Hey. Can We Talk?

I’m so tired of talking about the US election and the covid19 pandemic. Come on! We’re educated people. Can we exchange ideas and new concepts and cultural events and thoughts on raising children and just about anything else besides soontobe expresidients and viruses? Can’t we please?

Ha. Let’s just try! So what do you want to talk about?

Theater? Living so close to Broadway there must be numerous shows you can recommend at hundreds of different venues. Not to mention concerts, ballet and innumerable festivals featuring talent from throughout the world. Oops. It’s all closed you say. Indeed. How is that possible? How are all of these people in the entertainment industry faring without work? How are all of these patrons of the arts existing? Truthfully, some are no longer existing. Some have died from covid19, which we agreed we’re not gonna talk about.

I’m not one for drowning my sorrows at a neighborhood tavern; whether you call it a pub or a bar you’d never find me there. But, I do love eating out in restaurants, be they delis, commonly, since I’m common folk, or Michelin rated places, but are there any that are kosher anyway? It doesn’t matter. I can’t go inside any of these establishments these days and I don’t trust the people preparing the food, nor the servers, nor the accommodations to the virus which include suspect outdoor bubbles. With so much to worry about why would I subject myself to restaurant dining? Maybe to end the scourge of daily meal planning and executing? Would be nice! But, I’m already working on today’s dinner, poached salmon, mashed potatoes, homemade bread, some vegetables from the freezer. One thing is obvious, from my pantry and my waistline, I’m cooking up a storm! And what about tomorrow? It just creeps in its petty pace. I can worry about it tomorrow, as Scarlet O. once said.

So can we talk about grocery shopping. It’s pretty mundane, right. Except when you don’t do it because of justifiable fear of who you’ll meet in the market and how many of them will be masked and will the sushi guy have coughed onto your sashimi? Our local market has instituted a money making scheme for people like us. Pay them $20. per delivery and they’ll be sure to mess up your order and finally find a profitable way to get rid of rusty apples and wilted celery. It’s called “online” grocery shopping home delivery and it gets rid of one thing, impulse buying. That, by the way, was my favorite way of shopping and meal planning. Not any more.

Maybe we can talk about house cleaning? Windows? High light fixtures? Moving refrigerators and pianos. Oh. You don’t let your cleaner in anymore? You just ignore places you can’t reach. Not much to talk about there.

Maybe we can discuss parties, like weddings for example? They’re just the same as always, right? Well, not exactly. New details are in order. The size of the crowd is limited. Outdoor venues? Check! Does the bride wear a mask or a veil? Party favors, I’ve got just the thing: personalized masks. And is it wise for the guests to shop for new outfits for the event? Probably not.

Ok then. How about your haircuts? Surely that’s pretty innocuous. Oh no. Your husband does it and you do his? Well, think of all the money you’re saving, while your barber is starving.

So, what can we talk about? Is your three year old wearing a mask to day-care? Is his day-care even functioning? How is your college student faring while the tens of thousands of bucks in tuition are being reliably paid out. Oh. He’s on ZOOM. That new concept called remote learning. Not admiring the beautiful campus that was such a big selling point when you went on the tour?

Ok then. How are things at work? Lucky you, you still have a job. That is really great news! Seriously. Is the office environment friendly and do you like your boss? How about the dress code? Oh. You stay in your pajamas and work from home. Well, saves on commuting.

I’ve got one more topic that we can really talk about. Travel? You know me! Travel is almost the staff of my life. I’ve been to so many countries that I can’t remember them all without a map. Guess where I’m going next? Oh. Never mind. I’m going to the driveway. I’ve become the old lady, married to the old man, whose car has practically zero miles on it and I haven’t stepped onto an airplane in eight months.

It’s not so easy. I guess all we can talk about is the cursed covid and the cursed president. Can you trump my misery?

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of two. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.
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