No, this isn’t about the coronavirus. I’m sure you’ve heard and read enough about it at this point — and I’m certain much more will be heard and read daily.
This is about a friend of mine who told me a tale yesterday that is the definition of bad luck.
Tom, my friend, is a sweetheart of a guy. He’s the kind of person who will help you and smile while doing it. Maybe you’re lucky enough to know someone like him.
Tom is retired and has his son,daughter-in-law and grandchildren living with him right now. He loves having his family with him and he’s grateful that everyone is healthy and they all get along.
A few years back Tom’s wife left him for another man. I don’t know the particulars about the break-up and for the purposes of this true story they aren’t important. The one specific I do know is that Tom was heartbroken over her departure. To his credit he didn’t sit around moping and moaning. Tom jumped into community work helping neighbors and friends with projects and simple everyday tasks. He felt that by not thinking about himself and thinking more of others then others might think more of him. (He’s right.)
For the past few months Tom has been debating and agonizing about — maybe, perhaps, possibly — looking for and starting a relationship. He thought it over long and hard. Could he do it? Should he do it? How would he do it? Where would he meet someone? In other words he went through start-up relationship agony.
A couple of weeks ago Tom decided to go ahead. He was going to ask a lady out who he knew, enjoyed speaking to, and shared a common interest with in being helpful. This was not an easy or simple decision. It took a monumental amount of courage-building. If there was such a thing as a Confidence Enhancing steroid Tom might have taken it.
Tom picked a specific day to ask her if she would like to join him for coffee. He figured that was a non-threatening gesture and what the heck he had a 50/50 shot at success. The night before he checked his phone to be sure he had her number and even her email if his courage faltered at the last moment and his throat constricted making him incapable of speaking.
As he was checking his phone he noticed a news alert on the TV screen. He turned up the volume and heard the newscaster say, “The Governor has declared a statewide shutdown starting tomorrow due to the coronavirus.”
Tom thought, “Tomorrow? Tomorrow!”
Just when Tom was ready to step out into the social world again he was pushed back inside by doctors and politicians and the quarantine. And a 6-foot social distancing get together wasn’t going to cut it.
Now he would have to wait until the “all clear” until he could make his move. Or should he call now and start a discussion? More will be revealed.