Just kidding - that’s really a trick question these days. What’s up is down, and everything in between. Quite simply, there has never been so much and so little going on at the same time. How can one be grateful and disgruntled, hopeful and hopeless, busy and bored—all at once? And yet, we are. It’s the quarantine quandary that’s plaguing us all.
There is ubiquitous bewilderment as to how we got here. And then, thankfully, there are some headscratchers that get us through the day. And hence, in the name of humor, I proffer:
QUARANTINE DO'S AND DON'TS
Chain-mail and Memes:
They will come in so fast and furious that your spam filter will give up.
DO send with abandon. Yes, chain mail is juvenile and annoying, but so satisfying too. Yes, you will see the same memes (a word delightfully new to at least two generations of quarantiners) over and over. But really, in a time of crisis, how amazingly six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon is that? I was never the type to want a foreign pen-pal, but now, when I get a recipe from someone who lives in Paris who knows someone who knows me, I’m thrilled.
DON’T be the Debbie Downer who says “saw that already.” Duh. As the wise political pundits like to say after casting aspersions, we are all in this together. The circuitous web of mindless entertainment is there to connect us; it exists for a reason. No need to flaunt that you have more group chats than I do. FOMO is so 2019.
DO any/all classes for the young ones that you can hurry to get into…(even if they are tik-tok classes, praise be.) It’s not screen time…it’s learning.
DO count the minutes till the home-school bell rings, and the home-school happy-hour begins. It’s legit employee night every night. Enjoy your time cyber-connecting with friends, from every single walk of your life. Bunk 8 Point O Pines, 1985 – I’ve missed you more than you’ve known. Can we chat?
DO feel okay about looking at yourself more than at the other people with whom you are “talking.” I mean, what’s a girl to do when she's had a glass of wine, and her own visage is up on a big screen in front of her face?? Damn, tilted this way, I look good – maybe I could have been an influencer?! It’s ok, relax; you're not that vain. It’s like sitting in a restaurant across from the person in the mirrored banquet. (Yes, I said mirror. Remember those? I haven’t seen one in days.)
Thus …DON’T get all gussied up for a video chat. Those of us whose stupidly didn't time our botox with our quarantine, or who legitimately have three eyelashes left hanging on by a thread, may get insecure and will have to futz around with our screen in search of forgiving lighting.
DON’T suggest ZOOM drinks unless you know how the F to set it up…. Kidding, I am so lucky I have talented family and friends to do this, or I’d be drinking alone. Which I would never do…
DO feel like a bad-ass because your domestic skills are better than you could have ever imagined. Clean your house with enthusiasm, marvel at your shining countertops, and then suddenly declare you are over this when you pull a muscle while trying to pry open the washer midcycle.
DON’T base your self-worth on how many Clorox wipes are in your stockpile. Trust me, I like things that play hard to get, but my quaranteam, as they call it, has less than 5 players. Why am I still searching to the ends of the internet to procure medical grade germ-killers? Should I really by cyberstalk-ing Walmart so that I can disinfect myself from… myself?
DON’T stop. You ordered 40 packages of pasta and 76 bags of pop chips; you better damn make use of them.
But, still … DO try on your rings every now and then, to make sure you can squeeze into them. I’ve heard a lot of noise about making sure your jeans aren’t getting snug, but my go-to denim has always been merciful with stretch. Rings are unforgiving…(in more ways than one.) Plus, looking down at your puffy, parched man-hands is a gentle and necessary reminder to find the time to moisturize.
DO donate to food drives. It’s okay to joke about the constant eating – but really only if you are gratefully and gracefully give to others who may be hungry.
Screaming At Your Kids:
DO flip your lid (pun intended) when your offspring innocently wrench the toilet paper with the fervor of a hopped-up contestant at the wheel on The Price is Right.
DO regret making them fix it, as there’s no pretty way for children to re-roll unspooled TP.
DO be loud and clear that WE ARE NOT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL should someone break their ankle running through the house like a crazed looter, or performing an acrobatic, NC-17 tik-tok move better suited to a Super Bowl half-time show.
DO remind them with as much vocal force as needed that should accidents occur, they will enter a new hell called the quarantine within a quarantine, full of agony and empty of advil.
DON’T bristle at their moods. Every mom I know of an 9 year old says their daughter suddenly has the attitude of a teenager. (That is, when she’s not begging you to snuggle like a toddler.) Save it up for...
Screaming At Your Husband:
DO verbally assault him the 8th time he puts a spoon encrusted with peanut butter straight into the dishwasher.
However, DON’T throw a bottle of water at him, as his is the only adult face you’ll be seeing for weeks, so you might as well keep it intact.
DO argue at length about the number of Amazon and UPS deliveries that keep showing up. It’s not that you order too much, it’s that he’s never seen ALL the little boxes at once, and he doesn’t know the packaging can be deceptive.
DO challenge each other on who did a better job disinfecting them -- I mean, did he even read any of the articles you sent him about the proper way to take off gloves??
DO what you need to do to get by. Stairs tone your calfs, chopping vegetables can work your arms. Bending over to rip open boxes can stretch your glutes. Wear what you want, do what you want, make it a religious experience of it if you want. Just...
DON'T post videos of yourself prancing around in a matching sports bra and leggings. Please. I feel like this needs no explanation. There are enough mysteries in the world. Don't make me question why I follow you.