What is the “new normal,” anyway? I have never seen the movie Groundhog Day, but doesn’t it have something to do with a guy waking up every day and doing the same thing over and over?

I think that is what all of us are doing right now. Same old, same old, Staying home. Cooking. Some people bake. Lots of gardening and home projects. Cleaning out closets. Sewing masks. Binge watching things.

None of the above describes me, except for the binge watching. I live in a brand-new apartment. No scope for home improvement projects. I don’t have a garden. The closets are clean, due to the fact that we had a major clothing and belongings purge before we moved. Sewing? That’s a joke. I do binge, but don’t we all?

Here is a list of what I AM doing:

  • Showing up for a socially distanced dinner at our friends’ lovely yard on the wrong night. Three freaking days too soon. Thank goodness these are British friends, because they were actually dressed in street clothes, not pajamas like all of us born in the USA. They were so very gracious to implore us to stay anyway, and we had a lovely pizza dinner in their garden. I did hear the husband whisper to the wife “What shall we do with the dinner you have in the cooker?” To which she shook her head and whispered  back something like “Hush; we can have it tomorrow, go in and turn off the Aga.”
  • Exercising in the COVID way. This entails not leaving the apartment for fear of droplets. Thus, I wait until my husband leaves and walk purposely around the apartment to the beat of my Pandora playlist for 30 minutes every day. While pacing, I pray that the person who lives below us doesn’t wonder if I am being held against my will.
  • Podcasts. Some people listen to podcasts to learn about science, culture, or to keep up with current events, such as which law our POTUS shattered today. But I listen to the murder podcasts. The ones in which Joe Blow  disappeared without a trace twenty years ago and there is not one clue as to his whereabouts.
  • Napping. The Washington Post, or maybe it was The Guardian, said that people who nap during the pandemic have less stress. I am not sure that this is true, but taking a nap in the afternoon does kill an hour, so there’s that.
  • Dinner. My God, the pandemic certainly has dulled my will to live as far as dinner is concerned. What started out as new adventures in the kitchen has turned into tuna salad sandwiches and tomato soup. As a result, I have re-subscribed to Gobble, and those lovely food boxes have saved me. Tilapia with garlic and shallot confit, served over lime cilantro rice, all in 15 minutes. What on earth possessed me to cancel my food box subscription in the first place? It was probably a misplaced attempt at frugality.
  • Reading thrillers. There is nothing better than Harlan Coben and a glass of La Croix to set up for a nice late afternoon–you know, as a prelude to the food  box.
  • A kitten. Training my kitten not to get up on the kitchen counters. This is not going well.
  • Facetiming with my grandchildren. This is an exercise in chaos, with Birdie elbowing Charlie out of the way, Charlie howling at Birdie, Marion yelling at both of them to “CALM DOWN AND TALK TO YOUR GRANDMA,” and me, trying to get a word in edgewise.
  • Impulse shopping on Amazon. I now have an extensive wardrobe of masks in many fashionable configurations, which is pretty ridiculous, as I rarely go out of the house, except to
  • Go to the store in great fear and trepidation for fresh produce, especially watermelon. Online shopping for watermelon has not borne much fruit (see what I did there?).

Life is full. Not.


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