I am guessing that, like me, you are reading too many heavy articles about the demise of our health and democracy. Another guess is that they sometimes leave you riddled with anxiety. So, here’s an easy read that won’t make you want to puke afterwards. It’s my list of things I’ve learned from being on house arrest.
—Memes have a short shelf life. Remember about three to four weeks ago when you were being pelted with memes from every angle in texts and emails and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You were actually laughing out loud and forwarding them with delight. Now, when you get one, you barely move your face. It has to be side-splitting for you to even exert the effort to touch the screen on your phone to forward or post it.
—Zoom, with more than a few other people, sucks. Have you tried Zooming with a bunch of people all trying to talk at once? It renders you either helpless or obnoxious. If you interject too much, you interrupt people. Yet, if you give up and try to just listen, you seem disinterested. You just can’t win. The only saving grace is that, if it’s a Zoom happy hour, you can just keep sipping quietly and catch a buzz.
—Pandemic bananas ripen freakishly fast. There’s not much to say about this other than it seems my bananas are green one day and have brown spots the next. I’ve made banana bread three times already since being on lockdown.
—Pedicures are not just for beauty. Let’s get right down to it; I clipped my own toenails and went way too low. Now my big toe hurts every time I accidentally make contact with anything harder than a cotton ball. And, as for looks, forget it. Imagine a bunch of pit bulls were snacking on your toenails. There, now you can picture my feet.
—Everyone looks better with her own eyelashes. No one shows up to pandemic video chats with a full face of makeup, so I’ve seen my friends as their most natural selves. I’ve come to realize that the fake-lash-lovers look so much better with their own lashes or even what’s left of them. I’m all for any efforts that help make you feel prettier, and I certainly don’t believe that after this ends, gray should be the new blonde. I just think that Tammy Faye Bakker never had a good look. (May she R.I.P.)
—You can find interesting things in the garage while looking for your Swiffer. All the way behind the boxes and outdoor end tables stood a tall, glass bong. I wonder if my cleaning woman saw it and knew what it was. Maybe she thought it was some kind of toilet bowl purifier. Is that why my bathroom smelled like bong water?
—When the door chime goes off at 3 am, it’s not a burglar. My son and daughter have been living their best vampire lives during this shutdown. They stay up all night and sleep a lot of the day. I keep the extra Pop Tarts and Oreos on the shelves in the garage. That must be why I hear the door chime at odd hours. Then again, I bet it’s a combo trip for the Oreos and that other thing I just mentioned above. I don’t care enough to ask them.
—My cleaning woman is a lovely person, but I’m finding some bad shit. Once my Playtex gloves go on, I mean business. It’s really hard to get in between the part where the toilet seat cover meets the basin, but it is doable. I’m not sure my cleaning woman ever really got in there judging from the unidentifiable substance I was horrified to find. I also didn’t enjoy seeing the state of my naked pillows the first day I changed my sheets.
—Robot vacuums could change the world. I researched, I bought, I conquered. My Roomba has changed my life for the better, and the proof is in the dust bin. All with a touch of a button or voice command, I can start her cleaning, send her back to her base, put her on a cleaning schedule and train her as to which rooms I want cleaned. She starts vacuuming at 9 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She has completed the trifecta in my family of laziness, as she joins the ranks of my Nest and Alexa. The best part is that It’s all done with no backtalk.
—Instacart crushes dreams. When I have the good fortune to lock in a delivery time (pretty impossible), I feel like the newly-crowned Miss America walking the catwalk with roses in her arm. I fill my order with Clorox wipes, all-purpose flour and tons of other optimistic items. I call a friend and tell her how lucky I feel and ask if she’d like to add anything to my fantasy shopping cart. I wait the ten days or so and wake up with a bounce in my step on delivery day. The bell rings, and my heart flutters. When, it’s “safe,” I open my front door and my heart—that had just fluttered—drops. It’s one plastic shopping bag. Yup, just one. I want to scream, but then I remember I’m being a spoiled brat. I go ahead and give my shopper a good rating anyway, because she’s out working and risking her health, while I’m in my robe and slippers.
—People are not friendly. I have been running outside pretty regularly. I pass lots of walkers, bikers and runners. I try to wave and smile. I mean, shit, we are all struggling these days. I would say that only 30 percent of people respond. Some don’t even make eye contact. Come on, couldn’t we all use a smile these days, even if it’s from a complete stranger?
—Pajama pants will be a fashion Do. We are all sporting them, even driving around in them to pick up food or do an acceptable errand. So, maybe this will be a lasting trend. Designers may need to “cuten” them up a bit so that we can go out to lunch wearing pajamas post-apocalypse. I’m gonna need to ease back into life slowly. Zipping up jeans would feel like being pushed into a really cold pool. I need the kind of pool with a walk-in ramp like at a big hotel. Pajama pants worked in college, so I’m hoping for a cyclical movement.
Besides the obvious, permanent dedication of late to all of the essential workers in healthcare, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, fulfillment companies, etc., I dedicate this to my boyfriend, who I’ve been apart from for almost three weeks. Last night, he appeared at my kitchen window. He held his phone horizontally up in the air, gripping it with his hands on either side. He was blasting “In Your Eyes.” How great is that? If you don’t understand the reference, we are no longer friends.
**Tap on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your phone or computer. (Move your finger or mouse around, and FOLLOW will appear if it’s hidden.) You have to open the email the site sends you to complete the FOLLOW process. Thank you from this woman and her popped cork.