My 45th Wellesley College Reunion is coming up this June, if all goes well in person. I’m looking forward to seeing many old friends from my college days, many of whom I’ve not seen for years. And I’m also hoping to meet some of my classmates in person for the first time. They are my “virtual friends”!
Many of us are feeling a bit “Zoomed Out” these days. Exhausted from trying to communicate on line during this long pandemic. But what about friendships that have come about because of Zoom?
Two years ago, a couple of my classmates came up with the clever idea of having a Zoom program every Sunday afternoon for our entire class. They call it “Virtually Verdant” since our class color is green. The programs have been hosted by different classmates, an eclectic mix of professional knowledge, private museum tours, cocktail mixing, poetry, labyrinths, medieval music (St Hildegard of Bingen), and vegan cooking.
If a Sunday arrives without anyone volunteering to do a program, my classmate Polly leads us all in a virtual exercise class for the over 65s. I’ve never been one to join organized exercise, but something about Polly’s enthusiasm gets me to the screen every time. We jump to Motown music, work on balance, lift soup cans or weights, and stretch every part of our bodies. And then we just talk about our lives. The other day Polly commented to the “regulars” that she had never been to any of our houses. And with classmates as far away as Belgium and Turkey she might never get the chance. But all in all, we agreed we had truly become friends, virtual for now but friends forever.