Happiness is Grocery Shopping in a Pandemic

Karl-Heinz Wellmann from Wikipedia
I go out for groceries about every ten days, which is about the time the Diet Coke runs out, and the veggies in my freezer are depleted. I have to replace fresh vegetables–the old standards tomatoes, celery, peppers, onions, potatoes, lettuce, bok choy, snow peas–and bread, which right now is brioche bread, something I should not be eating but fuck it, it’s a pandemic. I LOVE brioche bread. And rolls. And raisin bread. Brioche raisin bread is insanely good.

Unfortunately, only one grocery store in this little town carries brioche bread, and it’s not My Grocery. It’s the Annoying Grocery. So this week I went to the Annoying Grocery, where I had to stand in a six-feet-apart line to wait to get in because there’s a limit to the number of people inside at a time (150, if you want to be exact).

This made me strangely happy.

For one thing, it meant people here were taking this whole thing seriously. (Well, we’re in New Jersey, we better damn well take is seriously.). And the grocery had its plants on racks in the front of the store, and the line moved slowly enough that I found a Roma tomato plant. Yes, I know you don’t get the best plants at a grocery but I was thrilled. And then I got inside and of course they had no bok choy, but I was prepared for that. They did have Romas and some small deep red vine tomatoes, and shallots which are really hard to find, and some gorgeous leaf lettuce that I passed up for romaine. And a ton of brioche so I scored there. Then I got to the Diet Coke aisle and there was none. Okay, the apocalypse is here.

But then I went to My Grocery, where there was plenty of Diet Coke (although no Caffeine Free Diet Coke which means you should all brace yourself for a lot exclamation points !!!!!!! and ALL CAPS in the coming weeks) AND bok choy, and I realized I’d forgotten the celery in the Annoying Grocery, so I got that and some mini peppers and . . . somewhere in the middle of all that, I realized I was extremely happy.

It might have been just being surrounded by gorgeous produce, that’ll do it every time, but I think it’s also the idea that I was finding things instead of just picking them up. That everybody there was wearing a mask and being patient in line and keeping their distance while being wonderfully polite and pleasant. It’s weird to see people wearing masks, but it’s also a reminder that we’re all in this together (I know we’re not, I know lower income people are not living the life I am) and that even though it’s weird to wear a mask, at least we’re all being weird to protect each other. That’s a good thing.

I came home ridiculously cheerful, left my mask in its place in the car, let the dogs out, toted in a ton of vegetables and brioche bread, not to mention enough Diet Coke (!!!!!!!) to give me a caffeine high until September. And the happiness has stayed with me. It’s more difficult to shop now, but it’s not impossible. I have to search for things now, but that makes it a challenge, And I no longer think I look like an idiot in my mask. I think I look like part of something bigger than me. That makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

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91 thoughts on “Happiness is Grocery Shopping in a Pandemic

  1. I think we all want to feel like we’re not alone in this and that we’re doing our part (except for certain bad actors who are being very loud right now) so going to the grocery store and realizing it’s manageable and people are cooperating and acting like adults is a heartening feeling. (just how I feel about it).

    Anticipation for my first gin and tonic of the season is making me happy. Gin and tonics are my favorite drink, but I try to only have them in warm weather (and only one a day and usually on weekends only) to keep them special. Therefore, we now have a family tradition that my husband buys me fancy gin for mother’s day and I have my inaugural drink of the season on mother’s day afternoon. We’re also doing ice cream sundaes at younger son’s request with homemade caramel and hot fudge sauce.

    It’s actually *not* very warm here yet, but that’s okay. It’s finally really, fully completely green with the trees and I got my morning walk in watching the sun filter through all the the bright green leaves and the almost full moon still high in the sky. I’m also crossing all my fingers and toes that a cool spring means a mild summer (probably in vain because this is Washington DC we’re talking about.)

    1. I live about 70 miles north of DC, and yesterday here in the back of beyond it was snowing. Not my idea of May. But cold temps mean that the azaleas will last and last. They are just coming out.

      1. It did here, too, but it was kind of lovely because the flakes fell while the sun was out, and it beautiful. They melted as soon as they hit the ground, and it was like perfect rain, all these feathery flakes and the sun shining and the ground warm.

      2. It had snowed over night and melted here (Connecticut), but then there was a snow-puff squall in the middle of the afternoon and the light with the snow and the pale grey clouds and the puffs of green barely out leaves on the trees was just magical.

    2. And speaking of gin and tonic, also my favorite drink, have you tried either Fevertree or Q for tonic? They’re tarter and more flavorful than the usual Schweppes/Canada Dry one usually finds. You have to look a bit for either, but it’s worth it.

  2. My big bag of dirt arrived this week, which made me ridiculously happy. My neighbour lent me his wheelbarrow and I’ve started finishing my vegetable garden. Still too cold too plant outside (it snowed yesterday) but my tomato seedlings and sweet peas are coming along inside. A friend sent me a lovely toiletry bag that she made, plus a matching mask. It’s going to be warmer today, so I can get out into the garden and shovel more dirt and admire the daffodils that I planted last fall.

  3. I’ve been quarantining/Staying Home since March 14 and just started to get antsy yesterday (a testament to how lucky I am to have a large lovely home and yard and a family I love AND like–and that we’ve all been healthy). Time to go for longer walks, I guess! We had a late freeze yesterday but by afternoon it was warm enough to shove through dinner on the front porch, which was nice.

    There are two weeks left in the semester and I’m getting ready to spend the summer getting better at e-learning, since I suspect this won’t be the last of it. It’s like being a first year teacher again: I have no idea how anything will work or land.

    We’re having a last day of school “car parade” (teachers and signs on sidewalk 6 ft apart as students drive by in cars) and I need to make a sign. Virtual graduation in June. 🎓 I suspect I’ll be hit right in the emotions by both–I took some masks to a student who didn’t have any who works at target and seeing him was a surprising gut punch. I miss my students so much!

    Hmm, not sure I achieved the assignment of talking about what made me happy this week…

    1. I think we need to feel all shades of emotion to feel the happy. Just my 2 cents.
      Thank you for working so hard for your students!

      1. Meeeee too. 🙁 I’m not a good sewist by any means but I did break out the machine for the first time since my kids were born to cobble together some masks. Gonna see if any of my other working students need some as soon as I identify more sheets and shirts to sacrifice!

    2. UPDATE: The secret to happiness may be pineapple margaritas (and/or a low booze tolerance) and Disney+ subscription to let Frozen distract your kids while you drink said margaritas.

      If anyone wants to play along at home:
      It’s super easy! Recipe:
      1. Buy a pineapple and cut it up. Put the core/some edge pieces in a jar and cover with tequila of choice for 4+ days. Eat the rest. 🍍 (or throw it at ne’er-do-wells, whichever.
      2. After your tequila is pineappled, pour ~3.5 shot glasses’ worth over ice.
      3. Add 2 shot glasses worth of gran marnier.
      4. Add juice of 2 limes (~2 shot glasses’ worth).
      5. Shake vigorously with ice for a while, then pour over fresh ice.
      Yeild: 2 large pineapple margaritas. 🍍🍍

  4. We’re (mostly) not wearing masks in the UK, but I’ve been reading up so I can make my own if/when they’re required. And I’m concerned that you left yours in the car: I understand they should be washed at 60C after every use. (Wouldn’t want using one to backfire on you.)

    I was happy to get my back door fixed yesterday. I couldn’t lock it on Friday, and then couldn’t get hold of the guy who installed it last December; but finally found myself talking to his father, who tracked him down and sent him over. Other than that, it’s really been my gardens and spring that have kept me mostly happy.

    Oh – excitement this morning: two more Clematis macropetala seeds have germinated, so I’ve got three coming. They’re tiny, so there’s a long way to go to get them to flowering size. They were sown in February, put in a propagator for a month but did nothing, transferred to the fridge for a month, and are now on the windowsill. The first one came up ten days ago, and I was really pessimistic about the chances of any more showing. If I can keep them alive, they’ll eventually have wonderfully complicated flowers in blue, purple or pink in the spring.

    1. Oh lucky! I cannot keep Clematis alive for more than a year or two in my garden. I had one flower once and then it didn’t come up again the following year. So sad me, but so excited for you!! I’ve taken to growing less finicky things – my phlox grows like weeks here. So that’ss something!

      1. I had no luck with clematis in my first two gardens, so I thought they didn’t like me. Then at the cottage, on clay, they ramped away – so I realized the conditions hadn’t been right for them. They’re pretty much woodland-edge plants, I think, so they want moist soil with reasonable drainage. My first gardens were both quite dry. Also, the large-flowered early summer flowering hybrids can get wilt, so you need to plant them deep or else (my strategy) stick to the late flowerers (viticellas, tanguticas) and the spring ones (alpinas, macropetalas, montanas)

    2. This mask is some kind of pressed fiber, not washable, and it stays in a hot car for ten days at a time. I keep meaning to make a cloth mask and then never do. I do have several on order but, no surprise, they’re backordered. Anyway, the virus doesn’t live on cardboard or other non-woven things for that long, so the combination of long lead time and heat in the car should take care of it.

        1. As I understand it, the virus doesn’t last long on surfaces. I’m pretty sure 10 days would kill it.

      1. I’m doing the same thing with my cloth masks. Leave them in my car in direct sun for several days, so I’m thinking the uv light kills everything on it. As well as the heat.

      2. From https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/study-suggests-new-coronavirus-may-remain-surfaces-days

        SARS-CoV-2 remained active on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for two to three days under the conditions in this experiment. It remained infectious for up to 24 hours on cardboard and four hours on copper. The virus was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours. These times will vary under real-world conditions, depending on factors including temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the amount of virus deposited.

        1. Right. And I pick up that mask every ten days. So we’re good.
          Also, I just got two fabric masks in the mail, so there’s that. I’m still thinking sitting a car for ten days pretty much negates the need for washing. The virus just doesn’t last that long.

      1. It is gorgeous! I don’t envy all the work you have put into it, but I do envy the result.

        1. For me, it’s like quilting or crochet to other Arghers: lots of fun, with results you can enjoy. I play with colour and shape and time, and everything’s alive with its own character. Lots of fun.

      2. Oh, that’s lovely. The neighbors must adore you, you’re making the place so beautiful.

        1. I had one or two appreciative comments at our VE Day street chat on Friday. I’m hoping they’ll really enjoy it once everything starts flowering.

    3. I’ve had no luck at all with Clematis varieties other than montana and the large hybrid jobbies (some of the hybrids have betrayed me too). I found a stunning double purple hybrid without a label in a nursery earlier this summer, eventually found out she’s called Dame Kiri te Kanawa. She almost made up for the fact that birds (probably) snipped off the Duchess of Edinburgh at ground level. Her gorgeous double white flours looked so well against the granite wall, but the Duchess was never really robust in that position. We do lose a lot of plants here with the awful, unseasonal frosts, life’s a gamble.

      1. At least you don’t have slugs. I remember a couple of friends from Queensland visiting one summer, and they couldn’t believe the slugs; nor that potato blight is alive and well in the 21st century.

  5. 0I luckily live with my daughter, son-in-law, and 11 month old grandson. (Calvin- my daughter being introduced to the wonderful world of Crusie books via ‘BetMe” had a lasting impact.) I take care of him during the week while mom and dad work from home. I am happy to be able to make it an easier job for them to work from home and to see my grandson every day.

    This week the thing that brought me the most joy was having Calvin grab one his Little Critter books, crawl into my lap, and insist I read to him. He loves books and will sit still to have book after book read to him.

  6. I’ve been making cushion covers for a friend’s outdoor furniture and they are turning out very well. That made me happy as I’d never sewn with Marine Vinyl before. But I did a little research, bought appropriate needles, and lengthened the stitch to max and we’re in business!

  7. Well, today I’m happy it’s not snowing. We’ve had snow on and off over the last few days. In May. And according to hubby, the other day was the coldest one on record since sometime in the 1940s.

    But today, it’s sunny and lovely. Just in time for Mother’s Day so happy Mother’s Day to all the moms here:)

    1. How did I miss that today is Mother’s Day? HAPPY Mother’s Day, everybody. Must go call my daughter.

  8. Things that made me happy this week include new books mentioned last Thursday (which, weirdly, have not reached the top of my TBR list) and it’s Sunday, so Dinner and shopping with the dotter. That probably also means Not My Favorite Grocery because it isn’t the dotter’s Favorite Grocery, but that’s okay for me (insert obligatory “wild and crazy guy” reference), hers isn’t on my Annoying Grocery list, either.

    I have no fresh veggies on hand in the Brand New Refrigerator, so that will be my focus. Also caffeine-free diet Coke and diet A&W root beer. Frozen dinners are covered for the week… maybe. Chicken breasts and thighs for stir fry.

    I wonder where we’ll get take-out from? If it’s Burger King again, I have a bowl the dotter can use to reduce the mess she made last week.

    Today is my happy day.

  9. Weeded the garden, almost done. Decided on having masses of nasturtiums on the side garden among the other perennials. Mother always planted them. And phloxes. H is going to help me with the rest of the weeding. That is making me very happy. He is not a gardener.

    Watched CBS Sunday Morning. Reese Witherspoon talked about how writers / authors were her heroes. I couldn’t agree more. All the wonderful stories and worlds to visit. So, thank you, Jenny and all the story tellers here at argh. Happy dance.

    1. I was just reading about Mass Observation diaries in the Erik Larson book. Fascinating idea and a resource he drew on a lot.

  10. Happy Mother’s Day!

    North of DC here, but not so far north that we got snow or frost. But it was insanely cold yesterday for May in the mid Atlantic. I bundled up and got my walk in, and the good news is that the wind and cold meant fewer joggers so less dodging. It’sa jungle out there when the weather is nice, although I’ve seen entire families out for a walk, which is great, and with masks. So those parents are teaching social responsibility to their kids and that’s always a win. And even the kids on bikes are keeping to their side of the path.

    Neighbors last week had friends visit for take out – neighbors on their stoop, friends at the end of the walk. I stood two car lengths away to say hello and we were all okay with it, no complaining.

    I know I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve got a job that allows me to work remotely, and I live someplace that has options like grocery delivery. I’m doing what I can to help others, tipping delivery people well, and supporting local shops who can deliver or offer curbside.

    My front lawn is lush and green, which took me years to achieve, so mowing this morning made me happy. And mowing when it’s chilly outside is far more pleasant than when it’s hot. Things are blooming in my backyard, and I’m taking a little pleasure from being able to enjoy it all day every day.

    I have books and yarn and fabric, and enough flour for baking, so boredom is not an issue.

    And the big happy is that so far everyone in my world is okay and later today I will zoom with some of my favorite people.

  11. 48% of the way through the new Murderbot. Only things I have accomplished today are a load of laundry, eggs and toast, and eating chocolate cookies and coffee. Later I will light the fire. Watch a movie. AFTER murderbot.

  12. Today’s the first mother’s day since my Grandma died, and the combination of not being with my mom (even though we skyped this morning) and not being with the rest of my family is hitting me hard. I’m going to go on a walk (it’s a beautiful day), and hopefully that will help a little. On the bright side, I have two friends who are pregnant and very excited about it, so that’s an exciting thing to look forward to. So there are good things to look forward to, and even good things today.

    But I really, really miss my Grandma. I know grief comes in waves and waves pass, but right now it’s a big one.

    1. The first mother’s/father’s day after losing a parent or grandparent is so hard. I lost my Dad more than twenty years ago, and I still remember how angry I was when there were Father’s Day ads on the radio, like “It’s so unfair that other people have fathers when I don’t.” (Yeah, selfish, but grief makes one a bit crazy.)

      1. Thank you everyone. I’m so sorry for to those you missing people too. It actually turned into an ok day. Turns out a good cry, a milkshake, and a Cary Grant movie can be surprisingly comforting.

  13. During regular times bringing home fresh produce and putting it away causes great joy. And even a sense of resolve – I will eat this healthy food. And thankfully, I do. I make sure to prepare it and eat it!
    In these end-times this feeling is doubled. And it comes with a determination to be healthy because I want to maintain good immunity.

    To everyone who needed this day and wanted it and had a good one – Happy Mother’s Day.

    I must admit don’t mind that this is not a Mother’s Day post. I feel terrible for the people for whom it’s triggering.

    And I feel quadruply awful for mums who received performances today and still have to do “second shift” and all the “mental labour”. See famous comic by Emma.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/26/gender-wars-household-chores-comic

  14. I was happy to take part in a family Zoom get together that included my mother, both my sisters, an aunt, an uncle (in two different parts of the country), a cousin in Chicago and one in Tel Aviv. (He and his wife are in the foreign service.) And happy that my sister who lives in San Diego near my parents was able to pick up flowers for my mom, which she is going to deliver for all three siblings later today in a socially distant visit.

    Happy that the 5 inches of snow we got here is already melted and the sun is shining.

    Jenny, I can get tons of shallots here. Let me know if you want me to send you some. I came home with a bunch of produce and some extra bacon, you know, just in case, the last time I went shopping.

    1. I scored six envelopes of yeast to add to the two I already had. I should be good now until the yeast supplies recover, especially since the bakery six blocks from my house has worked out a way to sell bread (baked goods labeled in window, clerk at one door to take your order, cashier at next door to ring it up and give you your goods) so I don’t really have to make bread unless I want to. Although I do need it for waffles.

  15. I got to talk to my sweet girl! Since she lives 5 hours away and had to work today, I was so glad to talk to her.

  16. I’ve was crocheting the floral blanket pattern with the drab, grey, cheap acrylic yarn and realized I wasn’t want enjoying that.

    So I found a pattern for a floral crocheted scarf, rummaged through all my leftover yarn, and am making as very vivid coloured, seat of the pants, imperfectly perfect scarf instead. That’s making me happy.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CABalV_J7LO/?igshid=874ea75r0zbg

    1. Yep, I made a rule for myself, no gray clothing or yarn.
      I broke it, of course, because there’s a gray Hawthorne that’s just gorgeous and I found a gray t-shirt with a cow on it in black, but the cow has a red and white dotted scarf on it and it’s great. Currently wearing with red pajama pants. Very happy making.

  17. Well, I just wrote 3 paragraphs about the joys of a trip to Trader Joe’s, forgot to click on post and lost the whole damn thing. Imagine for yourselves the tasty meals and bulging refrigerator that have resulted. I was impressed by how much thought they had devoted to minimizing risk for everyone and overjoyed to have some basic human interaction at a place where they actually train their employees. It really rescued my week.

    And that, I thought, was plenty of happy for the week. Then I opened my email and found that my brother had sent me a picture of his very new granddaughter. She’s only a few weeks old and very far away so I wasn’t expecting more pictures so soon, but evidently her father is taking pity on his far flung relatives. She is the sweetest little bundle of joy. I will probably never meet her (unless I win the lottery) but even third hand she radiates joy.

    My NIL lost his mother shortly before Mother’s Day last year and I was sure that today would be rough for him. When I called him he was in the park, having a picnic with his wife. I NEVER get to talk to them at the same time so this was a real treat. The connection was terrible, but the conversation was so delightful that it hardly mattered. I was jealous that they could go out to the park (ours are still closed) but very happy to speak to such beloved people. And for once, the bad connection was not due to my phone.

    Emmy told me that she got the postcards she has been sending me years ago at Uncle Fun garage sales and has kept them all these years. I am proud that Ted and I have indoctrinated another generation. Uncle Fun may be long gone, but his influence remains.

        1. Yes. Before my Mom died , when they still lived in Milwaukee, Tom and I became very close. I would hang out at the bar where he was working and talk with him. I am very grateful that my niece has such good taste.

  18. I felt like relaxing today and so I did. I refused to be distracted by a lot of little things, which has been my coping mechanism for the pandemic. I do have to get a better balance between the coping and the relaxing. So getting that balance today made me happy.

  19. The Godmother is passing through on her way home from helping organise respite care for a friend. It makes me happy that we are her logical half waypoint and we get bonus visits.

    I’m driving the daughters back to their University Town today. It seems like the right time, things are going well in Australia and they’re missing their friends and boyfriends. I’ll miss them, but it’s going to be lovely being back in my empty nest.

    The largest happy I have is hearing that there will (should) be a charter flight coming in to my husband’s work in late May. It’s the first real glimmer of hope I have that the ‘plan’ will work and I’ll see him in late June. He left home for his FIFO job on March 19th and usually does four weeks on, four weeks off. He is acting as his boss at the moment and is exhausted. He has worked 12 to 16 hours everyday since he got out of isolation up there.

    Nothing but good times ahead.

  20. I’m happy I’m fortunate to shelter in place. When I get antsy, I go on Face Book to my community page and read the rants of those convince we’re in the midst of a conspiracy. Then I am happy I’m not having to be out and putting myself among craziness.

  21. My happy yesterday was dropping off more homemade masks for my niece. Her employer requires, and provides, masks but the ones provided are too big. Even though hugs are a no-no, it was just so good to see her smiling face and chat for a little bit.

    I made her a few masks in different styles earlier and told her to pick one and I’d make more. The one she chose is one I made using the pattern and tutorial for the “Versatile Face Mask” at thecraftyquilter.com. When you first look at it, you think “that’s a lot of steps” but it’s because she wrote very detailed instructions. It was easy to put together.

    My grocery “outing” is tomorrow. First time in 3 weeks. Salad greens and greens of all kinds. Come to me.

  22. Today had two major happiness-es: FaceTime with my daughter and for the first time in weeks granddaughter (3+) also wanted to FaceTime with us. She is growing like a weed: she is now more than up to her mother’s waist. (Admittedly, daughter is relatively short, her husband is on the tall side.).
    Other joy was singing with my husband at church today. Our church, like so many, is streaming services these days. normally, our on-staff worship leader, along with our organist takes care of the service music, but he wanted to spend Mother’s Day with his wife and kids. My husband is the usual fill-in when worship lead is not available (he had the job years ago) and requested permission for me to join him in leading music. So there were seven of us in the sanctuary this morning: Our rector, our organist, our sound technician, our videographer, our Warden, who leads prayer and husband had self…and a host of angels and the congregants that were worshiping from home.

  23. We went to drive through safari park and then picked up pizza.
    The safari park opened on friday and today the line backed up about a half mile from the entrance. One worker we talked to said they were not expecting anything like the attendance they have gotten and were a bit overwhelmed..
    My thought was somewhere to go with mandatory social distancing and animals. If I had kids I probably would have gone more than once.

  24. Even though it’s chilly and we’ve had off and on rain sprinkles, I managed to enjoy the day. I went for a hike at a local park, spoke with one of my sisters, and made pizza for dinner. I’ve been craving it and finally picked up the supplies to make my own. Tonight, I plan to continue listening to the Queen’s Thief series; I finished Queen of Attolia last night and have started King of Attolia. I am enjoying every minute of it. Besides that, there is a new episode of The Prancing Pony (a podcast about the works of JRR Tolkien) to listen to.

  25. Speaking of the joys of cooperation, did you see this rather heartening answer to ‘what if Lord of the Flies happened in real life?’ I’ve always loathed that book.

    Rough week here. I’m glad I have dogs, who need endless ear-and-tummy-rubs and often make me smile. I’m glad I can spend time outside, where happiness is more likely to stop by for a visit.

      1. Thanks for sharing, Sure Thing! That’s a great thread. I had a lot of issues with the perspective of the article too, which didn’t make me want to read the book (though I’d totally read a book from the actual survivors!). Appreciate the reminder that I should sharpen my anticolonialist lens more too.

  26. Happy to have painted two small watercolors using lots of orange; I don’t care if Van Gogh called it the color of insanity.

    Glorious walk today because it was 40 degrees and rain-snowing, which meant hardly anyone was out and I could wander through my favorite park, laughing with the wind.

    We did a Mother’s Day video call with 16 people. After five minutes of garble, I took the floor and explained that we cannot all make noise at once. There were a couple seconds of silence, and then my MIL said, “So should we raise our hands?”

  27. I ventured Out with mask and gloves to get something for my sisters for Mother’s Day. So I buzzed by Petco and got one a grooming gift card. Then I went to Wegmans. I’m thrilled to live in a town with one). I got a magazine and a romance paperback (not a huge selection) by Lisa Kleypas for them and they had no flowers but they had orchids on sale so I picked them up. Wegmans has great Chef made offerings so after getting those gifts, I got A wedge of triple Cream cheese, fresh Italian bread, freshly made but not cooked crab cakes. And the sweetest strawberries. So we ate well for two nights. Today we did Quickie drive -by, masked gift deliveries and everyone was happy. So. My job is done. For today.

  28. I can’t relate to this at all because I haven’t grocery shopped in nearly two months and I am out of everything fresh. But nobody here is taking precautions, my neighbor deliberately goes outside to cough and sneeze every morning, nobody is wearing masks even though they are supposed to (it got mandated in the county and I saw SIX HMO employees not wearing them or taking them off, some of them nurses), and I just can’t deal with leaving my apartment and everyone else acting like things are okay. I had to today to make sure the car didn’t die and I just don’t enjoy outside any more. I only leave every 2 weeks because car batteries die if you don’t drive them at least that frequently. I hope to go at least another two weeks before I run out of water or something. I may just have a screaming meltdown if I have to get groceries, really. I don’t know if delivery is an option given my youth/one should leave delivery pickups to those who really can’t go to a store, and I know at some point I will have to suck it up or just not eat. But I am going to put it off literally for as long as possible.

    What is making me happy is life inside my apartment. I did theater script readings for a fundraiser and I did the second half of The Tempest this week and talked everyone into doing a cast party/discuss what what to do next next weekend. I signed up to audition for a play festival, though I don’t know anyone there so we’ll see how that goes. (I am having better odds with less picky crowds.) My local theater group is going to do another script reading so at least I get to see the crush at that, even if I don’t hear from him otherwise*. I did an online Clue themed scavenger hunt and that was GREAT fun and we came in third and I did crazy stuff like spontaneously crochet a Miss Scarlet costume for my stuffed Groot.

    * I just go back and forth all fucking day every day as to whether or not to contact him since he has said very little since this started and I last got any response from him in early April. I know he’s terrible at initiating and he’s told me that and is probably super stressed from being the lone employee left at the family business, but I just get so mad if I do it and then don’t get response or much response and feel like i lose all my self-respect…. so I say nothing.

    Yeah, obviously I am doing well in some ways and am completely batshit insane in others.

    At least my mother was fine with a quiet MD/birthday at home with her boyfriend, who has the same birthday. I don’t think she even opened my cards, as far as I could tell. (Sheesh.) But hey, if she’s happy.

    1. That sounds rough, living somewhere where people aren’t taking it seriously. And the situation with the crush sounds rough too.

      A thought about self-respect … last time I was at the start of a relationship, I made an active decision to tie my sense of self-respect to being true to myself, emotionally authentic and open, and not to what response I got from him. I don’t know if that mindset could help you, but it certainly helped me at the time.

    2. Make a list, wear a mask and gloves, get in and out. It’s evidently not that dangerous if you’re careful because groceries are large places and you’re not sitting there, breathing the same air as the person next to you, you’re zipping through. Then wash your hands when you get home. The groceries around here are limiting the number of people inside and refusing anybody who’s not wearing a mask, so find one that’s doing that. It’ll be okay.

  29. I spent some time at the community garden today. Planted some pole beans, basil, and a couple of mystery shoots from the compost bin. They are probably squash, but I’m never entirely sure what will appear. My herb plot is going gangbusters. I have enough thyme, oregano, and marjoram for an army. After three tries, the rosemary I planted last year finally took. We’re holding off on planting most things since it has been unseasonably cold and our growing season is so long on the back end.

    I have to confess to some thievery. For the second year in a row, the gardener next plot over planted radishes early on and then failed to do anything with them. (Last year he picked not a one.) They are about to go to waste, so I stole a couple of cracked ones. The resulting salted radish and butter sandwich was worth it.

  30. I had real trouble remembering happiness today, till I put some actual effort into it. Then I realised I spent a bunch of this week laughing at the antics of the neighbour’s cat, who’s decided we’re her second home. And at some excellent new-to-me comedians like Chris Drabble (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiyxwoIMTvE) (how have I never seen him before?).

    And I went for walks along the river and up a hill, now that we’re allowed to exercise away from our immediate neighbourhood. I think my big lockdown discovery is that physical exercise actually improves my mood a lot. Now I just have to remember that.

  31. Got up and made easy cream scones for Mother’s Day, read a book, worked in the yard just long enough, then took a walk with a friend. Then made a rather good dinner for the parents, who were enjoying watching the final rounds of the 1975 British Open (golf) on Youtube. So a good day: sunny, wicked windy, bird song, green grass, rhubarb coming up.

  32. Oddly enough, it was NOT grocery shopping this weekend that made me happy. I gave my spouse the list and he went and did it. His Mom, who’s high/higher risk, had a small list for him too.

    I stayed home with the kids and I watched Frozen 2, which I hadn’t seen before. Both kids said they didn’t want to watch it but still ended up on the couch with me before it was over.

    1. Don’t you love watching “I’m too old for this” morph into “Why should little kids have all the fun?”

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