How We Are


lyrics are here.
I figured now would be a good time to say how we’re doing. I know that soundtrack is a little dark, and it’s darker than it needs to be, but it’s been going through my head, in the sense that when something sudden and life-changing happens, your priorities completely shift. It feels appropriate. That, and when this whole pandemic started, there was a part of me that was afraid of all the worst possibilities happening, and prayed they wouldn’t. Thankfully, they didn’t, but the song comes back to me sometimes…and makes me cry.

About that. Contrary to the statement above, I have not continued to be a walking waterworks. This is partially because I’m figuring out this new normal, and partially because people are getting better at expressing themselves, and not simply by screaming at me. People ask whether they can come in the elevator, or speak up when they’re in there, so every trip down isn’t an exercise in uncertainty. It’s a lot easier to walk around when you know what to expect from each other. I’m not about to waltz into a grocery store, and even going over to the mall is not something I enjoy, but just being in the neighbourhood is tolerable. I find myself changing things too, like if I’m going to go into the room where the mailboxes are, I will say a little louder to Tansy, “Let’s check the mail!” It reminds me of those old nature videos where they would tell you to make lots of noise while walking through the woods so you wouldn’t startle the wildlife.

Most importantly, we are well and everybody in our immediate circle is healthy. We know a lot of people who haven’t been so lucky and have had brushes with Coronavirus, but that is as close as it has gotten to us.

I’m getting used to wearing a mask when I do have to go out to stores. Thanks to my cute parents, we have quite the arsenal of masks of all sorts of colours on hand, and I might end up with more, if I find a clear-window one. It really does amaze me how much spit goo comes out of our faces without trying very hard, and I can totally see how shouting and singing can generate more spit goo. Occasionally, I have had to yell something, and yuck! I’m regretting it for the rest of the time I have the mask on my face. I’m very happy that so far, all the masks I’ve worn haven’t thrown off my hearing. I don’t know what the difference is, but I’ve been lucky.

Whenever I am out somewhere and have to touch something that everybody touches, I hear this song in my head.

Well at least I’ll remember how much I have to wash my hands.

I finally did get a haircut at the beginning of July. The whole time I was out, I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. But Tansy’s nails looked like they belonged in a horror movie on some kind of nightmare-fueling beast, so I decided that if I was going to be out milling around, I might as well get my hair cut too.

The experience wasn’t too bad. I was wearing a mask and so was the hairdresser. I had to wait outside until they were ready, but that was fine. They saw me arrive and the one doing my hair just stuck her head out and told me it would be a few more minutes. I didn’t have too much hair go into my mask and it didn’t stay there. With it being as hot as it was, I was glad to have not so much friggin hair! When I walked in, they went “Woe! It is long!” Yup, it hadn’t been cut since December, bangs hadn’t been trimmed since March.

When Tansy got her horror-movie nails trimmed, I was relieved to find she hadn’t put on a pandemic pudge. I guess the strolls we do get in and the running around throwing squeaky balls is doing enough of a job. Having vets come and pick up your dog curbside is a weird experience. She had a few lumps and bumps that I wanted checked, so I had to point them out for them before they took her away. Thankfully they were all nothing to worry about.

But it’s amazing how many people you come into contact with on a simple errand with 3 stops and some train-riding. I was trying to keep track of what I did when and who I talked to in case god forbid I got sick and had to do the contact-tracing thing. Let’s see. There was the train at x time, then the hair place, then I went to the bank and spoke to 3 people, including the security guard who the Aira agent loudly proclaimed was not wearing a mask…she didn’t know my headphones weren’t on. Then there’s the person who helped me find the LRT station, then another train, then the people I saw outside the vet, then the vet, then the cabby! Yikes! That’s from one afternoon! I always like to remember people’s names, but now I really try to remember people’s names.

I had one tiny scare back in mid July. I went to the mall to get some shorts fixed because I suck and don’t know how to sew a button. The next day, Steve and I both woke up with identical symptoms. They were nothing massively frightening, but I had a moment there where I wondered if I should not have braved the mall. Thankfully they went away on their own and were probably nothing more than a fluke, but it was a teeny bit frightening.

I have to post this song, because it’s funny, and because it makes me laugh for my own personal reason. One day back a few weeks ago, I was having a heated discussion with my parents about all the Black Lives Matter protests. They were saying ridiculous things like “Yeah people wouldn’t attack them if they weren’t scary too” and “if only they could be less angry about it.” After it wasn’t so heated, mom got talking about Karens and said “If you hear stuff about someone being a Karen, they’re not talking about you.” At the time, I had been living under a bit of a rock because I hadn’t heard the term, and I laughed and wondered why I would think they were talking about me. Then, it was everywhere! When I came across this song, all I could hear in my head was my mom saying “They’re not talking about you.”

I don’t know if the lyrics are up, so here they are.

Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
I’m beggin’ of you please just wear a mask
You go on rants at Trader Joe’s and sit on the ground at the Costco, sayin’ wearin’ masks is the devil’s law.
(Every single one of you that are obeying the devil’s laws are going to get arrested!)
You wreck displays at Target stores, and throw good cold cuts on the floor, and please stop talkin’ ’bout your drawers Karen.
(I don’t wear a mask for the same reason I don’t wear underwear. Things gotta breathe.)
Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
I’m beggin’ of you, please don’t lick that glass
Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
Please just wear a mask, you big dumb ass.

I have to admit that hearing my own name spoken in a scolding way, even when I know it’s not being directed at me, is jarring. Maybe Mom had a point.

Walking around and listening to people talking under their masks has been making me think. I kept thinking that they sounded like something somewhere, and then I was watching an episode of Star Trek Voyager, and it dawned on me. They sound like Ferengi! Observe.

It’s not perfect, but just next time you’re talking to someone who’s wearing a mask, imagine them saying “profit” or “rules of acquisition” and see if I’m right. Maybe this will only work for Star Trek fans.

That’s about it for now. Hopefully everyone can get through this unscathed, and please don’t do anything that could take our recently good case numbers and send them skyward. I want to be able to think about seeing my family for some sort of holiday this year.

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1 Comment

  1. Considering how many people we know and how far flung they are, I’m a little surprised that all of our personal experience with this thing is friend of a friend. It’s a pleasant surprise, but with all of the record setting going on and what with the way this stupid year started out for us I was half way sure that it would have gotten closer to our orbit by now.

    Dude, I so need a hair cut. I have to get a picture of my ridiculous head. If anyone reading this remembers what I looked like in high school, picture that, just a little more out of control. This stuff just does whatever the hell it wants. I can comb it, I can wet it, it gives no fucks. If our numbers stay down like this for a little while (almost nothing locally and under 100 for the province) I think I’ll get it taken care of soon.

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