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I’m a Failure at Social Niceties.

I’ve forgotten how to shake hands. Which one? Left? Right? Something that used to be commonplace–I prided myself on the integrity of my handshake–feels alien. And, well, germy. I’ve also misplaced my ability to appear interested in a conversation I don’t care about. Make no mistake: I care about many, many things. Solidly on my don’t care list: ego stroking of the  self-important. That’s probably a solid boundary to have. While it’s true that my tolerance for extraneous bullshit is also at an all-time low since COVID hit, the good news is that my desire toward mercy and my ability to extend grace often outpaces my pre-pandemic levels. I’m probably not quite as smooth (emotionally and socially speaking) as I was almost 3 years ago. What’s left behind is more jagged but more honest. Which means I’ll be totally authentic in my awkwardness if you try to shake my hand.

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