Thursday, April 18, 2024

C. Stroup: The corona lockdown experience

C. Stroup
C. Stroup

Pretty sure we’re all exhausted from hearing about the virus.  Probably we’re all sick to death that we might catch our death.  And it’s an absolute certainty that the rules keep changing on how best to avoid it.  So I decided to add to that inescapability by sharing some of what’s happened to me during the pandemic.  Also included are some of my favorite funnies from emails that have clogged my inbox over the past few months.  They are, however, a pleasant diversion in addition to being things I can totally relate to.

I’ll begin with a kitchen quip because the kitchen is a very popular locale in most households: “I miss the days when we were terrified of Romaine lettuce.  Ah, the good old times…” Personally, I miss my good old spacious kitchen.  I swear when we moved in it had four times the amount of square feet as it does now.  Over the course of the past few months it has gradually shrunk in size.  Everywhere I turn I’m either stepping on a cat or my husband.  They’re both under foot.  I go to use the sink and Ken is standing in front of it looking out of the window.  Sometimes he’s washing his hands, (a good thing) sometimes he’s just standing there, gazing wistfully out at wide open spaces.  If I’m trying to set the table for dinner, he’s in front of the two drawers that house the flatware I need.  He moves to get out of my way to in front of the refrigerator.  Sigh.

Being on house arrest I notice my husband displaying behavior described in some of my emails: “It’s highly understandable why pets try to run out of the house when the door opens.”

“After an extended in-home stay, a dog will look at its owner like, ‘See? This is why I chew the furniture.’”

“Coronavirus has turned us all into dogs. We roam the house all day looking for food.  We’re told ‘no’ if we get too close to strangers and we get really excited about car rides.”

The mask and gloves that have become such a pain in the ask me how I really feel, are just two more things to remember before I leave the house.  The mask bugs me the most because my glasses steam up so bad I can’t see with it on.  And I can’t be seen out in public with it off.  The good news is I don’t have to wear lipstick or make-up on the lower half of my face.

But here again, my husband gets the short end of the stick…He grumbles under his breath, “I don’t want to wear that thing.  I wouldn’t mind so much but it’s pink.  That’s for sissies!”  I countered with, “Well, would you rather be called a sissy or would you rather have CV-19?”  So we scored him a couple of blue masks, and a couple for me as well.  So now when he drives my car he leaves his blue mask on the front seat next to mine.

Truly, I’m very committed to wearing a mask and gloves when required because I am a big chicken.  My son and his family are well aware of my insistence about following the rules to include six feet social distancing.  For my birthday celebration they honored my convictions, not by doing as I do but by staying away.  Instead they arranged for Grub Hub to deliver my favorite meal and after we ate we FaceTimed for about an hour.  It wasn’t the same as being in their presence but it was the next best thing!  I even wore my mask and gloves just in case! “Reminder:  9 p.m. is the time to remove your day pajamas and put your night pajamas on.”

For Mother’s Day we were faced with the same dilemma as far as being in the kid’s presence. You see, they have a pretty cavalier attitude toward the rules surrounding this whole corona thing.  They, along with a bunch of their friends, make purchases and share amongst themselves without the aid of any PPE.  They fancy themselves as bulletproof.  I received a text message from my daughter-in-law (Amy) early on Mother’s Day saying how much they would miss seeing me and she and the fam were sending their love.  Almost the entire day went by and I had yet to hear from my son.  This was totally unlike him…no call, no text, no email, no word from Brad.  My husband expressed some disdain and I acted as though it didn’t matter to me in the least.  Lo and behold, around four o’clock I noticed a familiar van parked out at the end of our driveway.  Amy was clad in a mask and gloves toting a hanging begonia basket in each hand.  The plan was to surprise me by dropping them on the front porch as Brad videoed the coup.  Amy had worn her protection into the Home Depot where she purchased the posies to show they weren’t contaminated.  Oh, those kiddos are so clever!  Fortunately for me, having seen their car I met them in the driveway, mask on.  They were busted!  We spent more than an hour, about 12 feet away from each other, chatting and declaring our love.  The grandchildren were patient for, oh say, less than 15 minutes of that time before they became a bit unruly.  The 7 year-old, Jaci, was fairly well behaved until she began climbing around the inside of the van and started pushing the buttons to raise and lower the windows.  Gabby, age 5, crawled out of the side window and would have escaped to the ground had not Brad grabbed her by the foot.  And terrible 2 year-old Ryker was like a grasshopper on steroids.  He and Gabby disappeared in the back of the van and it began rocking.  Seriously, it was actually rocking and bouncing up and down.  Neither Brad nor Amy seemed bothered by the disturbance.  They are use to such busyness.

And let us not poo poo the toilet paper pillage that has been paramount throughout the pandemic.  (Say that 3 times fast.)  This one is good for kitchen or bath: “Anyone have a recipe to make toilet paper out of cauliflower?”  And my all-time favorite:

“If you need 144 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, You probably should have been seeing a doctor long before COVID-19.”

C. Stroup
C. Stroup
Cindy Stroup is a Double Oak resident and has been contributing to The Cross Timbers Gazette for over 30 years. Read her column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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