CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER for more tips on how to live well during the quarantine.
If you’ve seen the TV ads, you’re probably aware that Facebook has groups you can join to find people who share your interests.
I was aware of this and joined several local groups–a group for parents who have children in my son’s class in high school, a group of people who work in my field, a group for those who live in the same Birmingham suburb that I do.
But one day, someone posted something on Facebook that caught my attention. “I’m new here,” she wrote. “I’ve had a hard time making new friends. Where should I go to try and meet new people?”
Being the friendly types we are here in Birmingham, her post got something like one hundred and fifty responses. “I’d love to meet a new friend! I’ve had a hard time myself! We should all meet up!”
And so it was decided, we’d have a New Girlfriends Meet-Up at a popular brewery…until it got canceled due to stay-at-home orders.
No worries, though! Throughout the responses to her post, people invited her to join groups. “Join Beermingham Babes if you like a good beer!”
That got me thinking. How do these groups work? What subjects interest me? Who’s out there with the same interests that I have? And most importantly, what’s everyone doing with themselves during the quarantine?
Beermingham Babes was a good start. These ladies know their Pale Ale, their IPAs, and where to get the best selections in town.
Next, I checked out Magic City Kitties where people are posting pictures of their cats sleeping on their keyboards, Magic City Dogs, where the beagles and chihuahuas of Birmingham are losing their minds that their owners are home all day, and the Birmingham Houseplant Community where we warn each other not to overwater and show off the blooms on our Christmas Cacti.
Most recently, I’ve joined Quarantine Cuisine. Oh, man. I’m not sure how far away this group reaches, but it’s got a great all-in-this-together mentality. Everyone’s sharing pictures of what they’ve cooked during the quarantine, whether it’s the ultimate grilled cheese or gourmet pasta. Sushi incorporated with flaming hot Cheetos? This group applauds your originality. Trying a pickle and peanut butter sandwich because you haven’t gotten to the grocery store this week? They applaud your bravery. Need tips on how to make a moist meatloaf? They’ll pretty much tell you their grandma’s secret recipe.
There are mommy groups, theatre groups, live music groups, groups for gardeners, groups for people who like camping, and more. Today, I joined a group for Canning and Preserving foods, but decided it wasn’t for me when an overwhelmed newbie admitted she’d canned 75 jars of salsa and had forgotten the tiny crucial step of adding water. This seemed out of my league and I exited, but not before I explained to Annalise from Austrailia what Pico De Gallo is and how we typically eat it here in the states.
I feel so connected!
Okay, yes. Do I have better things to do than talk to strangers about their everyday lives? Of course I do. I could be bleaching the grout in the shower. I could be alphabetically organizing my spices.
Or, I could be talking to someone who has a philodendron named Phil and is as tired of sitting at home as I am. I might tell her about my rubber tree plant named Bernadette and fill her in on the fun times over on Quarantine Cuisine’s page.
When this is over, maybe we’ll all go back to the way things were.
Or maybe some of us will meet up with our newly trained dogs, our plant rootings, and our fancy quarantine cheese straws and sourdough bread starters.
Maybe we’ll all have a Post-Quarantine Meet-Up for a non-virtual, real-time Beermingham beer.