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I’m Italian.  What Do You Mean I Can’t Hug?

Author’s note: this post is intended to be 100% fun and in no way is meant to diminish the levity of the current situation our nation is in with the coronavirus. Be safe, smart, and enjoy a laugh or two.

“You have to stop hugging people,” Chip demanded.

What? I am Italian. I hug. I hug friends, clients, strangers. My life is enriched with the people I am fortunate enough to populate it with- and to hug them.

My respect and love for Chip is tremendous. He worries about me and so I have embraced the whole elbow tap in lieu of hugging. But then I really need to draw a line, a ‘hard no,’ a ‘not happening.’

  • No hugging. Personally, I think hugging should be an Olympic sport. You should be graded by your effort, energy, holding time and facial expression. Are you a perfect 10? I think I am.
  • I have a confession. I have been hoarding…coffee. I am petrified I will run out and that cannot happen. I have 3 pounds of beans, 1 pound of ground, and a jar of espresso powder that I can use to add to chocolate chip cookies. Don’t judge. We all have a vice or two.
  • They say don’t go to the market. I need fresh mozzarella and Soppressata. I’m going! As an Italian I can feed 30 people for 30 days straight from the stock currently in my pantry. Need a macaroni fix? Call me.
  • Ok the toilet paper thing, not getting that panicky feeling. If it were a cheese shortage, I’d walk barefoot… in a blizzard, uphill both ways to score a wedge of blue cheese.
  • Do we really need to expand on the importance of a quick trip to the liquor store? As of 11:50 am EST on March 20th, The Governor of NY declared: Laundromats and gas stations will be allowed to remain open, as will liquor stores and restaurants for take-out and delivery service. Thanks to my friend Angela, I am hankering for her new found gem, Rhubarb and Ginger Gin. Yum.
  • Can’t go to the gym? No way. I need to see my peeps. I thrive on their energy, encouragement, and support. Joanne and Crunch Fitness came to the rescue with Zoom Meeting 30-minute classes. I must confess, using Zoom to work out is a whole lot better than  using Zoom for QuickBooks training.
  • My empty nest is no more. The University of Alabama and RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) are moving to online learning. Amelia is staying in her apartment. Jack is home. This is not going to be easy for our college age children, so we need to breathe, ok, perhaps drink. Let’s realize their life has been upended before they could enjoy warm afternoons in the quad, performing in their athletic events, and I am sure a few parties/’darties/day-parties’ sprinkled in between.
  • Please, for your own safety: Do not even think of suggesting that I relax using meditation- not happening!

Be present.

To the people in the towns, and cities worldwide and la mia famiglia in Italy: be strong and stay safe. I know it’s hard. I cannot imagine what you are living through. Here in the U.S. we need to be patient with each other. Please do not hoard chicken, toilet paper or dog food. There really is enough for all of us, if we share.

Be kind and understand that self-imposed solitude is hard on people. The greater segment of the population is working at home and have our children and our spouse with us. 24 hours a day. Familiarity breeds contempt, ok maybe not contempt, but a few minor murderous thoughts. Try and just breathe.

Call a friend.

FaceTime is great too. Don’t let people be alone too long. Small businesses are going to struggle. Support them any way you can. Share posts on social media and encourage friends to visit these coffee shops, restaurants, and businesses. We can still get take-out!

As a small business owner, I feel the apprehension.

It will be ok; I am (fairly) sure of it. This is a new world and it is demanding a new lifestyle. As a nation, we have not experienced a national sense of uneasiness like this since 9/11. Please know that I am available to live chat, grab a phone call or take a walk with you, of course, at 6 feet apart. Do not hesitate to ask, I am serious.

And yes, I am still going to hug my family and friends and if requested, I will knock elbows with you, but I won’t like it.

Be well.

Karen at pastaonthefloor@yahoo.com

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