“They just met in a park one day and now they’re dating.”
“Wait, what? You’re telling me their eyes met across a crowded open space and now they’re in love?”
And so it was, just like that, during a phone conversation with a friend on a Wednesday just like any other Wednesday, the notion of ‘lockdown love’ was brought to my attention.
Apparently, even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, people are still managing to find love. A phone call here, a FaceTime there, a two-metre apart stroll ending in a sheepish nod and an awkward wave, instead of a sloppy snog and the tantalising possibility of the walk of shame and regret the morning after, just like in the good old days.
And I’m utterly furious about it.
I’m furious because I honestly thought, at least during a worldwide health crisis which is causing the whole world to quite literally stop touching each other, the pressure of dating would be off for a bit. A get out of ‘dating hell’ free card so to speak. But alas. Turns out people are wandering around parks saying things like, “I’m just a girl, standing two feet in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. Or words to that effect…
The furthest I’ve got to finding love during lockdown is sending random texts to guys I’ve vaguely fancied in the past asking what they’re watching on telly, and then getting excited when they reply ‘not much’ three days later.
So, after this quite frankly traumatic phone call, I rang another friend to complain about it, and as we were discussing the following topics:
What we thought about Welwyn Garden City.
My obsession with how bad my roots are going to get.
The fact we’ve now spent a whole season in lockdown.
What we thought Jon Hamm’s morning routine is.
If we thought I’ll ever be part of Jon Hamm’s morning routine.
Something quite profound (and nauseating) dawned on me. My lockdown loves have been right in front of me the whole time…
There’s Luke, who will defuse any so-called life crisis I think I’m going through with a laugh, immediately putting me at ease.
And Dani, who ends every phone call without fail, with the earth-shatteringly comforting “I’ll speak to you tomorrow”.
And Gummy, who listens to me bang on about how horny I am with patience and probably a sick bag in hand.
And Russell, the creative genius, who always cheers me on.
And Kate, and Emma, and Juliet, and Lucy…
The point is, all these people – all my friends – will be the loves of my life long after lockdown lifts. They’re the ones who reply to my boring questions. Who pick up the phone without fail, fully knowing that 99% of the conversation will be about me. And they’re the ones who have kept me sane, laughing and alive through all of this madness.
So, to my perfect lockdown loves of my life, thank you for always listening. Thank you for only ever being a phone call away. Maybe one day we’ll find out what Jon Hamm’s morning routine is, whilst riding a train to Welwyn Garden City, with perfectly dyed roots, enjoying whatever season it is free from the shackles of lockdown.
I can’t wait…