What Is A Normal Thing To Say During The Solar Eclipse?

Besides “I was at lunch.”

Did you know there’s going to be a solar eclipse on Monday? Very cool. I am lucky enough to live in a state in which it’s possible to drive a couple of hours and see the total solar eclipse, which maybe you are planning to do, too. The bad news for me, and most people, in my opinion, is that it is on a Monday which is a day many people go to work.

First things first: obviously I would love to not go to work. Not going to work rules. But I will just be coming off of a week vacation (I’m writing this from the Awl office in New York where I have screamed “I’m walkin’ here” any time a car horn goes off outside), and a quick glance at my work email already sent me into hives once on this trip, so it is not feasible for me to travel to see the eclipse, nor “make a whole production of it.” I have put this in quotes not to be judgmental but because some people are nuts. So I guess what will happen is that I will go to my job, do my job, and then at some point a solar eclipse happens, and then I keep doing my job, and then I go home for the night. Maybe buy some groceries.

What is the social etiquette of being at work during a solar eclipse? This is what I really want to know and feel both curious and stressed about. Should I schedule meetings around the moon blocking out the sun? Should I get up, mid-meeting, and say, “excuse me, but it’s space”? Should I walk over to a window and take a quick glance at the partial darkness and say, “hm, seems like night, but it’s afternoon”? I have no idea. As they say online, “this is not normal.”

(I could just say nothing but I refuse!!!)

All of this is to say that I have no idea what to say because while I am not eclipse-averse but I do think, generally, space is terrifying and I would have been some kind of cave-person who thought the world was for sure ending. But you can’t say stuff like that now, because someone will launch into a conversation with you about orbits. And it would be unfair, I think, to lock myself in the bathroom like those awful kids do that that little girl in the world’s saddest Ray Bradbury short story. So I am going to look at the somewhat blotted out sun, and to my best prediction say something like, “hell yeah,” or “for sure,” and then go back to doing my job.

Image: Michail Kirkov via Flickr