CLEVELAND — Opinion: While unwinding last night after work, I settled into watching the classic Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie, You've Got Mail, to take my mind off of the current reality we're all living in, where it's risky to everyone involved to be within six feet of people who don't live in your household.
As the movie played on, I was struck by one scene where the characters of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox walk by children at a farmers market as they're bobbing for apples, and instantly I was brought back to present day.
Watching those kids on my TV screen take turns dunking their heads into the same vat of water, and using only their mouths, trying to pluck out fruit from the same batch of apples, suddenly made me realize I might have missed out on something.
I realized in that moment that up to this point, I had never had occasion in my life to bob for apples, in all of its germ-sharing glory, and now I might never get the chance to.
It's not just bobbing for apples. There are lots of things that people may have missed out on, that they might not get to do again, if we are to listen to the experts who are trying to keep us all safe from contracting COVID-19 at rates that will cripple the medical care system.
In sharing my observation, I invited others to let me know what they regretted not doing sooner, before this pandemic created the possibility that it might be too late.
Some brought up definite losses, like the college senior who won't get to walk at her graduation.
Others shared less certain things, like ice skating and certain trips they'd like to take, or being able to dive into a mosh pit at a concert.
While it remains to be seen what the future holds for apple bobbing, outdoor events and sweaty, live performances, I think the lesson here is this: Sometimes what we think is a missed opportunity is actually the universe protecting us.
Take bobbing for apples, for instance, as one friend aptly pointed out to me.
"You're not missing anything with bobbing for apples. It's basically voluntary waterboarding in other people's diluted saliva water," he said.
When you put it that way, maybe this is for the best.
What do you wish you would have done sooner that you might have missed your shot to experience? Reply to this tweet and let us know.