What I Miss the Most

Human contact is the biggest miss. Zoom works but it is not the same thing as seeing someone in person. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, being in the presence of someone is like food. We all need it.

What I truly miss is the art of a conversation. There is so much chatter over our dinner table whether we are sitting at home with our family, having friends over for a dinner party or doing the same thing at a restaurant. We are present at that table having meaningful conversations and if we are lucky we linger well past the dessert.

Good news Fred likes a conversation about multiple things as much as I do so our conversation has been going on for almost 40 years or we would have lost our minds this past “Coronavirus” month plus.

The other thing I really miss is going out to a restaurant in NYC. I miss the vibe, the clothes, the food, the architecture, the menus, the wine list, the cocktail list, the hospitality and most of all the conversation around the table. Seeing our friends face to face, their body gestures and the twinkle in their eyes. The intimacy of the kiss and hug upon seeing someone or saying goodnight for the evening.

What I hope changes is those gatherings all become more intimate, longer, more connected. That constant movement that we all do (or did) is almost like a check-in because we have all been going at full speed. I want to take more time to check in more often and longer.

The art of the conversation is more important now than ever before.

Comments (Archived):

    1. Pointsandfigures

      This is a great movie, and one standard in a lot of cinema classes.

  1. Pointsandfigures

    I can figure out how some businesses reopen. It’s pretty easy. How does a restaurant reopen (assuming it can)? NYC has a lot of restaurants that are small-crammed into expensive real estate small places. How comfortable are you going to be going to one of those? Unfortunately, it’s the big chains that have more spread out seating. Applebee’s……

    1. awaldstein

      Never going to happen that way.When there is a vaccine people can socialize, till there isn’t this is always a risk not worth taking.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Depends on where you are. NYC is not the rest of the country. restaurants are a different deal but 20% of the economy is “hospitality”-and a lot of supply chains are heavily dependent on restaurants. Go look at a lean hog chart.

        1. awaldstein

          a restaurant is a restaurant no matter where it is.if there are people in Queens or Omaha who believe that table separation is safe and want to believe that the food arriving, the prep, the clothes of the people who prep don’t matter, go for it.if you think that buying food at a store or wine at a shop, or in a cab here or anywhere else is safe, so be it.proximity is proximity period.i know people who are sick and have passed away from here to London to Italy to Spain.There is no normal without a vaccine and this pandemic is not the last one.

          1. JamesHRH

            Your views are valid, but they are OWP 1% views.Every person that has provided service to our home in the last month – lawn, roofing, plumbing, housekeeping, IT – has not changed their day to day at all.Can’t afford too.So, wait out the vaccine but don’t be surprised when 99% of America is up and humming by June.

          2. awaldstein

            all those activities are cancelled here.it has nothing as well to do with 1%, with need to work, it has to do with geography.a pat answer to a complex problem is always wrong.your easy answers mask your thoughts which I know is more nuanced.

          3. JamesHRH

            I appreciate the upvote in possible personal nuance (not my deep end of the pool) and you are right, geography does play a big part.NYC is a special case.Your Mayor is a self involved incompetent buffoon. Your city is an incredibly socially dense petri dish, which is its greatest charm but also its greatest weakness. The 5 boroughs are a biological war zone right now and you have my condolences for that (although the 17% voter participation rate means the city’s denizens brought this upon themselves to a great degree). Sad truth.Almost everywhere outside NYC will go back to 95% normalcy without a vaccine.About 80% of New Yorkers will go back to 95% normalcy without a vaccine, just if you use the non-voter segment as the base for it.It still leaves you in the 1%er, OWNYer zone. Feel free to hibernate for the Vaccine.I don’t argue with your choice.But the city will be humming by summer.

      2. LE

        You are an older dude concered about health. I am an older dude concerned about health. (I have good health btw pulse is in the 40’s).To both of us this is a total ‘not with a 10 foot pole’ issue.Before this was what it is today, my sisters last month were talking about Passover at my Moms. I said (early March) ‘no way we will not have Passover this year and if you do I won’t be there’. My wife was still planning to go on a trip to Israel before they shut the country down. Before they did I was pretty clear to me and I said ‘no way you should travel there now no way’. Then she wanted to go instead with my step daughter to Disney World. I said to her (this was in March) ‘are you nuts go there??’.My sister’s have it and are recovering and my wife picked it up at the hospital but is recovered and back working now.My point is while you are correct that there will be a wide swatch of the population that will not engage ‘no way no how’ there are also people out there that have a much lower risk profile and/or (important) lack of intelligence.Here is another one for you (about people and risk). My ex wife lives with her husband and my daughters are with them now (fled NYC). So I find out both my ex wife (cancer survivor) and her husband are shopping together at the supermarket. I say ‘what are you nuts not only should you not go but if you do go only one should go so you 1/2 the risk of someone at the market picking it up (where my sisters got infected most likely).So for sure there will be people that will go out and patronize places.One last thought you are 100% correct in taking any and all attempts to protect yourself. My wife is involved in this issue but it was not her idea to wear a mask before I moved out, sleep on a separate bed, or have me move and live down the shore. It was my idea.So if it seems risky to be around people it’s because it is risky and I think it’s going to be that way (sorry gloom and doom) for a long long time. No way around it….

        1. awaldstein

          Our strategy is:Do everything possible not to catch it.Act like you have it and work like crazy being healthy and boosting your immune system.Shit hits the fan for the millions who don’t have Covid, have health issues that require doctors and tests as today, the only doorway into medical assistance is the ER or ICU and in NY its a nightmare, well everywhere.

          1. LE

            One of my long time hacks is to always get more sleep than I need. To the point where I will not even setup an early morning appointment. [1] And now I am trying to get even more sleep than I would normally get. I don’t set an alarm clock other than a few hours after I think I might get up.[1] This greatly reduces any ‘wake up in the middle of the night anxiety’ issues. If I wake up no big deal read a bit fall back to sleep. Problem solved. Been doing this forever. (I read back in olden times they used to sleep, wake up, go back to sleep etc..)

          2. JamesHRH

            Fair amount of written historical evidence that pre-electric light, the pattern was sleep, wake up for 2-3 hours, sleep.

    2. LE

      The thing is much of that is dining for entertainment (as an experience) and is a recent development. It didn’t exist when we were growing up. I mean I remember when fast casual came out (place you could get ribs) and growing up we probably dined out 1 or 2 times per year. Ditto for many things that are going to be impacted. Most are things that didn’t exist even close to the way they do today. Sports, concerts, and in particular dining. All entertainment and ‘non essential’.NYC for that matter in now way resembles what it was in the 70’s and before. Was a hole and you had to have a specific reason to be there.Remember of course when people wanted to get out of the city?

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      Applebee’s is horrific. I’d rather eat at home than step into a place like that.What’s happening in my city (Bridgeport, CT) is that several of the mainstay local restaurants are offering incredible take-out deals. My favorite little brick-oven pizza place is doing curbside pickup and also is doing bulk orders to all the area hospitals at night for the night shift workers.

  2. awaldstein

    the only answer to socialization in a public space is a vaccine.till then I don’t see how my life at least at restaurants and bars and at homes can resume.actually it can’t

    1. Gotham Gal


      1. JamesHRH

        This is the perfect solution. You are wildly privileged, that is why the perfect solution seems like the only solution.Do you have any idea how many Americans would test Wuhan anti-body positive, meaning they are good to go (non transmissible) right now?I don’t. Dr. Fauci doesn’t either.Day drink a bottle of Chardonnay and check back in 2 weeks. You won’t need a vaccine to be making the scene this summer in the Hamptons.

    2. JLM

      .It is easy to understand your reaction. It is a product of this exact instant in time.BTW, there is no vaccine for the common cold which is also a corona virus.There are a great many risks we take unconsciously. COVID19 is not one of them, yet, and it too shall pass.There are three important touch points: did you have it and recover, are there therapeutics that can treat it, and is there a vaccine?People will make decisions based on those three issues — as you have indicated.NY has such a terrible set of infection vectors as to be truly frightening — the subway?Be safe. Be well. Be careful.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. JLM

    .Kind of a 1% first world problem.While you are decrying the lack of — missing — “the vibe, the clothes, the food, the architecture, the menus, the wine list, the cocktail list, the hospitality and most of all the conversation around the table” there is a lot of America who is missing their paycheck, their livelihood. Missing their loved ones. Missing a rendezvous with the future, watching their business disappear, or pondering their next meal.A bit of empathy for the less grandly situated — those unable to flee NYC for Cali — might be a worthy byproduct of the quarantine.Missing all the stuff you miss really doesn’t look like much of a thing to the rest of the world. But, hey, you gotta be you.Be well and safe until this Hellish thing passes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  4. lisa hickey

    I appreciate the wide range of answers here. So much is uncertain!In times, like this, I think of my friend Andrea, who had cystic fibrosis at a time when almost no one with it lived past the age 30. She was 28 when I met her, and would get so winded walking up a flight of stairs she would have to grasp a railing until she could get enough air in her lungs. When she was 28, there was no cure, no treatment that would allow people like her to survive.She ended up having one of the very first successful lung transplants for cystic fibrosis patients. Her brother (also with CF) had died on the operating table shortly before she tried it. She survived. That was 22 years ago. Had to take over 50 pills a day for anti-rejection. Wash her hands constantly. Wear masks in public. A movie about people young people with CF came out recently and it was called — 6 feet apart. Sound familiar?My point is –Andrea been living with this same fear for her entire life. Yet she has had an awesome career, got married, travels when she can. I recently helped her with a campaign she designed to tell people about the PPE shortage. She’s an activist and leader.She believes her life is normal and good, and she is happy.Do what you have to for survival. It is ok to miss the life you used to know. It is ok to accept uncertainty. It is ok to have hope for the future.

  5. LE

    What I truly miss is the art of a conversation. There is so much chatter over our dinner table whether we are sitting at home with our familyI want to see that. I want you to film those conversations.I think it would be super interesting and could be expanded and form the basis for others doing the same. (Your family in particular). Not live, edited.

  6. William Mougayar

    Some people are getting creative by live-streaming from home what they are doing and getting a bit of social juice that way. My favorite has been watching Massimo Bottura cook live from his home in Modena along with his wife narrating. That’s something that is different and only temporary. But it’s fun.