Pandemic Winter Is Coming! Also Thoughts on Baby Showers, Remote Voting And Other Randomness…

It’s become “that” time again. Time to think about having to park the car in the car hole again…which means moving some things around. I have to put camping gear back on the loft or in the basement, move things out of the path of the car, yada yada…our “car hole” is only designed for one car, so sometimes things get a bit… snug. We don’t tend to ever park the car in the car hole during the warm weather months, so during that time it becomes a place to stage gardening gear, camping supplies, surplus groceries, booze, etc.

If only my car hole’s life was THAT exciting!

My husband and I have talked quite a bit at length about how we’ll keep from going insane during the coming months – when we’ll revert to pretty much not going anywhere unless necessary (going out for supplies and me going out to to work). We’re going to continue not “dining in” or “drinking in” at any bars/restaurants, though we may do carryout orders of beer/food at a microbrewery near our home occasionally. We’re not confident sitting indoors breathing in other people’s unmasked air for an extended period in public places while this pandemic still has such a grip on us all.

Yep, it’s going to be cool and rainy all this week. What better week to practice the fine art of not going out? It’s not going to be THAT bad! We’re not going to get crazy from being cooped up!!! Well, maybe just a little bit!

Marge and Homer in a send-up of “The Shining.” It does not bode well for Homer…

So what does this mean? It means we might be playing some DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS! My husband, aka former “dungeon master” is absolutely chomping at the bit! We used to do this quite a bit together during college and for a spell after college. While I’m certainly not a number cruncher who will ever, ever crack the binding of a D&D book, I DO love role playing (keep your minds out of the gutter)! There may be a time-traveling element involving a character I’ve played quite often in “Zombicide.” And a revival of a female barbarian character named Frida I played in college (think of her as a blonde, dumb Xena whom is every bit as tough as Xena, and for the record, I created the Frida character before Xena was on TV)!

I’m sure we’ll still have our tense, trying moments while we’re cooped up this winter. We’ll still occasionally sign in for the “virtual” trivia games, we’ll still watch an unhealthy amount of TV. We’ll have to get our asses out for occasional exercise, for sure…

What’s next? Baby showers. Ugh…I follow a local discussion board on Facebook, and a couple of recent posts about expectant mothers looking for places to host baby showers – FOR TONS OF PEOPLE – have been raising eyebrows…and ire as of late.

One poster didn’t mince any words…

“Stop trying to have a big party during a pandemic!”

The admins eventually had to take the post down…

Yet another post about someone looking for a baby shower spot still remained able to be posted upon. After having read everyone’s comments – some helpful, some angry – I decided to just cut a little bit loose about my opinions about baby showers (and gift showers in general):

Baby showers are just gift grabs with silly poopy diaper games where chocolate is substituted for poop. 😂People are going to do whatever they want. Wedding showers are essentially the same only no poopy diaper game. I will always try opting for just giving a gift rather than attending these things when I’m invited, but this may not be a popular opinion. May the parents to be not receive three identical strollers from their guests and five versions of the same baby monitor! This is just my silly commentary about showers and not intended to be hateful or finger-wagging in any way.

Had I said what was REALLY on my mind, though – rather than “playing nice” for the sake of not getting attacked?

“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU F—ING THINKING?” Do you really think that now is the time to be thinking about having big gatherings of people? Do you WANT to see your grandmother get infected? Do you want complications while you’re delivering this baby? Are you seriously this selfish and greedy?”

About that…why not just have people deposit the gifts on your porch – then gather people later for an outdoor gathering to thank them all for the baby monitors, mega boxes of Costco diapers and the multiple versions they received of the same exact strollers? Why not make it easier for everyone and just say, “Hey, we’re having a baby. Please give us some money or gift cards. Thanks!” This will guarantee the new parents will get things they need, this will guarantee they don’t receive duplicate gifts, and it means nobody has to spend money on finger sandwiches, chocolate bars and oversized cakes that won’t get entirely consumed. I know, I know…where’s the fun in that? Well, I can think of many, many more “fun” things to do other than attend than a baby shower. Like having elective surgery, having a root canal and waiting in line at the DMV. For the love of whomever you worship…DO NOT MAKE ME GO TO YOUR BABY SHOWER! I’ll give you a gift card…or something! Even better, don’t even invite me! Thanks…

Furthermore, maybe Aunt Grace doesn’t want to put herself at risk and come to your baby shower (even though she makes a killer punch with orange sherbet). It’s unnecessary, it’s unconscionable, it’s just way, way too risky. As safe as people will say they’ll try to be with distancing, masks, mandatory sprayings of Lysol, using enough hand sanitizer to fill the hull of a freighter, etc. – it still isn’t safe enough. Not unless everyone wears hazmat suits…

I get that people don’t want to put their lives on hold. You can’t exactly push that baby back in and have it be born later. People want to see their families, they want to see their names on a custom cake from Kroger, and dammit, they want as much baby paraphernalia as they can get their hands on. Baby monitors for every room! Surely you must have a relative rich enough to buy you a crib AND a changing table! And diapers, diapers, diapers! Can’t have enough of those! And guess what, new moms and dads? That won’t be a melted chocolate bar in those diapers you’re changing (do not try to sniff it to guess)!

But some people HAVE put their lives on hold during all of this. Why? Because we’re in a pandemic! Concerts and concert tours have been called off. Countless festivals/conventions canceled. Some sports stadiums feature games with no audiences – or “virtual” audiences.

On a personal note, I’ve virtually stopped seeing my parents in person, except for a few visits at their home outside on their deck distanced more than six feet apart. I’ve barely seen my friends at all – just one, really – for occasional outdoor visits to a beer garden (us at either ends of a long picnic table). I’ve seen other friends and family virtually during trivia games, and have seen another only maybe three times in fleeting “safe distance” capacities. Some friends of mine canceled their wedding in March. Another friend hosted “drive-by” birthday parties for both of her young daughters. Yet too many others are still hosting and attending large parties, many of which are later described as “super spreader” events. A graduation party near where I live was supposedly a hot spot for more than 60 COVID cases.

I think hosting large indoor gatherings is still way too risky right now. Thankfully l’m an introvert, so even when we didn’t have a plague going on, I didn’t like attending large gatherings very often.

What else? Oh yes, I’m submitting my ballot today at my township clerk’s office. This is the absolute best way to vote!!! Even if you’re not an introvert who hates waiting in long lines!

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