Reconnections & New Friendships

Comments about reconnections and new friendships that developed.

“An out-of-state friend asked me to help a friend of hers who had recently moved to my state to find a place to get vaccinated, as her friend was having trouble knowing what to do.

I started texting her about possible vaccination sites, and I was able to help her. Over time we became online friends and now text each other or talk every day. When we’re both vaccinated, we plan to get together in person. Covid-19 has brought us together!”

“Before Covid-19, my wife and I were talking about separating. We were always angry with each other, always arguing. We knew this wasn’t healthy for our two young daughters.

Being isolated as a family because of the pandemic was eye opening for both of us. Because I was now working from home, my wife gained an appreciation for the pressures I was dealing with on a daily basis in my work. (I manage a group of 25 in a customer call center.) My phone never stopped ringing, and our fax machine was printing non-stop with things I had to deal with. I was so busy that my wife started helping me when the girls were napping or were in bed at night.

I gained an appreciation for what her days are like taking care of two toddlers. She rarely had any time to herself. Even when the girls were napping, she was doing laundry, cleaning, cooking. She was like my fax machine — going non-stop! No wonder she wanted me to relieve her a bit when I got home from work. No wonder she resented that I would come home from work and want to unwind by taking a run or a bike ride.

I feel like we’re renewing a friendship; we’re getting closer all the time and becoming helpmates. We both think we’re going to be okay as a couple.

By the way, it was my mother-in-law who suggested I write this to you. She reads your column, and she said my wife and I had a nice story to share.”

“I am a widow. Just before the pandemic, I wanted to start a new life, so I moved into an adult retirement community in in a state with nice weather. My sister was going to move with me, but then she decided to stay living near her daughter and grandchildren.

Right after I moved in, Covid-19 hits, I don’t know anyone, we’re in lockdown, and all the community activities where I would have met people are canceled. I was feeling isolated and very much alone.

This community was very much involved in the presidential election, with lots of rallies, vigils, golf-cart parades, and lawn signs and flags. I decided to attend a “show your support” rally for my preferred candidate. When I arrived, I was wandering around, not sure how to fit in when this woman asked me if I wanted to help make signs. I said sure and she guided me to a place where people were working on signs. She worked alongside me and we chatted. She introduced me to some of the others there, and that was the start of some new friendships. It’s nice to be with people who share my politics, especially in this community where we’re in the minority.”

“For many years I was very close with a woman at work. Both of us are paralegals; both of us single. We saw each other a lot socially, we took vacations together. Once the 2016 presidential campaign began, things started to change between us when it became clear that we were supporting different candidates. I suggested that in the name of our friendship we not discuss politics.

She refused and constantly talked about her candidate. She became almost crazed, ranting about how he was going to do something about all those free loaders and those people who didn’t really deserve to be here. After asking her several times to stop talking politics and she refused, I ended our friendship. I was polite when we had to interact at work, but that was it.

After the recent presidential election, she emailed me to tell me that she wanted me to know that she had voted for Biden-Harris, and that she hoped I was doing well. At first, I wasn’t going to respond, but then I emailed back that I was glad she voted the way she had voted. I also told her I was doing fine.

I guess she was just testing the waters with her first email to see if I would respond. She then wrote back with a long apology and explaining that her behavior in 2016 was just crazy, that her craziness cost her several friends, and that she was embarrassed. She asked if we might have coffee.

At first, I didn’t want her back in my life, but then I did agree to have coffee together. I won’t go into all the details except to say that she explained that she had worked with a professional to understand all the rage and resentment that she felt back in 2016. I really have missed her, and I am happy to have her old self back in my life.”

“One of the best things to come out of 2020 for me has been a more consistent connection with some of my favorite people. In particular, I have three regularly-scheduled  dates — two Zooms and one phone call — every week with girlfriends I only used to talk to now and then. I think we all realized — pretty early on — that 2020 was going to get rough, so we each committed to being in touch weekly. We’ve done that since the shutdown in March! As a result, all of these relationships have grown deeper and become more intimate. It’s been pretty remarkable!”