What I ended up doing: I sat on a bench with my friend who lives two buildings over, and we chatted for a while. Then I met my daughter for dinner on the "patio," aka the sidewalk, at one of our favorite restaurants. It was just the two of us, as my niece is in Long Island with her former college roommate (all four years) and best friend. I see photos on social media of them at the beach, making margaritas, laughing. My girl and I laughed, too, sitting outside at our socially distanced table, our masks on till the food came, the waiter, who recognized us and welcomed us back, with his mask on, too. The menu was bare bones, none of our usual favorites, but I supposed they have to figure out how to stay open on a shoestring like everyone else.
It was our first time eating out since quarantine started in March, and I had meant to bring two forks from home, but I forgot, so we sanitized our hands and then wiped the restaurant cutlery with wet wipes and dried them with napkins. I have no idea if that made us safer, but we felt better after that. My daughter chuckled and said "I knew you were the person to do this with," by which she meant venturing back out to restaurant dining. We both ordered baked branzino and the usual Malbec for me and rose for her. This was on of my daughter's "Goodbye New York" bucket list, to have a girls' night with her mom at Community Food and Juice. I love that I am on her list of peak New York experiences.
Her "in laws," as in the mother and capable take-charge sister of her partner (which is what my girl and her boyfriend call each other these days) drove from upstate to help them pack earlier today, and to transport back to his mother's house all the things they will be storing in her garage, like their dining table and chairs, as their student apartment, while renovated and lovely, is tiny. Apparently the university isn't playing around with this covid thing. My daughter's boyfriend, a brainy engineer, is doing an executive MBA, and for the first couple of months at least, classes will be entirely virtual. They decided to move anyway, so that they'll be all set up for when in person classes come back on line. But since my girl will be able to keep her New York job and work remotely (soooo happy that worked out for her) they will have to have separate work stations in their cute but tiny apartment.
We were talking about the fact that quarantine actually gave my girl a lot of gifts: It showed her bosses that she could be super productive working remotely hence she got to keep her job. It showed her and her love that they are very congenial company even when forced to spend every hour of every day together. It also gave them an opportunity to figure out how to work together in the same space, which they will have to do in Boston. The building they're moving into has beautifully appointed common areas with plush chairs and tables, I suppose for when people want a change of scenery from working in their apartments, but with the pandemic, there's no telling if those spaces will be open. My girl seems happy, though. Her spirit reads very much as if she feels like this is just another life adventure.