I feel like a marshmallow snowman who was put down too close to the fire; blotchy and expanding at a frightening rate.
I stress eat at work. This week, a family sized package of Cadbury eggs all but disappeared. If you look at my suit pants which no longer zip up all the way, or the sagging ass of my ‘Rockstar’ jeans, you can appreciate where the chocolate went.
I’ve spent some time complaining about people who aren’t taking this pandemic seriously. It makes me sound holier-than-thou, and to be honest, I’m not. I’m a middle-aged woman who misses her privileged normal.
Today would have marked my annual arrival on my favourite island. Right now, I’d be slipping under crisp, white sheets in an air-conditioned room, tipsy from rum punch, and nursing an almost-sunburn. Instead, I’m ironing white dress shirts to take in to work tomorrow to get me through a week of death and destruction.
This whole social distancing thing is getting to me. It’s not because I can’t stay home. Au contraire. I fascinate myself. I can keep myself wonderful company in solitude. As a matter of fact, it’s my preferred state. I’m a writer, a reader, a baker, a needleworker, a gardener, and the toatler of tea.
When I’m in the mood for company, I prefer gin for conversations, and bubbly for the type of communication that doesn’t require words. I miss going out to write, to watch the world go by, and catch people’s idiosyncrasies while they’re not watching.
I miss feeling like a woman worth taking a chance on. I miss my pedicures, and spa days. I miss all of the things that I habitually do outside of my home. I miss face to face conversations that have no agenda that take place in the kind of coffee shops that make me feel like an intellectual. That’s where the richness is.
I’m tired of tech and texts. I want to be close enough to someone I find interesting, that I can see the tiny tells that give them away. I miss connection.
I want certainty back. My little brain has never been good at flexibility. My father used to say that I would have made a great drill sergeant. I like order. I like procedure, protocol, efficiency. None of this working-the-front-lines has any of that certainty right now. And I’m struggling with professional suppleness.
Today I almost upended a twelve year old on her bicycle. On purpose.
As she ran her tires up my back leg, I was required to take the headphones out of my ears and interrupt Tom Hanks’ soothing voice as he read Ann Patchett’s, The Dutch House to me. Her parents, I decided on the spot, were useless wankers.
I value my walks as private time. My house is a sanctuary of peace, except when there are two, twenty-somethings back at the nest and a hubby who works from home. During this time of duress, I like to have my phone conversations in private while I’m trying to walk off some of the Cadbury eggs.
I take extra long, extra hot baths and use a plethora of face masks to try and erase the worry from my face.
I drink more; lemon water during the day to stay hydrated while breathing that hot, heavy breath through a mask, tea at night to calm my nerves, and on the weekends, I lean pretty heavily on gin to maintain my charm.
I want a weekend away in a hotel suite with a fireplace, and a giant bed with layers of fluffy white duvets. I want to be spoiled rotten with fine dining, really great wine, and a new piece of sparkly jewelry to remember the weekend by. I want the freedom to wake up late and not worry about what doesn’t get done just for a day or two.
In the past I had a small reserve of men upon whom I could call to relieve some tension; the olympic athlete, the bookworm, the suave European charmer, the hippie ( I always liked the hippies), the businessman, the stupid but handsome younger man….
I’ve traded them all in for one man whom I have accepted adulthood with. Lucky him. Being bound to our homes and workplaces, we’re getting a chance to get to know one another…again. Lucky us. He has taken to his own long walk regime, a headset that signals silence, and watching television in another room. I have established a hidden stash of gin. Everyone’s happy.
As this social distancing continues, I’m reaching out to other funeral director friends from around the world. It hasn’t taken long to gather a list of friends who may be wanting to sit on a white-sand beach with me when the world heals, and celebrate with slushy drinks and suntans. How’s that for privilege?