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!