Just when I thought there was nothing much more to say about life in this pandemic, the Door Dawg shows up on my feed. My last blog was a bit heavy. I’m sorry about that, because who needs more serious material when our real life is like a Stephen King novel right now? So, here I go with number three in the “House Arrest” series, where I continue to write about things I’ve realized during the lockdown.
My kids’ idea of six feet apart is different than mine. In trying to make sense of this, I try to remember how good judgment and the rational part of the brain aren’t fully developed until age 25. That explains these three impaired measurements by my kids: When they tell me they’ll “be there” in ten minutes, it’s always 30. When they say they only had a couple of beers before they got sick, it was really a six-pack. And, when they claim the beach rental after prom can sleep 30, there’s room for only ten. If you’re quick, you see that every scenario is three times more than their assessment. And, that’s why—to them—six feet is really only two feet in their skewed view of social distancing.
Trump has a valet. We all learned this because his valet just tested positive for Covid-19. But, huh? Don’t valets only exist at Windsor Castle and Downton Abbey? Am I gonna learn that the FLOTUS has ladies-in-waiting, too? Oh, yeah, she does, actually. Those are the ones who fuck her husband, while she looks the other way in her 18k sunglasses. Historically, the job of a valet consists of handling his employer’s clothes, running his bath and shaving him (not sure where). Thinking of Trump, that description has me feeling a bit queasy. That guy better have a “yuge” salary.
Someone needs to invent a sensor for falling asleep while bingeing a series. The stats for Netflix-watching are off the charts while we are all at home, so I can’t be the only person who dozes off during a critical scene. As you sleep, the show just keeps running from one episode to the next. When you eventually put the series back on, the heroine is nine months pregnant or in a psych ward, and you’re like, “Wtf is going on here?” We need a head band kind of contraption with dangling wires that sense head bobs and brain activity before we are in deep REM. The wires would connect to the TV remote and would send a signal that stops the episode. Lemme go check Amazon. Maybe this already exists.
It’s fun to make birthday and graduation videos and do drive-by parties…once. ”Hi, family and friends. Suzy is celebrating her birthday during the quarantine. Can you make a short and funny video for her by tomorrow morning? Also, can you drive down our street in a caravan of cars on Tuesday, while Suzy sits on our front lawn atop a float we made for her out of Amazon boxes and old sheets and towels?” The first few times, we all thought, “Wow, this is so great, how special and creative.” Now, it’s like, “Another one of these fucking things, where I have to harass my kids to do it with me?” How about we start a new trend for these drive-by parades for people who really need it—those of us who are falling apart on a daily basis? Signs could say, “We love your robe!” “Keep hanging on to that thread!” “Drop the gun! We love you!”
Face masks are the new Crocs. Scroll down any social media site, and ads for face masks will be hurled at you. They’re tie-dyed, camouflaged and striped or have designer logos, team logos or animal snouts. You can have them monogrammed to match your luggage, too. Some have filters, and some don’t. Some have strings for a tighter fit, and some don’t. And, some are washable and some aren’t. Forget about sunglasses this year; it’s all about the face masks. I hear many Trumpers prefer invisible ones.
Virtual doctor appointments aren’t only for the Jetsons. My shoulder has been hurting for six months, and I couldn’t wait any longer. The crazy thing is that I still needed a connection to get this orthopedic appointment. I logged in to the site and was told I’d be put in a waiting room, where the doctor would then come “get” me. Of course I still had to wait 20 minutes. When the doctor appeared on my screen, I could see that he was in his basement, yet he was wearing scrubs. I tried to maintain eye contact, even though I wanted to look around at the signs and dartboard on his walls. When I showed him how my arm movement was limited, I had to keep backing up so that my arm could remain on the screen while I lifted it. It was like, “Wait, you can’t see that, can you? Let me keep moving back until I walk through my French door and shatter the glass.”
Canned laughter is an essential worker. I used to think canned laughter was a cheesy aid for unfunny jokes by talkshow hosts and bad sitcoms. But, when I watch the home tapings of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon or SNL, the silence after the jokes makes me cringe. I need that guy with a headset to push the laughter button. I feel awkward and embarrassed on my own couch, as I try to avoid eye contact with Jimmy Kimmel’s big face on my flatscreen TV. I now wholeheartedly believe in the worth of laugh tracks and live studio audiences.
I buy strange things during a pandemic. I just remembered that about six weeks ago, I bought a special kind of car wax from an infomercial at three a.m. I couldn’t tell you the name of the product, but I think it came with two shammy cloths. It’s very possible I didn’t finalize the order. It’s also very possible, I’ll receive it in October and text a picture of it to my kids asking who bought it and why. This brings me back to the Door Dawg I mentioned in the intro. The full name of that product is Door Dawg Hands-Free Keychain-Ready Hygienic No-Touch Door Opener & Keypad Stylus & Bottle Opener. Wait, is that like “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun?” The Dawg is a tool you can attach to your keychain that lets you do everything in its title without getting any cooties on your hands. What a great stocking stuffer it’ll be this pandemic Christmas season.
Patience has finally become a virtue. Let me clarify that…I have become patient with package deliveries only. I still don’t like waiting for my kids to come down for dinner as my carefully-timed meal begins to congeal. As for the packages, Amazon’s Prime service used to take one to two days; it now takes about a week. Zappos used to come the next day, and now it takes about five business days. But, where am I going, and who am I seeing? Nowhere and no one. And, that’s why those boxes containing can openers, socks and privacy envelopes can show up whenever they’d like. It just doesn’t matter. Nothing really does anymore. (Perhaps I need one of those depression parades I mentioned.)
Trump is still tanning as the death toll climbs to 88K. He stands tall and freshly-oranged before the first lie flies out of his mouth at his press conferences, where he informs Americans about absolutely nothing. I’m really not sure if he’s using an Indian Earth kind of face bronzer that’s applied with a brush or a tanning cream or spray. I’ve heard rumblings about him having his own tanning bed, too. Who knows? But, the contrasting white skin around his beady eyes makes it pretty clear that he wears goggles when he beautifies himself. It’s just so inspiring that he carves out time to tan when he’s working tirelessly to get Americans the tests that he said were readily available.
My circadian rhythm is like, “‘Wtf?” I get into bed anywhere from 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., and sometimes that’s after I fall asleep on the couch. I sleep in two-hour blocks, waking up all throughout the night to pee or to readjust my shoulder because of pain. I used to exercise at 8 a.m. every day, but now I go running at 1 pm. Since I don’t eat beforehand, I’m not eating until at least 2 p.m. The experts are all saying that maintaining a regular schedule during the lockdown will stave off anxiety and depression and could keep you from turning into a complete psycho. Oops, too late. That must be why I turned into Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction last week when I told my boyfriend I wasn’t “going to be ignored.”
I dedicate this blog to the memory of two people who passed away from issues other than the Coronavirus. My cousin Sid Keller passed away last Friday. He made it to almost 91 and was a great grandfather. A long life doesn’t make the pain for his family any less, though. Debbie Gardner, the mother of one of my close friends, held on until 3:30 am the day after Mother’s Day. That is right on par for the devoted mother and grandmother she always was. May Sid and Debbie rest peacefully.
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