Diary 179

Sunday, September 13th

The other day I went to my doctor’s for a minor procedure (I love the way they phrase these things) and even though I’m a tad anxious about the visit I always look forward to seeing the receptionists. These two young women are, I think, originally from France, and speak a delightful accented English.  They also dress like Parisians – always very stylish. They radiate calming competence. Their colleagues are, of necessity, in surgical scrubs. 

I always try to look neat when I turn up. Partly this is because  of a naive believe that if you look neat you get better treatment. But partly it’s because I feel I can’t, I just can’t, turn up looking scruffy when the receptionists are so well-presented.

This time, though, they were behind a plexiglass partition and wearing masks – and they were dressed just like the average Bostonian. Still stylish, but something was diminished, or absent. They were just as helpful and caring as ever.

And so I wondered to what extent the covid situation has eroded some of our collective sense of presentation – and with it our joie de vivre.