For some strange coincidence, two community-wide costume parties were planned for families on Saturday night. One, hosted by the Winthrop Rink, the other by the Twisp River Tap House. After two years of few options for social outings, the juxtaposition of two similar invitations for community fun was too overwhelming. Analysis paralysis, indecision and apathy set in; we stayed home.
Part of me regrets not partaking in the fun, the other part shrugs it off. The pandemic’s legacy of social isolation has left lasting impact on how we navigate social events. Any slight social anxiety that many of us harbor, once manageable, like aversions to small talk or simply not liking big crowds, were made easy to avoid during COVID. It’s just as easy to stay home and be quite content. I hear a similar story from many friends. If given the option to stay in or go out in a large group, well it’s easier to stay in and avoid the small talk.
So, instead of donning a costume and heading out into the brave new world unmasked, I spent Saturday night with close friends speculating on who the next 007 was going to be and whether we were jumping ahead into Daylight Saving or Standard Time. We still aren’t sure about either of these pressing issues. But these topics were far more therapeutic than talking about the Ukraine and Russia, COVID or the dismal downhill ski season. I bet the costume parties were therapeutic as well and genuinely I don’t mind small talk.
Small talk, as we call it, can be considered an integral form of cultural practices in different parts of the world. The art of small talk can be a fun challenge and one we probably all need to hone, after two years of hiding behind a mask. Asking intriguing questions, offering anecdotal observations, or even a smile. The smiles! I am so happy to see them again. Even though I know a real smile starts in the eyes, those pearly whites are now free.
Now that the snow is melting, so is the dog poop. I had a colleague visiting the valley over weekend to get her last fix of skate skiing in. She visited Twisp Park and was utterly disgusted by the soggy excrement akin to land mines dotting the snow. I was embarrassed, a bit ashamed that is the impression she had of our park. For some reason, during winter, residents seem to think Twisp Park, and its parking lot are a pooping ground for their pooch. The town provides doggy bags at the park and along Glover Street — use them.
My loving canine companion passed away in September. I miss her every day. I don’t miss picking up her poop, but that’s one of the responsibilities of being a dog owner. There were times when I forgot a bag, or was caught with too few when out on walk or run. Mistakes happen, incidents happen. I don’t claim to be a perfect pooper scooper, but it seems to me, in the winter, some dog owners seem think the snow is some kind of cosmic cleansing agent. March and April tell the true story of mud season, and I’d really like to have my kids play at the park soon. Do your duty, scoop your poop!