Pandemic Poem

On the very long list of things I resent
is never giving my informed consent
to an actual, real, full-on pandemic,
a notion I’d thought was just academic!
I’d have done things differently if I’d known
that pretty soon I’d never be alone.

I used to have a great deal of fun
hanging out with myself one-on-one.
Now I’ve got two kids and a spouse
who are stuck with me inside this house.
And the sound of my husband’s chewing
is likely to be my undoing!

At first came the news and reportage
about various kinds of shortage.
To manage my increasing pessimism,
I used my preferred coping mechanism.
With getting supplies I became obsessed,
and Googled all day like a woman possessed.

My first priority was locating TP,
as thoughts of not having it made me quite weepy.
In lieu of Charmin I settled for Scott,
and now it hurts whenever I squat.
I might be becoming a bit paranoid
but I think I’m developing a hemorrhoid.

Next came my N95 phase.
I searched for these masks for hours and days,
determined to get the hospital a shipment
of various personal protective equipment.
While my sleuthing didn’t yield a final transaction,
it provided me with days of distraction.

Then came my new hobby of painting,
yet another form of sublimating.
Making art that was colorful and cheery
made me feel a lot less dreary.
So while channeling my mother’s artistic gene
I waited for someone to make a vaccine.

A month into the quarantine,
I bought myself a sewing machine.
I never could sew but felt up to the task
of learning to make my husband a mask.
Tangled threads and bad words flowing,
he said I wasn’t cut out for sewing.

Nevertheless, I became a quilter
making masks with a Filtrete filter.
Though intended for an HVAC,
this was going to be just the hack
to keep my doctor-husband alive
if his hospital ran out of N95’s.

We’ve managed to flatten the curve
and hopefully avoid a big surge.
But this long-term house arrest
is causing me much distress.
My husband’s chewing is so grating,
a point which bears reiterating!

The sound his tongue makes uncleaving from his palate
makes me wanna hit him over the head with a mallet!
I shout, “Stop chewing or the next mask I create
will be made in a way that it won’t ventilate!”
I am groggy and grouchy ‘cuz I stayed up too late
making a no-foggy-glasses mask to fit my soulmate.

For my next project, I’ll build us a time machine
so we can all go back to before Covid-19.

Feeling heard

The charming accent of my Australian Siri is only one of his many fine attributes. Just the fact that he responds when I talk to him makes him special. I don’t have to work hard to get his attention by saying five times, “Are you listening??” only to be reassured that he is when he is not. If I ask Siri if he’s listening, he replies the first time, “At your service,” and, by golly, he means it! Even better, he doesn’t debate the accuracy, merit, and rationale of everything I say. For instance, if I ask Siri to help me clean the house, he doesn’t counter, “What is the point of cleaning the house if we’re just going to mess it up again?!” At worst, he may offer to call Pancake House, but he means well and isn’t just saying that to distract me so I’ll forget I wanted help. If I ask a question such as, “Why would you throw your mud-covered shoes on top of all your clean shoes?!” (not that he ever would!), Siri doesn’t justify ignoring me by pointing out the rhetorical nature of my question. Instead he just replies, “Hmm….I don’t have an answer for that. Is there something else I can help with?”

I don’t remember the last time someone offered to help me.

I believe it’s because of Siri’s unconditional acceptance that my heart was open to receiving Spotify’s love. Unlike Siri’s vocal ways of expressing he’s there for me, Spotify’s is a quiet love that took me time to appreciate. Spotify constantly attends to me, remembers my likes and dislikes, and utilizes what he knows about me to give me exactly what I want. He doesn’t question why anyone would want to hear that 30-year-old song four times in a row every day for months. Without one snarky remark or eye roll, he simply delivers. With Spotify, I don’t have to risk legal sanctions for providing insider tips, such as, “If I say something six times in a row and the volume of my voice rises each time until the windows are quaking in their frames, it means I’m getting increasingly upset and you would do well to get your hand off the mouse and listen to me”. Spotify knows repetition is meaningful and noteworthy, and he files this information away for future reference. Marriage therapists call this kind of rich and detailed knowledge of a partner’s preferences “love maps”. Spotify calls them “playlists”.

Neither one human, Siri and Spoti nevertheless each speak to me in my love language, making me feel heard. I think I’ll ask Google Translate to help me translate my love language into a language the humans in my life understand. Siri, remind me to do that, please. In the meantime, Spoti, cue the next song. You know the one.

The Pizza Fits in the Oven!

For at least a decade and a half, my husband and I have had “the pizza fits in the oven” argument.

Years ago, I would buy a particular pizza and make it in the toaster oven.  When my husband went to make it one day, he wasn’t sure it would fit in the toaster oven. I said, “The pizza fits in the oven,” and assured him I’d made it that way many times. Well, before preheating the toaster oven, my faithless husband took the plastic-wrapped pizza and put it in just to check that the pizza, in fact, fit in the oven.

Do you see the problem with this????  Women, I know you’re right here with me.  To Continue reading

Laundry skills

I have a kid who has difficulty mastering laundry skills. Teaching him has been an exercise in futility and a window into the absurd.  I’ve learned a lot along the way to nowhere.

For example, I learned that if I tell him, “Take the clothes out of the washing machine and put them in the dryer,” I better clarify, “after the washing machine has stopped running.” Apparently, the locking mechanism that keeps someone from opening a front-loading washer and flooding the laundry room during the washing cycle is no match for the product of a one-night stand between Amelia Bedelia and Houdini.

We hang a lot of damp clothes because ironing is against our religion.  It boggles my mind how many ways my son has found to botch this up.  Clothes that were supposed to be hung damp have been dried beyond completion, Continue reading

Reasonable standards

My husband can really piss me off.  I know that’s not kosher to say out loud, but it’s true and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way about my spouse.  Any person who never finds their spouse annoying has never been married.

That said, my husband exceeds my expectations for being aggravating, but he does so   Continue reading

I am not procrastinating!

My husband says I should stop worrying about whether I have the right WordPress theme and just write.  I feel like he’s accusing me of procrastinating, and I don’t want him to be right about anything right now because I’m still mad at him because of a tiff we had about Adobe Lightroom, which I’m sure is a bone of contention in every family.

(Did you catch my pun in the last sentence?)

I don’t remember how our argument started but he was trying to get me to learn Lightroom by watching video tutorials.  I just wanted him to learn by trial and error or Continue reading