Friday, April 24, 2020

Gone viral: part IV


Congratulationsyouve made it to part IV of my lockdown diaries. Parts I, II, and III are available here, here, and here, respectively. Thanks so much for your support, comments, shares, and likes. We will make it through this together! Maybe!

April 15
As previously mentioned, I have developed a rather unhealthy relationship with my vacuum cleaner; i.e. it has become the channel by which I rid myself of my (considerable) pent-up frustrations. But as I have discovered, one can only hate-clean so often before one’s thumb begins to develop tendinitis from activating the button of one’s turbo brush. So I decide to move on to the garden. Lots of possibilities there. I start with our leafless, flowerless Clematis, which seems to have gone dormant. I have had it with putting every last thing on hold and I REFUSE to wait for next spring to see if this lazy plant comes back to life. I am not the captain of much these days, but by God, I am the captain of this. Out comes the trowel. Goodbye, Clematis. May your successor flower abundantly OR ELSE.

April 16
I need soil. Like normal potting soil. The kind that one can procure whenever one wishes when one is not locked inside one’s home indefinitely. I also need mulch, preferably of the coastal pine variety. I turn to my most loyal lockdown ally: the internet. But alas! After toilet paper, then flour, now it appears soil is all the rage. I lose about two hours hunting for it on many, many websites, each with its own lame excuse. One is delivery-only, except for what I want. One offers in-store pick-up, but not at any store within a 50-km radius of our home. One is under maintenance. One offers pick-up near us, but doesn’t know its own inventory. One knows its inventory and offers pick-up near us, but doesn’t have any openings available. AARRRRRRGGGH!

I would turn to trusty ol’ Amazon, except Amazon France is under attack by the French government for catering to needs other than “essential” ones (which during lockdown is illegal, except when it’s not). Someone needs to explain to me how it is possible that things like WOOD and DIRT, which are the VERY STUFF OF LIFE, are somehow not essential enough to be sold on Amazon. What’s next, water? Sunlight? TOILET PAPER? And that’s without taking into consideration how bloody essential it is to my wellbeing that I find something other than compulsive vacuuming to release my anger. Is hate-gardening a thing? Shall I try to make it one? OH WAIT, I CAN’T BECAUSE NO ONE WILL SELL ME ANY #@*$% DIRT.

April 17
Speaking of being out of stuff, the subject of masks is becoming quite préoccupant. Like, how come we don’t have any? My parents in California and my brother in NYC have been sporting masks for weeks, while France remains maddeningly ambivalent. First we were told that masks were only for medical professionals. Then we were told that masks could be worn by the public, but only the sick public. Then we were told that masks should in fact be worn by everyone, but that only medical grade ones were effective. Then we were told that ALL masks had merit, but that there weren’t enough for everybody. Now we’re being told that masks will be an obligatory part of post-lockdown French society, and that handmade ones are better than nothing, but there are no details on how, when, or where we can get our hands on any. Overall, I am left with the impression that nobody knows anything about anything, and a distinct desire to engage in a vigorous round of vacuuming.

April 18
Today I am suspending all sense of reality and am doing my bi-annual wardrobe transition. Out with autumn/winter and in with spring/summer! Hooray! I have too many clothes. Some are over five years old and still have their tags on them. Some went out of fashion so long ago that they’re back in fashion now. I should do the “sparking joy” thing and triage the hell out of this closet to decide what gets saved and what does not. But with everything closed, where would I put all the insufficiently joy-procuring items? Guess I’d better wait. My daughter is almost four and is already about half my height, so hey if I wait long enough, maybe I can just give it all to her!

April 19
We are out of coffee. My husband informs me darkly that coffee is probably going to be next on the “aggravating nation-wide shortages” list. Considering that my mental and emotional stability at this point is 100% dependent upon wine, coffee, and the grace of God, any of these things being added to “the list” is out of the question. DO NOT PANIC. I may have to suck it up and hit the supermarket in town, dressed in a garbage bag, dishwashing gloves, and my son’s diving mask. 

April 20
Spring vacation is officially over, but all the schools are still closed, and that means returning to my state-enforced alternate profession of 1st grade/preschool teacher. President Macron recently stated that schools would be reopening on May 11, but in light of the widespread skepticism that greeted this optimistic announcement, the government is now back-pedaling and retroactively asterisking like mad and my hopes of a return to normalcy in the semi-near future have pretty much evaporated. I’m getting used to disappointment, however, and am handling this one admirably. *sob*

April 21
For those of you not in the know, Andrew Lloyd Webber has been offering free 48h broadcasts of his greatest hits, with a new one available each weekend, on the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On! I watched The Phantom of the Opera with the kids last weekend, and have been humming most of the score non-stop ever since. Incidentally, teenage me was a Phantom FREAK; I once travelled from San Diego to Los Angeles with my piano teacher and her friend in the middle of the night in order to camp out in front of the Ahmanson Theatre in the desperate hope of catching Michael Crawford as the Phantom prior to his imminent retirement. We made it in on cancellation tickets for three seats in row H, dead center (i.e. right underneath THE chandelier), literally five minutes before the performance began and yes—the experience absolutely blew my mind. It’s ironic that the Phantom would be streaming now, because if there’s one dude who would never ever have allowed a nation-wide mask shortage, it’s him.

April 22
What day is it? What year is it? What does anything even mean? I feel like I’m having an out of body experience. But even my astral body does not have a mask because THERE ARENT ANY.

April 23
The talking heads on TV all seem to agree that not much is going to change in May, and think we shouldnt get too excited. Cross-regional travel is likely to be banned until at least June. We are advised to lower our expectations regarding summer vacation. Still no masks in sight. Also no printer paper, maybe because my kids teachers keep asking us to print roughly a gazillion pages of classwork every week.

April 24
Things we’re out of: flour, yeast, dirt, wood, paper, masks, patience, and potentially our minds.

BUT HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!

To be continued...


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