I’ve been thinking lately about things that I miss—due to Covid—that I never could have imagined missing. Like, there’s the obvious stuff, right? You miss travel and nights out with friends and worry-free hugs. And because I’ve been pretty extreme in my social distancing, I also miss simple things like car rides with friends or saying “yes, you can take my drink order and, as a matter of fact, we would like a starter.”

But I have some weird ones too. I miss the smell of other people’s perfume or cologne. When I’m on a walk in my neighborhood and someone passes me and I can smell the scent of some fragrance, I look like a mix between a hound dog sniffing the air and a creepy serial killer longingly taking a deep breath of another human.

I had no idea how much I enjoyed being a room where people smelled like expensive perfume. 2020 is teaching me so much.

I miss other things that are probably more normal, but the level of intensity of how much I miss them may not be entirely normal. Like, I am dreaming of the day I can be in restaurant and order 8,000 refills of a fountain Diet Coke. And I would probably give a kidney to be able to feel like I could safely get a massage.

Tonight though, I was on a walk in my neighborhood and I suddenly heard the sound of a group of people cheering somewhere. It was just a brief cheer, but the amount of nostalgia that sound evoked felt like getting the breath knocked out of me. People. Together. Happy. I’ve probably heard it a thousand times before walking around my neighborhood—over summer cookouts and during NFL season and, of course, during March Madness. But I didn’t even realize I’d missed it until I heard it tonight.

These are the things I don’t think I’ll take for granted in the future—or, at least I hope not. (Don’t worry, if I’m in a crowded room and thinking “Man, I’m so happy to smell all these people,” I probably won’t say it out loud.)

So, what do you miss that you could have never predicted?

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