Tag Archives: Quarantine

Nightmares, Jello, and other notes from a Quarantine.

You would not know it from reading these pages, but I was doing alright. I mean, there were periods of rage, bewilderment and sheer what-the-fuckery happening to me on a daily basis, but more or less I was fine. I could have won a gold medal for number of times unloading the dishwasher in a single day, and even though we are living in pajamas, I was enduring marathon laundry sessions befitting an outfit-changing Southern debutante (seriously, people — what is it that I am washing exactly?), but I was ok.

Until I wasn’t.

After a close assessment of the goings-on around me, I’m pretty sure that I can blame Passover, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure it wasn’t the children’s fault. Either way, Passover ended, and I put my kitchen back together. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, just know that for some reason celebrating the Exodus involves changing over all our dishes, silverware and pots and pans. Also, excessive amounts of potato flour.)

And then I sank.

I sank for a few days, which involved me opening the fridge, closing it and climbing into bed. It involved me walking downstairs, making eye contact with all the people who needed me, and then climbing into bed. It involved answering the nine million requests which came my way each day, even the ones that came to me while I was in the bathroom with the door locked (side note: if you can slide a note under the door then you can probably answer the question yourself), and then climbing into bed. I climbed into bed but did not rest. I just lay there swimming in a sea of jello sadness, which is the best description I can think of. (I hate jello. I would rather have been swimming in a sea of rice pudding, but I had no say in the matter.)

And then, the dreams. I know we have all been sleeping strangely, and #CoronaDreams is a real thing, but as my cousin H. likes to say, when I get really anxious, the Nazis visit and last night I had such an awful, vivid Nazi dream that I woke up gasping for breath, and I think it had more to with my state of mind than with the fact that Yom Hashoah begins tonight, but I could be wrong about that because lately I am wrong about many things). I decided to get up and leave the Nazis in bed and when I got back a few hours later, they were gone. (I don’t know where they went, but if they came to your house next and screwed up your dreams, I’m truly sorry.)

Maybe it’s because we all thought it would be over by now. Maybe it’s because Spring is a pretty evil season to begin with (it’s raining/it’s sunny/it’s raining/it’s sunny) and it’s not like there’s much about summer we can anticipate. (Yelling, but in sundresses and shorts?) Maybe it’s because suddenly everyone wants to garden and all of the plants and seeds I buy every year are SOLD OUT. (Come on people, I’m not buying your baking shit, can’t you just leave my plants alone?)

Who knows? Either way, I can say that whatever it was began to lift this morning when I woke up (I did go back to sleep eventually and if I dreamed, I certainly don’t remember it) and realized the kids would be on some kind of schedule because school was returning and that meant I could also go back to work. Maybe it’s because it hasn’t rained yet today (sometime I wonder how I survived seven years in Seattle and then I realize that I almost didn’t). Maybe it’s because M made dinner last night while I hid in the bedroom and all I needed was a night off. (Ok, maybe I need one more.)

I hope this week is better. I hope that the daily grocery-slot lottery I play ends with a win and not the constant rejection to which I have now grown accustomed.

I hope the Nazis leave us all alone.


Filed under Coronavirus, Quarantine, Sleep, Sleep, Sleeplessness, Karma, Marriage, Uncategorized

The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, the Silkwood Shower … and Other Notes From a Quarantine.

After almost three weeks of being virtually entirely reliant on food delivery, yesterday I woke up early and headed to the store. I went in search of toilet paper. I went in search of toilet paper and came home without toilet paper and I don’t need to tell any of you why that is. Apparently Americans are currently wiping their bums at an alarming rate, because you can’t find the stuff anywhere and I’m starting to get nervous and may or may not have just purchased some dodgy TP on Ebay.

I’m pretty sure I spent the entirety of my time in the store touching my face, so once I got home from the store, I promptly stripped down and reenacted the Silkwood shower scene, which for those of you too young to have any idea what I’m talking about is this:

Image result for silkwood shower

I had assumed yesterday’s shower was my big grooming effort for the week, but alas I spoke to a NYT reporter about life in quarantine/extreme social distancing (day 21!) and the paper sent over a photographer to photograph us in our natural habitat (from a distance) which mostly involved me unloading and then loading the dishwasher and washing my hands while singing nothing because there are no songs left for me to sing.

Let me just say this, and I hope you’re all ok with a bit of profanity: I’m pretty sure that when this article comes out I’m gonna look like an enormous asshole, which is all but impossible when a photographer comes into your home and you’re pretending that your own little corner of disfunction is anything but that. (When you’ve basically only been in the company of your own family for 21 days, interacting with a stranger is awkward. Also, try convincing your now-sixteen year old son that the best way to celebrate his big birthday is with the very family members who he’s been penned in with for three weeks, a random photographer and a tub of Clorox wipes.)

I’m also going to look like the kind of woman who thinks it’s ok to show up for a photo session in leggings and a dirty black sweatshirt that was clean hours ago but is now covered in all the food I’d been shoving into my mouth all day. In my defense, I thought I’d upped my game by removing the regular leggings I have been wearing nonstop for 21 days and put on the shiny pair I save for special occasions but I’m pretty sure there was a piece of pasta stuck to my butt the entire time, so shiny or not I’m still gonna look like an enormous asshole with penne on my backside.

I cannot say anything else about the pasta or all the rest of the rest of the food I consumed today because there is just so much of it and I couldn’t even tell you what I ate. Except for a chickpea pancake. I have decided that if I eat chickpea pancakes once a day I’ll be balancing out the meat consumption in the house and counteracting all the other crap I’m consuming. So far, being a smug vegan does not seem to be working. I feel revolting. All the time.

We awoke to snow here in New York, which seemed to taunt us for the first hours of the day. Every time I looked out the window, the snowflakes (which eventually turned to freezing rain, because why not?) seemed to whisper — oh, you want a snow day? oh, I’ll give you a snow day! In fact, I’ll give you about 21 days in a row. How about them apples?

I do not like them apples. I do not like them at all. I may have wanted a snow day but I didn’t want this. And now there is photographic evidence of this endless snow day… and plenty of it is of me unloading the dishwasher and of me washing my hands.

Which I’m about to go and do again, and while I’m at it, I suggest you do the same. Also, check your butt. I think you have some rice stuck to it. You can thank me later.




Filed under Coronavirus, Quarantine, Uncategorized

A word about the snacking, and the things I miss. (Notes from a Quarantine.)

A few surprises.

  1. I miss my minivan. Sometimes I climb out of bed, where I am spending an inordinate amount of time, and gaze wistfully out the window at the giant family wagon parked on the street — empty and unused. I think of all the dings and scratches I got squeezing that thing into compact parking spaces (compact, my ass), all the times I wished I drove something zippier and sexier, like a Mini Cooper (humor me, please). I think of all the hours I spent cursing the van, as I drove mind-numbing amounts of carpool and hauled myself in and out with groceries nobody would help me bring into the house.
  2. I do not yet miss grocery shopping. Get back to me on that. Also, go wash your hands.
  3. I miss not being hungry. Before this, I was the kind of person who could skip lunch without knowing it. I’d even been known to say super annoying things like, “Those cookies look great, but I’m not hungry right now.” Now, all I am is hungry. I’m hungry when I wake up. I’m hungry when I go to bed. And it’s not for a lack of eating. All I’m doing is eating. I’m eating things I don’t even like (tortilla chips = cardboard, sue me.) I’m eating just about every hour on the hour and if you could see me (which you can’t because you can’t come over, nobody can), you’d know that I spend just about every minute of the day with a mouth full of food. Speaking of which, I’m hungry again and there is a vegan ice cream bar with my name on it (judge not, people). I’ll be right back. Go wash your hands while you’re waiting.
  4. I miss tights and boots and I’m worried that by the time I’m allowed outside again tights and boots season will be over and I’ll be launched into the season in which I’m forced to worry about the condition of my feet. I do not, not even for a minute, want to talk about the current state of my legs.
  5. I miss not worrying about people in my community who may be sick.
  6. I miss unloading the dishwasher and then not IMMEDIATELY loading it with all the filthy dishes which have accumulated in the sink. Also, the three thousand glasses my family seems to go through in one day. While I love a metal straw, I’m sort of wishing that we hadn’t jumped on that bandwagon until after the quarantine, because ask me how fun it is to clean 100 of those a day. Speaking of soap and water, go wash your hands. I’ll be here when you get back.
  7. I miss my friends. It turns out I am not an introvert after all. Or perhaps I’m just not the kind of person who can be trapped in a house with her children for 10 plus days and not lose her mind.
  8. I miss not having to see my face in a Zoom camera several times a day and getting the SHOCK of my life when I see the crypt-keeper staring back at me.

Image result for the cryptkeeper

Forget toilet paper and Lysol wipes. If this thing goes on forever, I’m hoarding concealer.

Mostly, I miss the sense of normalcy of life before we were all indoors. My kids are starting to look like the children from the Flowers in the Attic, and not in that adorable tow-headed (yet incest-y) way. The only winner has been our cat Lois, who hates to be home alone (also, not apparently much of an introvert) and thinks she has died and gone to homebody heaven.

Hoping you all have good, restful weekends, that you are doing a better job than I am of fighting off the snacking demons, and that you did not (as I may have) pull a child by the ponytail this week. #winning.

Now, go wash your hands.

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Filed under Quarantine, Uncategorized

This is the Corner We Live In. (Notes from the Quarantine.)

Before I start, let me just say this: This is a scary time and some people in my community are sick. My kids’ schools have been closed and they are all under a two-week quarantine. Because I teach in one of the schools, so am I. While most of us are scared,  many more have it FAR worse than I have it at the moment.

Having said that, this effing sucks. I love my husband. I love my children. I do not, under any circumstances, need to be trapped in the house with them for going on ten days. Here’s what else I don’t need —

  1. To ever wipe a counter again. I basically stand in the kitchen from 8-6 and wipe the counters. Inevitably, I wipe some crap from the counter onto the floor and have to go looking for the broom which is in a supply closet along with 2,000 bottles of foaming hand soap. Also, bleach.
  2. To paint, glue, or do any crafting of any sort. There are many hours to fill, even with Zoom-classrooms and spurts of screen-time. But my oldest child is almost eighteen, which means I have basically aged out of playgrounds, sippy cups, and just about any crafting of any sort. But quarantine knows no age, and I spent an hour outside today painting rocks with my youngest, who is nine, and for whom this all may be the most difficult. I have also gotten busy with a fuse bead board and while we cannot breathe air that has come from anyone else, we are all inhaling the sweet-smelling fumes of the Shrinky-Dink.
  3. If you’re reading this, it’s time to wash your hands. Go now. I’ll wait.
  4. Lunch. If I gave you breakfast, and I’m giving you dinner, find your own lunch. Just remember to wipe the counters and wash your hands, and fine, I’ll do it for you.
  5. To ever know what time or day it is. I am an infant when it comes to Daylight Savings and it normally takes a good week for me to adjust. Now that I never leave the house, not only do I never know what day it is, I also never know the time. The only thing I do know that it is always time to for someone to stand in front of an open fridge and ask what’s for lunch.
  6. To listen to any more fights. People — this could go on forever. Let her choose the channel. Share your snack. Stop touching her. Take your foot off her leg.
  7. To spend any more time in sweats. Like bed-rest, quarantine was the kind of thing I once may have wished for — time at home (the children did not factor into my fantasy), clothed in an elasticated waist and a sweatshirt I’ve likely had since college. But ten days in, I think my sweats are even sick of me. I tried to put some makeup on and get properly dressed today (look! a bra!) but then realized that I was about to spend the day wiping counters and yelling at people and thought the better of it.

I’m wishing everyone good health and peace of mind to get through all this time inside. I hope you have better snack food than I do. I hope your children clean up after themselves, but if they do, I really don’t want to hear about it. Also, no posts please about chore wheels.

It’s time to wash your hands again. Go now, I’ll wait.

PS: Here I am after I spent time outside painting rocks. I’d like to thank the child who took time away from fighting with her sister to memorialize just how glamorous I look.


Filed under Quarantine, Uncategorized