One morning last week I decided to catch up on my neglected and growing pile of paperwork. I called and scheduled a mammogram. I updated my address on an old 401k account. Then I decided to keep going and deal with a letter I had received from a health savings account company I had never heard of before. There were two account cards included and when I checked them online, they had a zero balance. I had no idea what it was all about so I called the company. Of course, my call wasn’t answered by a person but by a computer asking for all sorts of personal information which I wasn’t keen on entering. Not answering the prompts eventually led me to a real person. An affable young man named Grant was happy to assist me. Of course, Grant wanted the same personal information the computer prompts were requesting. Still not sure where these cards came from, I told Grant “This may all be legit, but I”m an old woman and if I give you my social security number and you are not legit, I become the foolish old woman who gave out her personal information and I look like an idiot.” After a brief polite pause, Grant started laughing. And then I started laughing. He was extremely understanding and we worked things out. It was legit and he was very patient with my reluctance to give out my personal information but that is the world we now live in.
And in the time since that phone call, our world has gotten even crazier. I haven’t seen toilet paper in the grocery store for over a week and last time I shopped, I was shocked at all the barren shelves. People are stock piling in anticipation of hunkering down in social isolation. There is none of the excited uncertainty of preparing for a big snow storm like in the Campbell’s Soup commercial where the mom grabbed extra soup and extra wine when the forecast changed from 10″ to 16″ of snow. Instead of a snowstorm, we are preparing for COVID-19 pandemic. There is a heavy sense of dread and a fear of uncertainty in the air.
So you may be in need of some distraction. If so, I highly recommend settling in with some popcorn and your favorite beverage and watching Knives Out. It’s highly entertaining, a great escape from all that’s going on, and Daniel Craig is delightful. Mr. Smith and I also spent an afternoon watching Ford vs. Ferrari. Maybe it’s because he was a Detroit boy and his father worked at Ford Motor for most of his career, but we also found it well worth the watch. And if you want a movie that illustrates kindness triumphing over cynicism, give A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood a try.
And if movies aren’t your thing, there’s always reading. Books have always been my ultimate diversion. For the hour or two curled up with my book, I can forget to worry about the world.
Restaurants are closed, my gym is closed, and I’m sure it will be a while before I can go for a pedicure. But even while adjusting to the new normal, I’m aware of how fortunate I am. While irritated that I had to cancel a trip to see my granddaughters, I can take advantage of FaceTime and see their sweet faces and listen to the giggles while Slick Grandpa Nick goes upside down. My sister and I were planning a week together to do some sewing projects that isn’t going to happen right now, but we can still chat, email, text and stay in touch. While the world is crazy right now, it is still wonderful. For now Mr. Smith and I have plenty of food, an adequate wine supply and each other. We are lucky people.
C’est la vie.