I’m not leaving the house much anymore, so figured I’d start a blog series to share updates of my oh-so-interesting-life-in-quarantine. My (lack of) exploits, thoughts, struggles, and, most importantly, snack choices. What better way to be alone, together than to provide these in depth peeks into my life that no one asked for!
Full disclosure: as an introvert, much of my regular life mirrors what would strictly be defined as quarantine conditions. My ideal day involves rising early, going for a run, listening to a podcast until I sit down at my computer to read articles while drinking several cups of coffee, having a small lunch while researching or doing some work in complete silence (my dog lightly snoring in her fluffy bed positioned within petting distance of my desk). Once I’m finished working for the evening and the end of my ideal day creeps nearer on sleepy feet, I have something delicious to eat for dinner, read or watch TV for the remainder of the night, and then hop into bed with my aforementioned snuggly dog. Did you notice that my ideal day involves never speaking to another human being? Yeah. Introverts did social distancing waaaaaaay before it went (involuntarily) mainstream.
To kick off this first post in the Quarantine Diary series, I want to take you through a list of the things I’m no longer doing in this crazy, upside down, COVID-19 infected world:
If we’re going to get to know each other, I believe we should dive right in. No dipping your toes into the water around here. I’m shoving you straight into the middle of Lake TMI…
For background, I worked remotely before it was compulsory, and after my morning shower, I’d plop myself down in my office chair dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants or ratty shorts and get to work. Admittedly, my habit was to go without underwear while working in my home office (because it’s constricting and stupid) and only put on a pair if I had to leave the comfort of my house to attend an event or meeting, which was most days of the week. But now I’m no longer leaving the house for work because all events and meetings have been canceled for the duration. So, naturally, I canceled underwear too.
I’ve seen plenty of women posting about giving their bras the middle finger during this crisis, and I applaud their collective enthusiasm. My personal preference is to wear a sports bra when working, but that’s how I’m most comfortable. To the ladies that have left all undergarments in the rearview, I salute you agents of unmitigated chaos! Give it a few weeks and I might be right there with you. Perhaps we can have a modern day bra burning in our backyards alone, together.
Putting on big girl clothes
It’s pretty much glorified pajamas over here all day, every damned day. I haven’t worn something that wasn’t crafted from stretchy, expanding waist-forgiving fabric in many wonderful weeks (years?). My standard outfit involves sweatpants or loose fitting shorts, a sports bra, and tank top. This outfit doesn’t change for Zoom meetings where I’m expected to turn on my camera. My secret: not giving a shit what I look like. It’s really great. You should try it. Pro tip: point the camera so it only shows from the top of your shoulders up. No one will be the wiser.
Shaving my legs
Ain’t nobody got time for this kind of negativity in their quarantine daily life. And since I’m neither leaving the house nor putting on the aforementioned big girl clothing, I really don’t see the need to shave my legs.
TBH, I’m becoming less presentable by the day and I couldn’t give fewer fucks. I have no idea how any of us are going to go back to the way things were when somewhat normal patterns of life resume. Once you’ve flown from the constricting, yet gilded cage of gendered standards of hygiene, how do you go back again? And, more importantly, will we even want to?
Driving my car
I run a statewide organization, mostly from my home office. But I travel my enormous state quite often for work, meaning I put some serious miles on the old sensible four door sedan. I actually don’t mind driving. It gives me some quiet time untethered from my computer and phone to center myself while I listen to the week’s podcasts. But I sure as hell don’t miss negotiating the shitty traffic in South Florida, Orlando, and Tampa. I don’t miss paying tolls either, or filling up with gas, or paying for a tire that blew out on one of our terrible highways. Unfortunately, despite my car sitting mostly unused in the driveway (save for biweekly grocery store runs), that loan payment is still spirited out of my account at the beginning of every month.
Acknowledging the existence of time
I think we can all agree that time is canceled. It just doesn’t exist anymore, at least not the way it used to. And, even if it did, we’ve moved beyond our childish dependence on it. If we must, we can still have the generic catchalls of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but when we start trying to get all fancy by naming days of the week or what month it is, things go to hell in a hurry. Let’s stop pretending that March only lasted 31 days when we know damned well it was at least 125. And April is shaping up to be at least double that…
Working remotely only accelerates this gradual softening of time. When your job can be done at home, it means your work day never has to end. Ever. You can continue working late into the night, at the crack of dawn, during the weekend, or on holidays. It’s great! Now the days blend together, creeping past with painful slowness while simultaneously racing through your fingers. I swear it’s been at least 3 years since we started this social distancing stuff. But it’s also only been 15 minutes.
Here’s my promise to you, captive quarantine audience: as long as sheltering in place is our reality, you can expect moderately regular posts about the weird, wonderful, and banal things going on at Chez Moi. Remember all the beautiful letters and journals produced during other trying times in our history, like World War II or the Great Depression? Well, these posts won’t be that. I’ll mostly be talking about my snacking habits and dropping a cascade of F bombs. But if it helps get you through another 75 hour day, I’ll consider that a win.