Isolation Diary - Part II
The daily paper tells me that today is Monday. I’m not due to publish this until Thursday. No problem. That’s three more defrosted dinners until the deadline. I may be out of touch with the days of the week, but fortunately, I’m still able to remember what I’ve eaten.
Let me clarify. These are not TV dinner-style frozen meals, but neatly wrapped little packages of whatever was available in the meat case the last time I went food shopping, which now seems like a year ago. Even in these challenging times, we are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with a balance of protein, vegetables, and Cheerios.
I’m still cooking a lot, and practicing avoidance techniques when it comes to exercising. But there have been some small changes since my last entry. For one thing, I’m no longer talking to my shorts. Instead, I’m talking to my shoes. Not the worn-out Skechers in which I clop around the house. Nor the practical sneakers that I lace up when walking Sam the Dog. No, those get plenty of attention.
I’m referring to the chic, impractical now-neglected shoes that sit on the shelf gathering dust. You know the shoes I mean. The strappy ones with heels greater than an inch that are only good for following the restaurant host to a table and immediately sitting. I offer apologies for the disuse, and tell them it’s not my fault. Perhaps I should consider wearing a pair each night as we dine on the evening’s defrosted special?
And speaking of Sam the Dog, I do believe this social distancing thing is taking a toll on him, as well. He seems really sad lately. I think I know why. But how do you make a dog understand that he can’t engage in a decent butt-sniff because I must maintain a six-foot space between me and that other dog’s owner? I’ve tried, but I might as well be talking to my shoes.
I figured with all this new found time, I might try something new. You know, move out of the old comfort zone. So I decided to take my writing in a different direction – poetry. Hey, why not? I know a lot of rhyming words. I did take a stab at it, which I will modestly share with you now. It very much expresses the agony of today.
There once were two lovers from Florida
Who felt things could not get much horrider
When you’re six feet apart
It tears at the heart
You can’t f**k from two ends of the corridor.
I hope my use of language did not offend. I know a took liberties; “horrider” isn’t really a word.
I’m pleased to say that my color-coded food storage container idea has been working out very well. As are my alphabetized spice jars, and books organized according to number of pages. For my next project, I think I might arrange the groceries in the pantry according to size. I’m sure this will serve no useful function, but it might be more aesthetically pleasing than seeing a squat can of tuna abutting a large box of cereal. I’ll let you know.
The other day I downloaded instructions for making a face mask out of a T shirt. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s next on the list after the pantry. I might have to sacrifice my Willie Nelson for President garment, but hey, it’s for a good cause. I’ll let you know how that goes, too.
That’s it for now, diary. The anticipation of all this activity is exhausting. I need a nap.
Diary? Whom am I kidding? Keeping a diary implies that you know what day of the week it is. Which I don’t. For any orientation at all, I rely on the daily newspaper delivery, which miraculously arrives at our house each morning.
Part of my husband’s physical fitness routine is walking to the edge of the driveway with a pair of repurposed barbecue tongs. With these, he lifts the paper and gingerly brings it into the house, removes the plastic wrapping, and skillfully lowers it into the garbage pail. I note how deftly the plastic never touches his skin. It took about a week, but with diligence and determination, the entire operation is now a well-oiled machine.
And so begins the day. Which day? Any day. It doesn’t matter. All the diary entries would be the same.
This morning I think I’m scheduled to participate in another Zoom meeting. This presents me with a big decision. Is this encounter make-up worthy? I haven’t worn make-up in weeks. I think I’ve forgotten how. But I can tell you this. I don’t miss having to remove it at night. One less ritual standing between me and my pillow.
I’m expecting a grocery delivery today. I think it’s today. I know it didn’t come yesterday. I have been cautioned about going to the super market, so I now use a service which provides me with a personal shopper. I’ve always thought that having a personal shopper would be very nice. But this is not exactly what I had in mind. My ideal was a person who would select my spring wardrobe, not a head of lettuce. But let’s face it. What would I do with a spring wardrobe right now? A head of lettuce on the other hand, after it’s carefully disinfected, is a nice touch with my tuna sandwich.
My home is becoming very organized. In my last essay (I think it was my last essay) I told you how I busied myself by refilling my spice jars. Then arranging them in alphabetical order. Well, today I color-coded my collection of food storage containers. Now, at a single glance, I can tell which top goes with which bottom because the set will have a matching gaily colored dot that is dishwasher safe. If you’ve ever rummaged through your food storage drawer looking for a lid that fits, then you’ll appreciate what a time-saver this can be.
I’ve also reorganized my clothes closet in an effort to rail against the urge to throw on the same pair of sweat pants every day. Instead, I have neatly lined up my shorts (remember, I’m in Florida) and made myself a promise to don a different pair each day. Kind of like the old-fashioned set of undies with the day of the week sewed on the tush, but sans the embroidery. I still don’t know what day of the week it is, but it’s working nicely. However, should I be worried that I am now talking to my pants? Okay, gray, I just put blue back on the hanger, and today it’s your turn. I don’t know. It seems harmless enough. I’ll save the concern for when they begin to answer me.
I need a haircut. Do I dare? The beauty salons are all closed, so I have no choice. I have a pair of scissors. A little snip here, a little snip there. How much damage can I do? And who would see me anyway? Just my husband. And Sam the Dog. Sam needs a haircut too. Maybe that would be a good place to start. Fortunately, I had the foresight to go au natural a few years ago. At least I don’t have to obsess about my roots growing out. Or do they grow in? Whichever, but no longer my concern. Now if I can just find Sam….
I’ve been cooking a lot. The other day my neighbor shared some produce with me that was straight from the farm. I’m not sure where the farm was located, but by the size of the vegetables, I would guess it’s somewhere in the Amazon jungle. I received a large eggplant, an enormous green pepper, a zucchini that could double as a battery-operated vibrator for Mrs. Green Giant. That should provide plenty of ho-ho-hos. And, oh yes, an armful of tomatoes. So, adhering to the “if life gives you lemons…” philosophy, I produced a vat-full of ratatouille. It was quite good actually. Even the second, third, and fourth time that we’ve eaten it.
I should be doing more exercise. I certainly have the time. But apparently, sheltering in place hasn’t ebbed my avoidance strategies, like rearranging all my books according to number of pages. Do you think frequent washing burns significant calories? I could be wrong, but to me, my hands look much thinner.
So, dear diary, that’s enough of an entry for one day. Or has it been two days? Sam, where’s that darn newspaper?
About the Author
Susan is the author of two award-winning collections of humorous personal essays: “How Old Am I in Dog Years?” and “How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About.” Check out her Author Page HERE.