THE STATE OF THE UNION

Remember back when the whole COVID thing started? When we were told to get enough food on hand to last two weeks? And we thought that would be hard?

Remember when they told us to sanitize our surfaces, our groceries, and each other? And masks were something they wore in Asian countries?

Remember when I had to remind my husband to wash his hands when he came home? And when we had to have a sanitizing tutorial?

Oh, we were so naive back then.

It has been a year of COVID. Not two weeks. We locked down. We wore our pajamas all day, and still do, because we are going nowhere. We have been isolated with only our spouses (those of us lucky enough not to live alone).

So, you ask, after all these months of seeing only my husband and the occasional drive-thru employee, how is our marriage doing? We are still married, by the way. Of course, splitting up would involve one of us leaving the apartment, so naturally, staying together was the only option.

Here is what I have learned about our relationship during this unusual and once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) pandemic:

  • All those people who touted “family game nights” and “movie nights” to make the pandemic palatable are not married to my husband, who won’t watch a movie at home with me “Because you constantly interrupt to ask questions,” and who grew up in a game-playing family, thus hating all board and card games from an early age.
  • Puzzles. We have a cat. And I have that husband (see above).
  • Apparently, staring into space is an actual pastime.
  • Sandwiches aren’t for dinner.
  • Eggs aren’t for dinner.
  • Taking a “drive” is one way to get out of the house. However, my husband thinks I appreciate tours of industrial parks, dump sites, and blighted neighborhoods. I am not sure if these are meant to make me appreciate our privilege, or just that he likes dumps.
  • I never realized how much my husband loves pickles.
  • It is not a nap if you are sitting in a chair. Thus, he declares that I am the only one in the relationship who takes naps, despite the fact that I hear snoring coming from the living room every day at 4:00 pm.
  • After nearly one year in isolation, there are virtually no conversational topics that haven’t been covered multiple times.
  • We both love Judy Woodruff.
  • He thinks that I might just be embracing agoraphobia.
  • I think he is so desperate for social interaction that he is making it a habit to lie in wait  for the mail carrier. He denies this, despite the fact that he starts looking out the window for the USPS truck every afternoon at 3:00, rushing out of here the moment it arrives. Our mail carrier is named Howard. He has three children. His wife is a teacher. She hates the whole online learning thing. Howard’s favorite color is blue, and his guilty pleasure is kettle corn. I rest my case.
  • We both have developed a tremendous fondness for flannel.
  • Pancakes are not for dinner.

When this is all over (if it ever is), we wonder how long it will take before we will be able to get closer than six feet from a friend, if we will be able to set foot in a theatre or restaurant without some panic, if the idea of going to a party won’t seem incredibly foolhardy, and if either one of us will want to shake hands with anybody ever again.

But we both agree that this year hasn’t been all that bad. But let me say this: if anybody tries to cut in front of us in the vaccine line, that person will live to regret it.

 

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