I envy all the real grown ups out there. Some grown ups I know are barely out of their teens. Others are appropriately mature considering their age. I have been watching a lot of news lately, and I see adulting all around me: Politicians who when asked about the current administration, reply with diplomacy-veiled candor, managing to criticize yet remain within the bounds of decency. Protesters who are gassed, abused, and still continue to address wrongs, despite it all. People who manage to politely ask those crass ones who aren’t wearing masks to put one on, somehow doing this without offending the maskless. People who are given very poor customer service and manage to “talk to the manager” with their inside voices.

As my daughters and husband will attest, I am not one of these people. I want to be one of these people.Yet, time and time again, I have triggering episodes that cause me to

  • Threaten to close my account
  • Use goddamnit
  • Honk my horn more than the socially acceptable two beeps
  • Roll my eyes as rudely as possible
  • Ask the offending party “WHAT DID YOU SAY JUST NOW?”
  • Fail to take the other person’s point of view into consideration
  • Assume that the person sitting at the help desk isn’t really listening to me and tell that person so
  • Ask “Are you kidding?” in a very sarcastic tone
  • Turn tail and walk out
  • Give my husband the silent treatment

I would like to think that the pandemic is causing me to sit and reflect upon my shortcomings. I want to take a solemn vow to be more polite. I hope to learn how to mince my words. I feel that this time of solitude should result in me emerging from quarantine a more balanced, sane, and calm individual.

However. The leopards and spots thing…


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