactions become the highlight of our days, human behavior is inevitably placed under a microscope. I’ve picked up on subtle, weird idiosyncrasies of not only those I’m quarantined with, but certain people close to me with whom I regularly speak to on the phone or over video chat.
I thought I knew my boyfriend pretty well before the coronavirus entered our lives, but I have discovered that I was wrong. This pandemic has shown me an entirely new side of him: a hand-washing, mask-wearing, doesn’t-leave-the-house-unless-it’s-an-emergency side of a young man who stupidly drinks milk because he actually enjoys the taste.
I love how low the bar is now set for S.O.’s at this point in time.
He came to visit a week ago after both of us had quarantined for two full weeks. My family needed new energy in our stuffy house, and his visit did the trick. My mom was thrilled to have his quick-witted sense of humor around, and even my dad was unbothered that a boy was there and staying in my room.
This visit was different from his normal trips because my whole family was around the entire time and actually wanted to interact with him. He’s a funny guy, but everything he said garnered a roar of laughter comparable only to that of John Mulaney-grade standup. He also plays a few string instruments, but his knowledge on composers was received with as intent of listening as someone following a true crime podcast.
Isolation has, like I said, made me more aware of the people around me, and that weekend brought to my attention how painfully deprived of human interaction my family is. The qualities of his they appreciate but normally overlook became the literal light of their lives. I was just a piece of s— on the sidelines to this sad boi-turned-Renaissance man for two full days. And then I realized that for people new to dating, the day quarantine is over is going to be the perfect time to introduce your family to your new romantic interest.
Allow me to explain.
If you’re quarantined with your immediate family, they hate you by now. So if you’re seeing someone who’s moderately decent and has any ounce of common sense (i.e. “hand-washing, mask-wearing”), by the time stay-at-home orders are lifted, your family will be so socially stunted that even the Post Malone-type will come off as respectable as Prince William. Your family will, therefore (subconsciously) manifest their respect for you on an entirely new level, seeing you for an inner beauty that probably doesn’t even exist.
“Did you see how much poise and intellect (y/n)’s new flame has?” “I love their face tattoos!” “Based on (y/n)’s S.O., I can tell we raised such a wonderful, mature person!”
But there are no guarantees that this low-bar mentality will live on in a post-coronavirus society; I imagine that as we reintegrate, my announcement that we have a guest coming will return to a state of “So that means we have to feed one more person?”
I just hope that once this quarantine-induced low-bar wears off my family doesn’t fixate on my boyfriend’s disgusting milk-drinking habit.