A Gift in Strange Wrapping

Quarantine Things.  Unexpected and weird pandemic growth edition.

Here’s something most people don’t know about me.  In fact, I would say only my innermost inner circle of people know it.  The people who live with me.  Ready for it?   I hate buying toilet paper.  I fucking hate it.  I can do it if I have a cart FULL of other groceries, but I don’t like it.  I don’t like being in the aisle.  I don’t want people assuming that I need toilet paper.  Never would I ever go to the store to buy only toilet paper.  When I’m out in the world and receive the dreaded “we need toilet paper” text from my husband, he immediately gets a “fuck you” text back.   Imagine my horror when the entire world became focused on toilet paper and in particular, purchasing toilet paper.  When the world ran out of toilet paper, I sent my husband to the hardware store because I heard they had plenty.   Plenty of off brand, one ply, porta-potty approved toilet paper is what they had.  And he bought as much as he was allowed to purchase.  3 packs of 9 rolls I think it was.  And it was fine.  I expected it to last forever, and it would have if I lived alone.  But I live with 3 boys who clearly require a lot of toilet paper.  I have been doing my grocery shopping online and picking it up curbside.  Every week I add toilet paper to the list and every week they have none.  My super awesome neighbor friend was out in the world and ran across toilet paper and was kind enough to snatch up extra for us.  He delivered it to our carport.  Y’all.  It’s lavender scented.  I think just the roll is lavender scented, but it makes all the toilet paper smell like lavender.  Every time I walk into the bathroom where the lavender toilet paper is, it transports me to another time and place.  Not a lavender field like you might expect.  No.  It takes me to a public bathroom.  A public bathroom where sketchy things take place and the smell of chemical flowers attempts to cover it up.  And I laugh every time.  I read on social media that a local friend has toilet paper that smells good, so I imagine half of this island is rocking the Dollar General lavender toilet paper.  Also hilarious.  And the fact that people are just openly discussing toilet paper EVERY DAMN DAY.  What is this world?   On Monday morning, I took a trip to the grocery store because I needed to pick out my own groceries.  I got there at 6:30 am.  Last night a friend said that grocery shopping during this time feels like it’s straight out of The Hunger Games.  She’s right.  It does.  Mask on.  Focus.  Go.  Don’t stop.  Get out.  But, at the last minute, I remembered that I should look for toilet paper.  So I back tracked.   And “blessed be the toilet paper.”   (If you read The Handmaid’s Tale, you know.)  There wasn’t a lot, but it was definitely there.  Brand name, two ply, non lavender toilet paper.  A freaking miracle.  I was allowed to purchase two, but there was absolutely no way I was going to be THAT asshole.  There was another woman in the aisle who was very excited about the toilet paper.  And then it happened.  This woman and I had a conversation about toilet paper right there, behind our masks, 6 feet away from one another, in the toilet paper aisle.  I kid you not.  This was my big moment of growth.  Buying toilet paper while having a discussion about toilet paper with a stranger as I stood in front of a shelf of toilet paper.  This cannot be what I take from my time in quarantine.  This cannot be how I remember this time.  But, it’s etched into my mind and it will absolutely be a moment that I don’t forget.  We will ALL remember the toilet paper crisis we experienced during this time.  There is no way around it.  How fucking crazy is that?   BUT…….I am also going to remember how good it feels to hear someone’s voice on the phone.    I am going to remember how much I love the sound of quiet.  I’m going to remember how much I enjoy watching my 17 year old bake.  How much I love all the extra snuggles from my 11 year old.  How my husband and I have learned to be more patient and kind to one another.  To not seek outside of myself to nourish my soul.  That I actually need very little to be content.   That I am hilarious and make myself laugh out loud several times a day at the things that go on in my head. There’s so much good stuff in all of this.  This time is truly a gift in strange wrapping.  It’s incredibly inspiring to witness everyone adapt and adjust and keep moving forward.

Something a little different for the blog. A question for you. What will you remember most about this time. Good, bad or indifferent. There’s no wrong answer. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just honest.

5 thoughts on “A Gift in Strange Wrapping

  1. Sally says:

    OMG, you should really publish a book, dear lady! What you wrote hit home. My girlfriend on OKI, has also dropped off TP from DG to us. Most recently, our son and family, who live in Fort Worth, Texas, MAILED (I kid you not) us a 12 pack mega roll of toilet paper. Sad, but true…..
    What I will remember most about this time? At the beginning – Feeling depressed, helpless and often lonely.
    Then, I stop and think, what right do I have to feel those feelings and be so selfish while so many people are suffering? Then I stop again, remembering Danielle’s sweet giggle on FaceTime just a few hours ago, and how she “pretends” to share her dinner with Nanny and Grandpa by putting her fork up to my IPAD screen. Her sweet innocence. Our son and his wife preparing for the birth of their son during these troubled times. The nurses, doctors and first responders who are holding it all together for US. And then I stop again, and thank God Joe and I are alive, and our family and friends near and far are also alive and well. And then, I cry………tears of gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. drgettingsober says:

    You’ve made me smile this morning – thank you! What will I remember about this time? Missing my daughters but also really knowing that they are both doing ok as adults away from me for the first time; being able to spend time with my old dog in her last days, the regular swing between fear and anxst and total gratitude and mostly the simplicity of life stripped back. I hate going to the supermarket though! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love this .And I love lavender. But I don’t love chemical lavender.
    What I will remember about this time is the wisdom of a soberyogi leaving breadcrumbs of wisdom and laughter
    to help people through uncharted times. Thank you for that .
    I’ll remember working in my garden with a new appreciation for life and the gifts I have right in front of my eyes. I’ll remember the words of my friend while he sat as a guest of the state in Danbury Prison: You can do hard time or you can do easy time, it’s all a state of mind. But you will do the time.
    I choose non-resistance. We are here. We get a chance to rest and look inside. Let’s make the best of it.
    I’ll remember sword fights with my grandson and sitting on the couch at dinnertime with plate on lap watching Revolution with my husband.
    There is something so sacred in the mundane .

    I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

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