Sarah Simpson column: Social interaction can be a lot like the weather: unpredictable


OK, OK, it happened. It’s a bit like bringing your umbrella. When you do, it won’t rain. When you don’t, it will rain. When I wrote my last column, the weather wasn’t so great, and then around the time this article went to print, all of a sudden, summer arrived. I mean, it makes me look like a fool, but nothing.


Well, I had written the above several days ago and things have changed again. And then again. So whatever the weather is outside while you’re reading this, it’s probably the opposite of what we expected. Sorry about that.

Anyway, hello! My youngest niece was finally able to come visit us the other week now that her football season is finally over. (Just to brag, his team also won provincial championships in his age group, so that’s two provincial championships this year for my sister’s kids if you count, because my nephew’s team won his age group in hockey this winter.)

This particular niece just turned 13 and still really enjoys childhood things, but can still hang out with the big kids if you understand my drift. It’s a win-win to have her in my house because not only does she like to play with my children, but she can also babysit them very well.

My niece arrived in time for the Duncan’s Day Parade, something she has done many times over the years. We got downtown early to people watch. Well, really to stake out a spot near the office so we had the restrooms close at hand if we needed to (we didn’t) but we got to watch a hilarious traffic controller work his tail to prevent people from escaping barriers and driving on the closed parade route.

“You can’t drive here!” Sir! Nope! No sir. You must turn around. No. There is a parade. A parade! Sir! You must turn around. REVOLVE AROUND!”

Or “Yes sir. The road is closed. You can go this way or that way. I don’t know sir. Go this way and then figure it out.

(That comment was the one before she radioed her partner saying she was going to need a beer after work.)

I don’t know if we now live in a society where people coming out of the pandemic are really confused and forget basic traffic rules and social customs or if they sincerely think they are more important than they are any rule, but people are sure have had problems with road closures.

All this woman was trying to do was keep the road clear and safe and the drivers just didn’t get it. The woman never broke up though. She was polite but firm and got the job done despite the dozens of drivers in their vehicles trying to make it difficult for her. Kudos to her. And please, let’s be nice to the traffic enforcement officers. It’s a thankless job there.

My family had also wandered the city before the parade to get an idea of ​​what was to come downtown after the parade and we spotted a woman who looked like my mother. As if it was strange from his stature to his gestures and even the type of clothes and shoes. My whole family of four plus my niece – who lives around the corner from my Grammy-winning mother on the mainland – all watched this unsuspecting woman from afar wondering “is it possible?”

We kept an eye out for her as we wandered around looking in shop windows and the like and eventually, as we were all strolling down Craig Street, she caught up with us. She was about to pass us and I couldn’t resist. I said, “My God, you look like my mom, their Grammy,” pointing at the kids.

Without wasting a moment, she turned to the children and said, “Hi! I’m Grammy!” Then we all laughed and went our separate ways. It was such a fun encounter and the poor woman that we were somehow, though innocently stalking, might have laughed at, but she didn’t. She played along and it made everyone smile and laugh and I think those kinds of brief interactions are why it’s good to be out and about again as a as members of the community.

There is simply no substitute for social interaction; It’s a bit like the weather: most of us can’t really predict with certainty if it’s going to be good or bad, but if everything goes well, it can definitely make you feel good.

ColumnistComedy and humor

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