Asked in a recent Science Times happiness questionnaire when was the last time I’d initiated a social plan with someone, I laughed, because I’d just done so that very minute by suggesting to Mary that we have avocado sandwiches that night.
She didn’t think that that was quite the social plan the quiz giver had in mind, though I was content to move on to the next question, to wit, “When was the last time you expressed gratitude to someone important in your life. . . ?”
“Last night! When, after the basketball game I thanked you for bringing some orecchiette home from Cittanuova.”
“Do you feel satisfied with the connections you have with people at work?” was a tough one inasmuch as nobody comes to work anymore, the Covid outbreak in 2020 having led to the diaspora. But, if truth be told, even when the office was filled, I was hesitant to reach out, having seen more than 100 co-workers come and go over the years. Bob Schaeffer said it took me six months to say hello. “I’m sure I nodded months to say hello. “I’m sure I nodded every now and then,” I said in my defense.
Asked if I participated in any group activities, either in person or virtually, I said, “Well, there are The Star’s weekly Zoom meetings during which I try to finish the crossword, and twice a week I do my level best to kick other people’s butts in tennis. When they say, ‘Go f—k yourself,’ it’s music to my ears.”
“I don’t think that’s quite what the quiz giver had in mind,” said Mary, who added, “Here’s one. ‘When was the last time you said yes when someone initiated a social plan with you?’ “
“That’s easy, this morning when you asked if I’d make the avocado sandwiches tonight.”
“That’s not a social plan, Jack. Social plans have something to do with doing something or going somewhere.”
“Like taking O’en for a walk. . . ? I know! I’ll take you to that world-renowned restaurant in Copenhagen, Noma.”
“Didn’t that just close down?”
“It did. . . ? How about Sam’s then?”