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Opinion Socially weird, but making friends

Tourists view the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial on April 21.
Tourists view the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial on April 21. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
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The April 27 Style article “Not sick, just ill at ease” stated that the isolation of the current pandemic has made people more socially awkward. The article said, “Verbal diarrhea is just one symptom of late-stage pandemic social awkwardness.” I have experienced it, too. As a recently vaccinated individual with plans to rejoin society, I went on a solo field trip to the National Mall. I needed to use the restroom and waited patiently in line by the Washington Monument. 

With my luck, I was person No. 3 in the line when they closed for cleaning. I smiled behind my mask and shuddered to the lady behind, saying, “I’m sure it will be quick.” The lady appreciated this short friendly interaction and went ahead to compare her urgency to use the restroom to the urge she felt to use the restroom during the hike she had done the day before. Of course, this led to a fabulous and hilarious conversation.

Here we were, two strangers being socially awkward in line to use a public bathroom. Yes, verbal diarrhea is here, it’s real and, when mutual, it can become the beginning of a friendship.

Vanina Waingortin, Arlington

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