If you would like an update on the DIY kit I mentioned in my last post here is a terrible tiny chair that looks absolutely NOTHING like the example and took me about fifty-seven headache-infused years to assemble plus I glued my fingers together like twice and now the cat is judging it (rude, like she could do any better), so anyhoo that’s all coming right along.

I am definitely starting to feel a little stir crazy, at least I find myself gazing out the window on a regular basis with that third-day-of-being-snowed-in feeling where the novelty has dissolved and now you just want to drive to TJ Maxx without putting your life at risk.

Maybe some of that trapped feeling comes not just from being, you know, legitimately sort of trapped aside from walks, but from being absolutely bombarded with this one thing we’re all constantly talking and thinking about. It’s every piece of media, every deserted street, every closed sign, every text and every phone call. I go to sleep worrying about it and wake up worrying about it. It’s smothering, you know?

Whenever I am tempted to click YES on the mental Evite RSVP for a looming pity party I try to remind myself how incredibly lucky my family is to be so well-suited for lockdown. Both of us already worked from home, our jobs are intact thus far, the children are old enough to not require constant care, we have a decent if dwindling supply of toilet paper, we live in a golden age of streaming entertainment, everyone’s healthy, and all four of us are various levels of introvert so no one really minds being forbidden from social activity.

I mean honestly, we’ve got this. (But also: hnnnnngggggggggggghhhh.)

Speaking of streaming entertainment, I sure hope you are watching Tiger King on Netflix right now. Get past the first episode which just kind of introduces you to the players and settle in for a wild ride into polygamy, cults, drug lords, insanely terrible mullets, plenty of missing teeth and/or arms, more animal print leggings than you ever could have imagined existed, murder, and more. If that can’t buy you a brief break from All Covid, All the Time, I don’t know what will.

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This DIY kit has been on my Amazon wishlist forever and when it became clear that we were going to be housebound for who knows how long I went ahead and ordered it, so that is my little ongoing project right now. I keep the materials on our kitchen table (we are savages who mostly eat at the counter in shifts rather than regularly sitting down to a family meal, I used to feel slightly guilty about that but is family togetherness something we’re short on right now IT SURE ISN’T) and when I’m not swatting the cat off of my various piles of impossibly tiny things I’m hunched over them cursing my middle-aged eyesight and wondering what kind of witchcraft a person has to be capable of to produce a final product that truly resembles the photos because holy shit.

Every single blessed item in the model has to be meticulously cut out and hand-assembled using tweezers and glue and needle-nosed pliers and a level of hand-eye coordination that’s pretty much beyond me and I’m sure if I ever do finish it the overall vibe will be very Pinterest Fail but, well, it’s something to periodically obsess over, and is generally a decent break from doing the web browsing equivalent of chain-smoking one terrifying infection/economy projection after another.

I gave the kids a shorter schedule of “school” for this week since we are technically on spring break (my calendar keeps prompting me with Disneyland reservation reminders, whomp) and that keeps them occupied at least until lunch, which lets John and I focus on work. Overall they have been quite resilient about all of this, if they are anxious in any way it’s not apparent to me. Riley in particular is well-suited for the indoor life because he can happily play infinite amounts of video games, and Dylan will shoot hoops in the driveway for actual hours on end.

They’ve always had plenty of friends in school and in sports but have been hardcore homebodies rather than wanting playdates or sleepovers. I’ve never quite understood that — spending time with friends was such a huge part of my younger years — but nothing about either of them has ever sent up a red flag in terms of being lonely or wishing to hang out more but being unable to do so for whatever reason. At any rate, their solo traits are serving them well right now, because while I’m sure they are missing their peers, they, like me, are not exactly having to press pause on a wildly overscheduled dance card.

The rains have returned and that feels a bit like Isolation: Hard Mode. Much gloomier and of course much less fun to walk in, and maybe that’s just the current headspace I’m in but there’s also this sort of national mood shift that seems to be underway, don’t you think? Like we’re all obviously going through our individual experiences and cycling through various emotions but there’s this gathering storm cloud of frustration with leadership and of course worry and fear about what each passing day means for the world as we know it.

There is a lot of good happening out there, too, and I suppose the best we can all do is try and focus on that. Sometimes I feel like there is so much that goes on between the brief hellos and waves that I exchange on my walks, that tiny little passing human connection where we try to express more than a greeting, we’re saying a million silent things with our faces. I see you, isn’t this crazy, I hope you’re doing okay, I hope we all make it through.

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