Daily Camera (Boulder)

Pan­demic daze at home: Month eight – quash­ing quar­an­tine habits

- BY MARY LYNN BRUNY Lifehacks · Healthy Living · Infectious Diseases · Soap · Health Conditions · Skin Care · Cosmetics · Beauty · Fashion & Beauty · Switzerland · Spanx, Inc.

“We’re get­ting low on toi­let pa­per,” says my hus­band, the King of Quar­an­tine Sup­plies. “Don’t want to get caught with our pants down on this one,” I re­ply. ( Yes, it’s this kind of jaunty repar­tee that keeps the home fires burn­ing.) “Put it on the list and we’ll get more next time we’re out,” I say. “We’re also very low on beer and wine,” he notes. This perks me up. “Well, time to shop!” I pro­nounce. I can do with­out toi­let pa­per but cer­tainly not wine.

Along with so­cial dis­tanc­ing, mask wear­ing, hand wash­ing, teeth grind­ing and mid­dle-of-the-night wor­ry­ing, other habits of mine have changed since the pan­demic be­gan and my hus­band and I started quar­an­tin­ing at home. Some­how we have gone from maybe-a-few-timesa-week drinkers to al­most-ev­erynighter­s with me par­tak­ing the most.

I’m amazed and slightly con­cerned and em­bar­rassed by the con­stant sup­ply of booze bot­tles in our re­cy­cle bin. One day my hus­band caught me at­tempt­ing to cover them with other re­cy­clables: “You know, even if we can’t see them, we both know those bot­tles are still there, right?” This logic is sound, yet mil­lions of women wear SPANX and men wear un­tucked shirts, so let’s be hon­est: We all like to de­lude our­selves and oth­ers, es­pe­cially about our bad habits and poochy parts. Some­times we’re just not ready to face our per­sonal re­al­ity, es­pe­cially when re­al­ity in gen­eral seems rather over­whelm­ing.

My hus­band and I aren’t alone in our bot­tle-pro­duc­ing bevy. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports adults over 30 ( You know, peo­ple with re­spon­si­bil­i­ties who have also ex­pe­ri­enced sev­eral decades on the planet), are drink­ing more than ever be­fore. Ex­perts warn this isn’t good for our health. I imag­ine my liver with a ticked­off face and sev­eral of my lim­ited quan­tity of well-func­tion­ing brain cells dy­ing tor­tured, poi­sonous deaths. This knowl­edge stresses me out even more, and makes me want to drink. Def­i­nitely not a healthy re­ac­tion. I know I need to rein in things.

“Okay,” I de­clare to my hus­band over morn­ing cof­fee, “I’m only go­ing to have only one glass of wine a night.” He smiles at me in that neu­tral way that smart part­ners do. It’s a smile that says, “I’m on board but I’ve been down Morn­ing Procla­ma­tion Road with you be­fore and have a pretty good idea where this crazy car is go­ing.”

The day goes on and my good in­ten­tions smack harshly into re­al­ity. No mat­ter one’s life sit­u­a­tion, things are more wor­ri­some, bor­ing, harder, stress­ful and/or scarier than be­fore. Just fol­low­ing what’s go­ing on in the world feels like a cast iron skil­let to the head. By the end of the day, I’m ready to chill out.

I ra­tion my one glass of wine while we’re cook­ing din­ner, and it slips down my gul­let so fast I won­der if I ac­tu­ally poured it. The wine bot­tle con­firms I did. Dang! Nonethe­less I do this move: splash just an inch in my glass. It doesn’t count, right?

It’s barely there. Just a smidgen!

Who would be­grudge me this? My hus­band, to­tally neu­tral, Mr. Switzer­land, does not say a word, bless his heart. Of course, this oneinch­ing goes on for many inches. My de­nial-brain, how­ever, sticks with its orig­i­nal story that I’ve had just one glass. The tat­tle­tale wine bot­tle says dif­fer­ently, but I jam it be­hind the orange juice to shut it up. But I just can’t stop imag­in­ing a dis­gusted look from my liver and more dy­ing brain cells.

Oh, well. To­mor­row’s an­other day. I’ll try an­other tac­tic. I’ll take an­other route down Morn­ing Procla­ma­tion Road in my crazy car. When I do so I should prob­a­bly pick up some toi­let pa­per. We’re still low on that.

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