ANOTHER DULL QUARANTINE WEEKEND AT HOME, TARGET, CHIPOTLE, HOME DEPOT, AND OUR NIECE’S GRADUATION PARTY
This is one of those pieces that’s technically satire but is pretty much on the nose. All coronavirus long I’ve had to hear people bellyaching about how rough things have been, how little there is to do and how they feel like prisoners and can’t wait to break out, even though they seem never to have been locked in to start with. It’s bad enough when strangers and casual acquaintances spout this junk, but when I get it from people I know well it makes me want to snap. More than once I’ve had to suppress the urge to break my own stay at home order so I could beat someone half to death with a dictionary opened to the page defining the word lockdown. I’ve at times found it hard to keep viewing those people respectfully, if I’m being completely honest.
My parents met us — we hadn’t seen them since March, except for dinner last Tuesday and the Friday before that, and at Ethan’s backyard birthday, and Janey’s drive-by birthday, and their weekly lunches in our backyard. We gave each other jokey air hugs, and Mom choked up to finally see her grandkids. We all wore our masks, except when we were eating, drinking, and talking, and we didn’t share any food, except for a few appetizers and desserts. Mom kept feeding Janey her French fries, but she always does that. It’s sort of a tradition.
When we got outside, we put our masks on and strolled down to the beach. Dozens of people in masks were enjoying the break in the heat in little clumps — it was disgusting. We turned around and left. We came back with a blanket from the car and found a spot by a family we knew from Janey and Petey’s school. We hadn’t seen them in months, except at Janey’s drive-by birthday, when they briefly got out of the car and the kids played in the family room while us parents sat six feet apart in the yard, and that time we all met up at the playground because the police tape had blown away. It was so good to finally see them!