Graham: Wishful thinking for the first day back

Movies, concerts, sporting events: what life will be like when we can get back to living it

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

We’re all looking forward to the first day back.

We don’t know when it will be. It’s likely months away. Major events that were scheduled for May have been bumped until late summer. So is it June? Maybe July? The waiting — just to find out when we can get back to our lives — is the hardest part.

Fans cheer at a Nine Inch Nails concert at the Fox Theatre in Oct. 2018.

So we’re stuck indoors. It’s fine. Netflix is there for us, and we still have social media to distract us. Soon it will be time to dust off the board games in the basement. When’s the last time you played Life?

And while we wait, thoughts turn to what things will be like on that first day back, when restrictions are lifted, businesses that have closed reopen their doors and we’re able to get back to life as we know it.    

The first movie back will be like the first midnight screening of a “Star Wars” movie. Fans will clap at the opening credits and if you’re at an MJR Theatre — as you may have heard, it’s more fun at MJR — the interactive theme song, with the three claps and the “whoo!” shout, will go off like a rock concert. We won’t even mind the concession prices.

The first concert back will be like the encore the entire time. That’s given that people are OK to gather with large crowds of thousands of strangers again, which will take communication and understanding and trust from our government leaders. But if it’s the Foo Fighters, it will be the best Foo Fighters concert ever, and if it’s Guns N’ Roses, they better open with “Paradise City” because people will want to hear that a lot more than they’ll will want to hear “Welcome to the Jungle.” Read the room, Axl.  

The first sporting event back will be a celebration. If it’s the home opener at Comerica Park, the entire crowd will have its phones out for the first pitch, capturing the moment we return to some sort of normalcy in our day-to-day routine. There may be long lines to get in, but we won’t grumble. Once inside, the hot dogs will taste even better, the beer will go down even smoother. We might even stay for the full nine innings. And when the game’s over, we can go right back to griping about the rebuild.

The first restaurant trip back will be relaxing and pleasurable. The restaurant experience is something we’ve come to completely take for granted, but now we’re realizing how important restaurants are to the social fabric of our society. We’ll talk to our servers beyond the usual chit-chat, we’ll savor every bite of the meal and afterwards we’ll tip handily. We’ll probably even order dessert.

The first gym visit back will be a brisk workout. We’ll go a little faster on the treadmill, we’ll reach for the extra 5 lbs when lifting weights, we’ll be courteous to our neighbors around us. We’ll sweat hard and we’ll vigorously wipe down everything we touched afterward. (Which you should have been doing already, you animal.)  

The first day of school back will be like the first day of school all over again. Catching up with old friends, hugging in the hallways, sharing stories of what we’ve been up to during break. And that’s just the teachers. Not much learning will get done on that first day back, but the talking and sharing is just as important.

None of these things are inherently special, they are all part of our normal lives. But this disruption to our normal lives makes us realize how special these things truly are. Going to Target, getting a car wash, having a fresh haircut: it’s the little things we do every day that are the framework of our lives, and we now realize are what makes life amazing.

The first day back, whenever it is, will be extraordinary. It’s up to us to remember that feeling and make the second day back, the third day back and so on feel just as exceptional.