Generalizing will get me into trouble, so heavy emphasis on "likely" as I write this post.
I read an article the other day about how men invest in shoulder-to-shoulder friendships whereas women choose face-to-face ones. Men tend to stand in bars side-by-side, talking with eyes fixed on sports while women look each other in the eye during conversations. This difference is likely contributing to a higher level of loneliness among men during the pandemic.
For us, social distancing is melding shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face.
Live social interactions have been replaced with Whatsapp groups filled with banter interspersed with poignant conversations. The pick-me-up moments in these groups are priceless. More than ever before we are making plans centered on "we should".
That brings us to flying kites...
A dear friend used to call out her husband for flying kites with Tarun - the two men would float eye-popping ideas to test the waters. They would make elaborate plans about visiting each other, crafting Michelin-quality dinner menus, recreating their youth through music and movies, traveling the world, and living in India on sabbatical. Twins from different mothers, I used to call them.
They'd talk for hours and then - poof! - their plans would vanish into ether.
Science says that good friendships help our bodies produce oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone", a direct contributor to how well we handle stress.
Zoom calls with family and friends are giving us the ability to fly kites and feel the oxytocin rush from heading to parts unknown followed by a torn kites drifting off into oblivion and leaving behind a trail of fulfillment. Someday we can do what we should!
On this special weekend we are thinking of the dear ones with whom we have flown kites - shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face - wishing to go back in time and relishing their company.
May the happy, merry, peace, love, and joy of this season make the cuddles flow and keep our kites flying high in the sky.
(Image from: https://www.thinkright.me/en/live-right/kite-flying-in-india/)