Losing and Finding My Hallmark Holiday Movie Joy

Something was wrong in my holiday universe and I’m not talking about the coronavirus. It’s always omnipresent. But COVID-19 aside something felt off. For the first time in two decades, I just wasn’t feeling it in regard to any Hallmark Holiday movies.

It’s hard to explain the feeling of having no desire to watch a Hallmark movie after 20 years spent wallowing in them. Yes, I know their plots are repetitive, sappy and tropey.

Girl meets boy, each finds the other one irritating and yet they join forces to save a Christmas tree farm, reindeer ranch, or a winter carnival and together find true love and their holiday spirit.

Trust me I know I’m not watching cinematic genius but the movies are like wrapping yourself in a blanket that smells like your dog. Not great, but comforting, nevertheless.

Does it matter that the 44-year-old undisputed Hallmark goddess Candace Cameron Bure seems frozen in time usually playing a plucky mid-level executive who appears to be in her late 20s? No, it does not because to enjoy Hallmark movies you must suspend your belief in reality.

When you have plots that veer from time travel to amnesia, fairy godmothers and a gingerbread house contest that can save an entire town you just have to go with the flow and put your brain on autopilot. I like to think of them as a respite for your mind.

But this month as much as I tried to cuddle up with the new offering of Hallmark movies it just wasn’t working. I couldn’t watch a single one for more than 10 minutes. Worse, none were even DVR worthy. This was unprecedented for me. Where was my movie mojo?

I started making a list of reasons why. Could it be because Hallmark uses the same stable of actors year after year I was getting a serial dating vibe with an overlay of commitment issues?

Seriously how many men can the Hallmark mainstay and botox queen Lacey Chabert fall in love with? She should have stopped with the prince from 2014’s “A Royal Christmas.” He was super dreamy with no cringey Prince Charles vibe.

Maybe it’s that Hallmark is churning out too many holiday movies and they’re losing their charm? This year 40 new movies debuted. When there’s a movie titled “Never Kiss a Man In a Christmas Sweater” you might need to institute some quality control.

To see if I was the only suffering from a Hallmark Holiday movie ennui I took to social media and discovered that I was not alone. Julianna Miner, blogger, writer and hardcore Hallmark aficionado runs the Facebook page “Is This Hallmark Movie Good for a Hallmark Movie.” Miner says she too has experienced a Hallmark movie disconnect.

“They’ve stopped feeling magical. It’s more like they’re mass producing a product that is written by algorithm.”

Miner even shared that due to the lackluster quality of movies this holiday her Hallmark page has had to adjust their movie rating system from – “Is it good for a Hallmark movie?” to “Is it good for a 2020 Hallmark movie?”

When I asked,  “Is anyone else not feeling the love with Hallmark holiday movies?” on my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page I got more than 130 comments. It seems that I was definitely not alone in thinking that Hallmark wasn’t delivering the holly jolly.

But just as I was ready to abandon Hallmark movies and sashay over to Netflix a holiday miracle occurred. While folding laundry I happened upon “Christmas She Wrote” starring the seasoned Hallmark veteran and math whiz Danica McKellar.

McKellar plays a writer whose column gets dropped by her newspaper. Devastated, she returns to her hometown where her editor, realizing he made a mistake travels 3,000 miles to woo her back.

Of course, you can see how I was intrigued – column, writer. Honestly, they had me at editor wooing. (#NeverGoingToHappen)

For two hours I was totally into the silly, extremely unrealistic story. Even my husband walking into the room and making fun of me for watching something this ridiculous didn’t lessen my enjoyment.

In fact, for a brief moment all felt right with the world.

 

 

Warning: Decorating for Christmas Can be Hazardous to your Health

It’s over. Now all that’s left is for me to continue applying Icy Hot to my back and taking a regimen of ibuprofen so I can soon walk, perhaps even bend over, without uttering a profanity.

If you’re worried I was in some sort of accident – fear not. I’m just recovering from decorating for Christmas. For me holiday decor is my Olympics. A decathlon of sorts where for three solid days I lug bin after bin out of my basement and begin the transformation from holiday drab to fab.

For years I have divided my decorating into three separate phases. Phase one begins with getting the Christmas tree and decorating it.

I usually like to get the tree bright and early the day after Thanksgiving. This year due to a University of Texas football game, that please note was on TV and could have been recorded, we had to delay our family outing to select a tree until 3 p.m. Thus setting my decorating schedule back h-o-u-r-s.

That though wasn’t the worst of it. U.T. lost or according to my husband “gave the game away” to Iowa State and he was in a mood that wasn’t the least bit festive.

I, totally full of the Christmas spirit, suggested that he might want to pick a new Big 12 team to root for. Perhaps even Iowa State because they haven’t been to a conference championship since 1912. So, that would be fun, historic even, to see them win some more.

This suggestion was met with a glare that still haunts me. It also made the ride to select a tree so lacking in holiday joy not even the Cheetah Girls Christmas CD from 2005 featuring the classic “Marshmallow World” could serve as a mood booster.

Luckily it didn’t impact our quest for the perfect Noble pine. We found one quickly and then I moved on to perusing wreaths. Shortly after that I discovered my husband had gone MIA. I sent my son to look for him and he reported back while laughing “that dad was walking off the game.”

Seriously, I wanted to throw a 20-inch Frasier fir wreath at my husband. Who allows football to usurp their holiday joy?

The next day I was barely ambulatory and a tad queasy after staying up till 2 a.m. to finish decorating the tree while subsisting on Pepperidge Farm peppermint cookies and Diet Coke. But I rallied and began phase two – exterior illumination.

This is where I almost lost my Christmas mojo. None, and I mean none, of the lights in my yards and yards of outdoor holiday garland worked. Granted they were more than a decade old but still I felt like my holly jolly had been kicked to the curb.

It didn’t help that I also had a slight memory of these lights going out last year right before I was going to take them down. But instead of removing the lights from the garland I just shoved them back in a bin.

As I was forced to cut hundreds of lights off with scissors so I could clear the way for new lights I wanted to travel back in time and punch myself in the face.

It was so bad I had to break open a fresh bag of peppermint cookies to make it through that perilous journey.

Fortunately phase three – assorted interior decor not of a Christmas tree nature was less eventful but not without peril. I couldn’t find one of my holiday bins and was at Defcon 1 for a nervous collapse.

Days later all is well – sort of.  I’m still sore from lugging bins and falling off a ladder ( to be clear it was a step stool but still – ouch.) My hope is I’ll be able to climb stairs without cursing very soon.

 

Reach Snarky  at snarkyinthesuburbs@ gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs.

Counting Steps While Going Deep on Smart Toasters

So, it’s come to this – I’m now obsessed with footsteps. Specifically, the number of steps I take every day.

Yes, I know this is so early aughts the whole step counting thing. But my preoccupation stems from the fact that my husband and I are now competing over who takes the most steps.

It didn’t start as a competition but once my spouse started bragging about his step count I was like, “Oh, it’s on.”

Mainly because there was no way he was walking more than me. I walk our dogs for a solid hour every day and then some. Does he do that? Let me help you out there the answer is a great big no.

But then he showed me his step count and while I should have been impressed I was more mystified. As in how is walking that much and when is he doing it? Are we in some sort of pandemic induced time space continuum?

My dog walking steps looked minuscule compared to his. I think this is because my dog “walks” can be classified as more of a sniff and stroll than a hard-core power strut. But still I didn’t want to live in a world where I was getting that thoroughly bested.

This meant a full-scale competition. Now, I’m walking a lot which has given me more time to think about assorted random nonsense.

My latest walk had me going deep on something called a “smart toaster.” Apparently, it’s a top 10 Christmas gift. No joke, this toaster is a brainiac. I don’t know about you but I prefer at least one kitchen appliance to have a lower IQ than me.

The highlights of this very expensive toaster is that it “browns bread in a fraction of the time of regular toasters” and you can select the “exact shade and level of crispness.”

Question of the day.  What kind of diabolical time crunch do you have to be in that you need a faster toaster? As for getting all wrapped up in the crispiness of your toast – I’m thinking it could be a sign that your life has entered the dark realm of an extreme toasting obsession.

As I walked and walked, I also couldn’t stop pondering food competitions. I’ve been watching a bevy of cooking shows from HGTV’s “Holiday Baking Championship” to Netflix’s “Sugar Rush Christmas” and I have found common denominators besides carbohydrates and sucrose.

A lot of the programs feature the same competitors. Is there some sort of elite baking league where people earn a living just by working the circuit of TV cooking competitions?

Sadly, the bakers that suffer defeat in one show also seem to brutally lose in their next TV competition. At what point do they say, “Our sugar cookie dough just isn’t good enough” and hang up their aprons?

Also, when will every TV baking competitor learn that if you use an extract for flavoring you will lose. It’s the kiss of death.

Judges yearn for the opportunity to say, while making a face of extreme disappointment, “I can taste the extract and it’s really delivering an artificial flavor profile.”

By the time I was up to 12,000 steps I was seriously thinking of starting an online baking class called “How not to lose a TV baking competition.”

The first lesson would, of course, be no extracts. Class number two would be no bread pudding – ever – because you don’t have time and the third knowledge bomb would be to add cream cheese to your American buttercream frosting otherwise the judges will think it’s too sweet.

Do I wish my brain would focus on more intellectual concerns? Yes, please.

But in my defense I believe this whole smart toaster phenomenon is an unclassified mental health emergency. So, perhaps I’m now an amateur diagnostician of emerging maladies.

Lawn Therapy 

Being erroneously told when we bought our house a decade ago that “yards here don’t need a sprinkler system” is on page 16 in my “Big Book of Complaining.” Long time readers have heard me gripe about my lack of lawn irrigation before (cough, cough in July) and are probably now thinking, “Wow, woman let it go.”

I’m attempting to finally get over it by being optimistic about all things I discovered while dragging multiple hoses and sprinklers around my yard. My newest introspection happened this morning and it’s that I’m a grooming slacker.

I say this because every day at 7:30 a.m. I see an older woman walking her dog and she is elegantly turned out. The pièce de résistance is that she’s always wearing a hat. Not one of those pitiful sun hats you get at Home Depot mind you but a very nice chapeau that looks totally in style and Vogue magazine worthy.

Meanwhile I’m still in the T-shirt I slept in and some stretched out leggings from Old Navy doing sprinkler duty. Of course, I could make a pandemic inspired excuse for my appearance but it would be a waste of time. I’ve never been as stylish as this dog walker. The best I could hope for is to wear socks that match.

As I untangled hoses looking at my mismatched socks I began pondering the oft heard phrase “getting back to normal.” Is that really going to happen? I’ve got my doubts.

It’s not that I don’t think there will be a successful vaccine for the coronavirus. I just worry people won’t take it. I have some much younger friends and they are solidly against getting the vaccine.

These women, up to this point, have been pro vaccines but they want “years and years of research” and “other people taking the COVID-19 vaccine” before anyone in their family “gets a shot.” Their thinking is that they ‘ll take a hard pass on the vaccine and let herd immunity do its thing.

I tried to tell them that for a vaccine to work people have to be vaccinated. To reach herd immunity takes time and a vast number of vaccines have to happen. I might as well have been talking to a sprinkler head because these women were not having any of it due to “stuff they had read online.”

If we’re all still in our houses wearing masks five years from now thank a conspiracy theory.

 This thought was interrupted by a neighbor I’d like to douse with my hose who walked by and made a not so flattering comment about my grass. My brain now shifted to thinking about how people have lost their filters and how everyone now thinks they’re funny. Of course, I’m blaming the internet.

On social media it’s easy to think you’re hilarious and yet if you said the same thing to an actual person you’d probably come off as a jerk.

But here’s the rub – if I questioned my neighbor about his yard insults his reply would most likely be that I “can’t take a joke.”

My least favorite phrase because what the person is saying is that you’re not smart enough to get their joke. When the reality is that they’re the stooge but sadly few of us will be that truthful with ourselves.

This is why people need significant others and/or good friends. We all need someone to say, “Hey, you’re being an idiot” or “Did you know your socks don’t match.”

Wait, has dragging hoses turned in a psyche deep dive? Maybe that’s the upside to not having a sprinkler system – lawn therapy.

I’m Not an Expert But I Play One on the Internet

 

A week or two ago I wrote about how the most fundamental of science knowledge and common sense seems to be eluding a significant swath of the U.S. population. Mainly because so many people are espousing the dangers of wearing a mask due to carbon dioxide toxicity and yet medical professionals have been wearing face coverings for at least one hundred years without passing out on the operating room floor.

But, in a strange turn of events it seems that even though American’s science knowledge appears to be limited we are geniuses when it comes to math. This may appear to be a paradox because science and math are like peanut butter and chocolate – two great things that go great together.

So, it stands to reason that if you excel at math your science acumen would be above average. It’s a head scratcher for sure but let’s not dwell on this conundrum and instead focus on the surprising number of people that are suddenly gifted mathematicians.

Now, when I made this discovery I was flabbergasted, no make that shocked, because most folks will readily admit they don’t excel at math or in some cases (me) not only hate math but are still suffering from PTSD from high school Pre-Calculus.

This is why the volume of people on my social media feeds that are now suddenly math experts has been quite a jolt. It’s impressive to be sure that these folks have morphed from being in a non-math centric careers their entire adult lives to suddenly sharing their insights on complex equations and data.

Nothing has summoned all these hidden math geniuses like the debate on whether or not schools should open for the fall. All of a sudden parents were posting their interpretation on data from a wide variety of sources and proclaiming that based on their findings and mathematical extrapolations that the COVID-19 transmission rate is “way too low” for schools not to open.

The dedicated arithmetic aficionados went even deeper and shared their in-depth numerical calculations on high school sports. According to these newbie math scholars, there is no significant mathematical data to show that team sports should be in any way affected by the coronavirus.

Now Bayesian probability and Diophantine equations aside I get it that a lot of parents want the schools to open.  I’m also cognizant that school district officials that have to make these decisions are in uncharted territory and probably need the skills of King Solomon and the psychic gift of being able to predict the future to even come close to making every parent happy.

There is no answer, game plan, or confluence of ideas that will meet every family’s needs or fit in with every child’s learning style. Basically, it’s a huge nightmare that we all want to wake up from.

As parents we zig and zag and then zig some more and keep repeating the phrase “stay flexible.” But what’s not helping is people all of sudden deciding they’re experts in a field they have zero education in (who knew there are so many people that know more than experienced infectious disease experts) and thinking that reworking data or mining it to reach a conclusion that fits their plan to “get back to normal” is helpful.

It’s hard to do nothing, to just wait. It runs counter to our “see a problem, solve a problem” American sensibility. But if people really want to help the only thing most of us have any real control over is embracing the best health practices to keep our family COVID-19 free.

I don’t know what the math equation is for that but maybe it’s one we all need to learn.

Embracing the Incognito Freedom

I’m on a mask roll. Yes, I realize that I recently wrote about masks so let’s call this “Masks – the Sequel.” I feel it is my duty, nay let’s make that my calling, to continue to highlight the upside of wearing masks that go beyond the obvious of saving lives.

True confession – I’m one of those people that, at first, hated wearing a mask. It felt very claustrophobic to me and my reading glasses fogging up was not a thing of joy. But, because I’ve been a parent for 24 years I consider myself a master of being able to turn that frown upside down.

This means I’ve eagerly looked for all the reasons why I should love wearing a mask. At first it was challenging and then I experienced what I’m going to call my profound mask moment.

I had been at the city pool swimming laps and was on my way home when I realized I needed to stop at the grocery store for a few items.

Now, normally after swimming I would not venture into any establishment. I would go home and change and then head back out. This is because after I have gone swimming I look like I have been swallowed whole by a sperm whale and then after getting half-way down the whale’s esophagus the creature thinks, “Yeah, maybe I am too full,” and then forcefully regurgitates me back out into the world.

But, then I remembered that I would be wearing a mask and if I kept my sunglasses on no one would recognize me. So, did it really matter that I looked like rejected whale chow? I came to the resounding conclusion that it did not.

I, cloaked in mask and sunglasses, proudly strolled into the grocery store. Well, maybe proudly is a slight exaggeration. It was more like I kept my head down and tried to get in and out as quickly as I could because did I mention I was wearing a swimsuit cover up?

My only moment of panic was when I had to take off my sunglasses and put on my readers to decipher a spice label. The divesting of my shades left me feeling exposed.

In the Murphy’s Law world in which I reside this is when I would see one of a handful (a rather large handful I’m afraid) of people I spend my life aggressively attempting to avoid.

Number one on that list is a certain elementary school PTO board member that back in the day I had a bit of a kerfuffle with. (It’s a long story best suited for another time. But details aside suffice it to say the incident still festers like an eternal cold sore.)

Well, well, well, guess who I see at the grocery store? Yep, that woman walking towards me with her cart. I quickly ripped off my readers and yanked down my sunglasses that had been perched on the top on my head.

It was then as if everything was happening in slow motion as my brain ran through various scenarios. Would the number one person I never want to see recognize me? Should I run and hide in the frozen food aisle? Do I abandon the cart and bolt for my car? Do I open my purse and stick my head in it?

Miraculously, literally a gift from the heavens, she just walked right by me. Masked and sunglassed up I was unrecognizable. My relief was so potent I got giddy in the spice aisle. It was then and there I celebrated the mask and its gift of sweet, sweet, incognito freedom.

Cheez-It Parenting in an Extreme Parenting World

Help, I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole and I can’t get out. Worse, I don’t even know if I want to get out which is quite frankly embarrassing because I feel like I’m in the  ”Real Housewives” of rabbit holes. By that I mean I’m staying in it because on some level it makes me feel a smidge superior.

You know just like when you watch an episode of the “Real Housewives of New York” and you think to yourself, “Well, here I am sitting on my sofa stuffing my face with handfuls of Toasty Cheez-Its while trying not to get orange Cheez-It residue on the seven loads of laundry I’m folding and also hoping that I can soon garner the strength to investigate an iffy smell in my  basement. But hey, at least I’ve never done something as vulgar as throw a drink in someone’s face while riding in a limo.”

Drawing me in deeper is that this rabbit hole has some stellar parental humble bragging. Go ahead and judge but I love to witness a good humble brag in all its audacity, shamelessness, and over the top glory.

The rabbit hole also features another one of my favorite things – the know it all parent. This fusion of pomposity teamed with humble bragging is like a value size box of Toasty Cheez-It – I can’t not partake.

Please note this hole I find myself unable/unwilling to extricate myself from I didn’t even seek out. A friend, without my permission mind you, added me to a Facebook group and down, down I went. I’m currently daily gobsmacked by the postings on the “Unofficial University Parent Collective” for my daughter’s college.

To confuse you further I’m a late bloomer to this group. My daughter will be a junior in college and I’ve just been introduced to this gem. I don’t know whether to be sad or glad about that. A part of me is a bit bereft that I spent the last two years without being able to wallow in the wonder of this forum.

The current hot topic is parents asking other parents about what classes and professors their kids should take. The parents in the know are responding with in-depth missives combined with assorted humble brags on their child’s genius by stating that the information that is being offered is based on their kid’s “need for exceptional academic rigor.”

This leaves me with so many questions. Topping the list is are these parents going to class with their adult children because how else could they know so much about the inner workings of a certain professor’s teaching style, homework, grading scale and exam schedule?

To be honest I didn’t know that much about my children’s middle school classes. At some point you have to let the micromanaging go. But the bigger head scratcher is what kid at 18 plus years old would allow his parents that much access into the inner workings of his or her college existence?

Should I be jealous, impressed or mystified? I’m choosing to be mystified because I don’t think I want to live in a world where I know my 20 year old’s homework schedule.

Scenarios like this are what’s keeping me firmly entrenched in the Facebook group. I can’t stop reading the posts. It’s a journey to a land of extreme uber parenting. Meanwhile, I’m the Cheez-It parent just along for the spectacle of it all.

I know I need to stop but someone just posted asking what professors are open to communicating directly with parents and sorry but I’m going back in. I have a feeling some epic humble brag bombs about to be dropped.

Home Alone (But Not For Long Enough)

It has been 77 days. 77 long, long days. But it has finally happened. I’m alone in my home. Blissfully alone.

Ah, the sounds of silence because what I’m not hearing is someone on a Zoom call or in a Zoom class or in the kitchen yelling, “Who ate all the Doritos?”

This feeling I’m experiencing is close to euphoria. At long last the house is all mine. As someone who has worked from home for more than a decade the influx of other humans, albeit family members, into my daily workspace has been extremely annoying.

Gone was my routine of working in uninterrupted quiet. Instead I got to enjoy my husband on Zoom calls for literally nine hours a day. It got so bad I put Post It notes in his home office that asked: Could this Zoom meeting have been an email?

My daughter’s college Zoom classes were less annoying because I began crushing on one of her college professors. Whenever I heard this man’s voice I would stop what I was doing and began eavesdropping on her class. This professor has the most delicious vocal cadence. It was equal parts soothing and yet with a certain impish quality I couldn’t get enough of.

My daughter upon noticing me lurking become annoyed and a “little bit creeped out” by my “obsession” with her professor and started shutting her door during her Zoom classes. When I found myself covertly listening in I had to admit she might be right. Maybe it was an obsession.

An obsession I was perfectly fine with because hey, it’s a pandemic. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do and this man’s voice was lowering my blood pressure.

Another thing that was most irritating was how much my family disrespected my work zone. It didn’t matter what I was doing they would wander in and out of my office all day. Most of the time their interruptions were for trivial issues like, “Do you think you can get this stain out?”

By all means come on in and disturb my work, which is usually deadline sensitive, to discuss your laundry concerns. The bigger problem here is I’m a sucker for laundry remediation. If someone shows me a stain I’m immediately all in duel wielding OxiClean and Shout.

This means my normally quiet and orderly workday became one of stops and start as if I were in a bumper car with a laptop.

Then there was the issue of the Internet being a diva. With all the assorted Zoom and Google meetings it was almost impossible for me to get a sustained signal. Also, I was apparently low human on the totem pole because my need for any connectivity was superseded by everyone else in the family

This led to me literally loitering outside a McDonalds’s, parking my car as close as I could to the building, and suckling at the teat of their internet. By the way, three words I never thought I would use in the same sentence – McDonalds, suckling and teat.

What’s that? Wait a minute. I hear something. Is that my garage door opening? Is my husband home? How can this be? He’s only been gone three hours. I haven’t even had one of my celebratory “Yay I’m alone” cupcakes.

“Why are you back?” I demanded in a very curt voice.

He sighs and shares that the air conditioner at his office is broken and it’s, “probably close to 90 degrees in there.”

Before I have to chance to tell him to grab a fan and go back he’s sprinting upstairs, yelling, “I can’t talk. I’ve got a Zoom meeting.”

Noooooo!

Can a Patriot Rescue Us from Quarantine Brain?

The word patriot is not what it used to be. A mere five years ago if someone was called a patriot I would assume they were talking about a Paul Revere-esque figure and the whole, “One, if by land, and two, if by sea” declaration. You know like a real spirit of 1776 patriot. Of course, there’s the New England Patriots but I’m talking about the non-NFL franchise use of the name.

To that end it seems like the word patriot has lost its original luster and gravitas. I think that’s because I hear it all the time. It’s a word I always thought should be saved for special or worthy occasions like your good china and silver because you don’t want to wear it out or God forbid tarnish it.

Also, I’ve been pondering is it cool or even proper to call yourself a patriot? It seems to me that patriot is a moniker that should be bestowed on you rather than you bequeathing it to yourself.

These deep thoughts arose from where else but social media. When some cities began lifting their lock down orders my newsfeed was resplendent with acquaintances calling themselves “patriots” for going to malls, restaurants and in one case a nail salon. It left me thinking these folks might need to look up the definition of the word.

Yes, you’re out and about but I don’t think ordering a club sandwich with mayo at a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas is exactly a “Remember the Alamo!” moment.

And this might just be me but I’m almost certain going to get a mani/pedi should never be considered an act worthy of labeling yourself a patriot. What’s the battle cry? “Don’t forget to pumice my heels!”

I admit to feeling unsettled by the hubris. Seriously, in what universe does stuffing your face or getting your cuticles massaged give someone the right to act like they just defused a dirty bomb and liberated a small country?

But, you know, whatever. I’m just going to chalk it up to the lasting effects of “quarantine brain.” This is where your reasoning skills have been impaired due to not enough cognitive engagement with the outside world.

The good and the bad about being locked down with family is that in most cases you’re with people who either share your mindset or don’t but because they value their mental happiness pretend to agree with you. This can give you free reign to bluster nonsensically and then think you might a genius.

I personally wouldn’t know what this is like because my family’s hobby is, with glee, telling each other that we’re wrong. I think the polite term for this is debating so I’m going to pretend that’s what we’re doing. But enough about my family’s interpersonal dynamics let’s focus back on quarantine brain.

I’m certain that’s what has led to so many of the totally asinine postings I’ve seen on social media. You know the ones I’m talking about where you think that perhaps a well person check might be needed or someone has over imbibed and is now keyboard happy.

The worrisome part, besides the postings, are the people that agree in the comment section thus fanning the flames of  “morons unite” even more. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s been an inferno of ignorance. Common sense during this pandemic is going up in flames.

Yes, I realize that stupidity shared online is nothing brand spanking new but truly I think it’s reached new heights and my diagnosis is quarantine brain.

Perhaps a patriot can ride to our rescue. Hopefully one that has done more than eat a sandwich.

Covidiots

When we make it through the other side of this Covid-19 nightmare I’m hoping future generations won’t look back and say, “What a bunch of idiots.”

Because that’s what I’m thinking right now – idiots. Spoiled, selfish, willfully clueless stooges.

I don’t remember ever being more disappointed in humans. I’m literally going to go running in the streets screaming, while maintaining a safe space six feet distance from other pedestrians, if I hear one more person justify taking their spring break trip in the midst of a pandemic because they had “already paid for it” or “didn’t know it was that bad.”

Are-You-Kidding-Me? You knew it was “that bad” because when the majority of spring breaks happened almost every single college and university in the country had closed down because of the coronavirus. Institutes of higher learning don’t take the unprecedented action of sending more than 20 million students home on a lark. They do it because things are bad, tragically bad.

And that “we already paid for it” argument, well, guess what? The rest of us are now paying for it. It doesn’t matter that you posted on Facebook that you “came home healthy” or your teens are “sunburn and feeling great” because you can have Covid-19 and not know it nor show symptoms and yet you can still spread it with a vengeance. And P.S. as a citizen of the world you should be informed enough to already have this knowledge.

Also, if you have a college aged student that you are supporting financially and you shared on social media that you “can’t tell a 19-year-old to not go on spring break” I’m going to conjecture that the coronavirus might not be your biggest problem.

The fact is the spring breakers knew all this and still chose to go for no better reason than that they wanted to. Damn the science and those pesky guidelines. Those apparently are for other people.

There are friends I’m deeply disappointed with because they’ve been so self-indulgent. Please note these are people I thought were very intelligent who valued science. But I guess science is now something you pick and choose when to believe as befits your lifestyle or spring break travel plans.

If I sound harsh sorry not sorry because I know I’m not alone. There are now therapy websites giving suggestions for how to deal with family and friends that are not following the Center for Disease Control guidelines. #covidiots.

But what about strangers that have chosen being oblivious as their current course of action during this siege? The people who apparently have zero spatial awareness and no compunction about getting within kissing distance of you while in the self-check-out line or the people treating a trip to the grocery store like it’s a family reunion?

Public health officials and grocery stores are pleading with people to only send one person per family. Why is that so hard to understand? The grocery store is not a “fun outing” it’s a tactical Ninja maneuver where you want to avoid people and get in and out as quickly as possible.

And I feel immensely stabby when I still see people still clinging to the “It’s just like the flu. The flu kills more people” mantra. Are these people so brain impaired that they live in a constant state of denial or do they cling to falsehoods in an effort to justify their behavior of doing whatever they damn well please?

While I’m on the topic of denial let’s talk about all the claims of “fake news” or the “hysterical media.” My thoughts on this are if you think the news is fake or the media is blowing the coronavirus out of proportion than check out the World Health Organization or the CDC websites. Also, here’s the deal about throwing around the phrase “fake news” – just because you don’t like the news doesn’t make it fake.

For instance, I’m overweight. That is a fact. Do I like being told that? No. But it doesn’t make the information any less accurate. So, just because you are choosing not to believe the Covid-19 data doesn’t erase its scientific merit and calling it fake doesn’t give you a magical shield of protection it just makes you an egocentric ignoramus. Quite possibly an ignoramus that is not going to follow best practices and result in us being under lockdown well into the summer.

As for the hoarders I can’t go there right now. It’s hurts my heart too much. I currently don’t have the emotional bandwidth to fully digest this level of selfishness.

Perhaps, nothing symbolized to me people’s lack of concern for anyone but themselves more than when I found two used latex gloves in the parking lot of my grocery store. The gloves were by the cart corral and I can only surmise that this gloved person upon returning their cart, took off the gloves and threw them on the pavement because they didn’t need them anymore nor did they want the germ laden gloves in their car.

So, bye-bye gloves and hello some overworked grocery store employee having to pick up your pandemic detritus.

I’m urging everyone, myself very much included, to try to do better so that not only do we come out of this healthy but with a newfound sense of compassion and intelligence that supersedes are own immediate wants and needs.