March 12 at 3:18 PM
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, eh eh
What is Going On?’ – Marvin Gaye
[Disclaimer: I want to say that I am taking Covid 19 very seriously and all my thoughts are going to those who are already affected. I just need to process the last 24 hours in my very own neurotic way.]
I usually never panic. When everything falls apart around me, my face does not move and I usually keep chopping onions. This is probably the result of a rather troubled childhood. Growing up in a home where people would get screamed at or hit at for no apparent reasons, or where you are having dinner without never knowing the person who is eating next to you trains you for the ‘no reaction resting bitch face’.
Ten years living in New York sealed the deal: nothing, absolutely nothing fazes you. Things, for example, like your children wanting to apply their CPR technique on a crack addict who fell on the street at 8am build up your armor. You just cannot lose your cool over here.
Yes, I always pride myself for never showing emotions and keep on, business as usual. And I chop onions, cilantro too. My favorite garnish.
However, here’s the step by step recount of the day when I started to waver during the coronavirus pandemic.
Step 1: What is going on in Whole Foods???
I get a concerned call in the middle of a business meeting from my husband, A., begging me to get medications and food because ‘we may have a lockdown situation on our hands soon’.
I am laughing; he is not. He is really getting on my nerves right now. I truly married Mr Doom and he does not even wear a freaking cape. His hipster beard is NOT a steel mask so can he just drop the act? OK, fair enough, he has foreseen countless financial crises or dips which saved us some money on the housing market back in 2007. Still, I am still not over that time when he refused to tape our windows for the Irene hurricane mocking me for my over reacting – which led to angry sex and…my youngest son, L., 9 months later as I was barely out from breast feeding the twins. I am not regretting the arrival of L. but I am still mad about the Irene’s ‘I am not duct taping your fucking windows’. So we argue for 5 mins over today’s ‘it is the end of the world’ shopping.
Eventually, I give in mainly out of pure viciousness. He has been a total jackass about our grocery bill for months and I am having a free rein today? B**** , no need to tell me twice.
So here I am casually strolling through Whole Foods getting Morbier cheese and snails in a jar just to take the piss. But then, I end up facing empty shelves after empty shelves. There are no pasta, rice, lentils, or quinoa. Granted it is freaking Whole Foods so there is always a shortage of quinoa. I do lose my smug face straight there.
When the same shit happens in the frozen veggies section, I start frowning. The only thing left is frozen corn – which is not a vegetable by the way.
When I see that the only sugar left is biodynamic organic sugar – whatever it freaking means – I am getting dizzy. Hmmm…
Note to self: biodynamic means ‘of or relating to a system of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach which uses only organic, usually locally-sourced materials for fertilizing and soil conditioning, views the farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem, and often bases farming activities on lunar cycles.’
Is it bad that as I am reading this definition the first thing I am thinking is the female body and menstruations and not sugar at all?
Guess if we are in a lockdown, the folks who will be ahead of all of us are the ones who know how to make their own bread, cook frozen corn and flax seeds.
As I am pondering whether or not I am ready to take the flaxseeds leap of faith to add to the dry ‘no idea what these are’ mung beans in my shopping cart, I am texting my girlfriends to laugh. My girlfriends and I have this 24h day SMS line in which texts go from ‘I just told my kids to shut up’ to ‘people need to check their privilege’ or ‘shots, vodka or Prosecco? #askingafriend’ . These women do not play, they don’t BS and talk it real. Harlem real. I rely on them every day to keep me cool as a cucumber. Or just cool, period.
I start ranting about how people are all nuts starting with my own husband. But after 5 mins, I realize that I have now set up a train wreck in motion. ‘Speed 2: the movie’ has nothing on me right now. Keanu, come back and save me!!!
Yep, my girlfriend’s husband is texting her now: ‘A. knows something!!! Get food, get cash!’.
Me: ‘Chill out, ladies, A. knows nothing!!! He is a hypochondriac!!! Stop freaking out, people!’
But it is too late, way too late. Guess I am really taking that last organic semolina pasta pack off the shelf.
Step 2: Corona caused first family dispute
A. comes back home: ‘if the whole city shutdowns, should we drive to Vermont???’
Me: ‘The city is not SHUTTING DOWN! This is New York. Stop it!’
Then he starts questioning my ‘it is the end of the world’ supplies: ‘that’s it?’
Me: ‘oh yeah???? You are complaining? Are you kidding me? Look at me losing my shit now! This is me dealing with 5 hours at the ER eye center with L. and looking at him licking the reception desk. Yes! LICKING!
This is me taking G for 3 cavities filling. This is me being blamed for being late for ballet by P because I was bloody looking for pasta…yes, there is a shutdown: MINE !!!! And yes, you are going down Sir but because I am going to smother you in your sleep! I am and I am going to take my fucking time doing it.’
Things got silent quickly at the dining table. I am so not cool as a cucumber right now. Try jalapeño heat level.
Step 3: Overnight, these things happen.
Tom Hanks is sick with Covid19. If Mr Nice dies, it is the end. The world does not need this right now. Tom, I am ready to go all ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on you. We all need you to make it.
Travel from Europe is banned. Okay…
The Met is shutting down. What?
Broadway is closing until further notice for the first ever, 100 million dollars in revenue loss expected.. I am beyond Jalapeño now. I am not chopping onions or cilantro anymore. I am leaking like some cheap runny guacamole.
I wake up and want to apologize to A. but instead text: ‘why is there still no wine on your ‘must haves bunker list’ ???
Guacamole, I am. But a bitchy guacamole.