Going the distance in social distancing

Columnist Lori Borgman writes the Borgman-Column for McClatchy-Tribune. (MCT)

Many years ago, the husband and I took personality tests that were supposed to tell us about ourselves and each other. Under the category measuring how social we were, I ranked in the 98th percentile and he ranked in the 2nd percentile.

I always thought those test results were skewed, as the husband can be quite talkative and is often the life of the party. But the stay-at-home mandate we are under has me wondering if the test might not have been spot on.

The new restrictions are not the least troubling to him. He is perfectly content sitting on the sofa with his computer, working on projects, hours at a time.

This is a man who, in pre social-distancing days (even though retired), worked out every other day at the gym, scoured second-hand stores for treasures, played ball with the grandkids and was busy working around the yard or the house, often until after the sun set.

I ask if it bothers him to be so suddenly sedentary. He smiles and says not at all, that he enjoys staying home and is “in his zone.”

I point out that his zone appears limited to one sofa cushion and that he may be creating a permanent indentation.

He moves to the middle sofa cushion.

He ranks in the 100th percentile for accommodating.

A neighbor from around the corner says he also enjoys the mandate to stay home. He is thrilled he no longer needs to make excuses for not wanting to go out. In fact, he is toying with the idea of continuing to stay home even after the mandate is lifted.

I, on the other hand, am among those occasionally challenged by the restrictions and may have left scratch marks in the wood, clawing my way down the front door. The nose prints on the window glass belong to me, too.

I routinely find myself pacing when I take phone calls. I walk fast like I’m in a hurry to get somewhere, but the only place I get is from room to room. Thank goodness we live in a house with a circle floor plan.

The husband, without looking up from his computer, claims I am wearing a path in the hardwoods.

Very funny, coming from someone who can sit perfectly still for more than an hour. Sometimes I walk by and hold my finger under his nose to make sure he’s still breathing.

I’m in the group that could score a 98 for restlessness some days. I was born to move. We were all born to move-extroverts, introverts, couch sitters, floor walkers and all the in between-but not all at the same speed. Learning to accommodate speed differences may be the secret to happiness.

Personally, I am thankful that with 98 and a 2, we make a full brain.

Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at lori@loriborgman.com.

Tribune Wire

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