Recently I thought, if this was the 1990s and a big snowstorm was brewing, the landline phone chain would have begun. I’d rush to pack a bag, zoom off in my Ford Probe, pick up a few things along the way to share, and head to Jon, Ginger, Margaret, and Dilcia’s spot in SE, DC to shelter down amongst my nurturing and Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs friends. And, in the midst of it all, I’d patiently wait for Jon to prepare his heavily induced ricotta cheese lasagna. Mmmmm…
Fast forward to smartphones and video conferencing apps. Our Thirsty/Therapy Thursday crew is made up of long time Howard friends (HUUUU…) and our extended family. We’ve gathered on and off on Thursdays for many many years. The off times is usually because life happens, we found a restaurant/lounge not suitable to effectively accommodate us or due to closings.
During this social distancing time, we had a virtual happy hour (Or as Pop would call it, a “sit and sip.”) this past Thursday utilizing Zoom with all the ingredients of a fun happy hour. It was perfect timing as that day I was experiencing intense anxiety. Between work which is moving at a fast pace and our state of affairs, it was a bit much.
Well, we started at 5:45pm (shout out to techie Harlem Knight for getting us set up) and I don’t even remember when we ended, but I laughed belly laughs the entire time as my people are comical.
We came and went freely. And, even us caregivers (me and April) got our parents in on the fun. Although Pop exited the room at some point because we were too loud and he wanted to hear CNN and freely call “him” a punk one more time. And, April banished her mom because every time someone new entered they asked “who is that coughing.” 🤣 Too cute and funny having them both on.
The evening had all of the makings of happy hour:
-It was loud with lots of laughter to include the normal teasing of each other.
-The adult beverages flowed (I made margaritas.)
-I broke the first rule, and didn’t eat beforehand or during, so by the first drink and tequila shot I was quite tipsy. And, funny. At least I thought. And, at the end, I was craving some good a$$ Stan’s or HoChi fried chicken wings with mambo sauce.
-Then the bathroom runs started. I knew not to mistakenly take the crew with me to the bathroom. I would have never lived that down.
-I broke out with intense and persistent hot flashes.
-I laughed. And, laughed. And, laughed. Which is how at some point over the years “Thirsty Thursday” became “Therapy Thursday.” I guess that would suggest we matured and evolved. Some. 😆
-“Ardella don’t jump!”
-“Dayum Jon. You still…”
-“Turn the volume on…”
-Because we were talking and laughing over each other, someone had the nerve to want to invoke rules of when to talk. I was like “HELLO! This is happy hour.”
My crew may not know it, but, on those Thursdays I was in attendance, they often got me through some tough times. Often coming because my spirit required it more than anything. And, hoping in a moment I extended the same to someone requiring a spirit lift. So with much love and abundance, I love and thank YOU all for being YOU and for being present.
And, to all, during this time, remember you don’t have to be alone or feel alone. Command moments to exhale and relax. Dance parties are in abundance. If you’re waiting for someone to lead, you lead. Summon your tribe. Schedule or do an impromptu virtual group or one-on-one meet up via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger (yes you can do video calls from there), WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, etc. the bonus is they are all FREE!!! Just stay connected in healthy and meaningful ways. And, be mindful that you and yours are partaking responsibly during this time. To you and yours, be well. Enjoy! Peace! Love! Cheers! #BeDoLove #SocialDistancing #VirtualHappyHours