I could do this whole shelter in place thing for another year, easy. There has to be some type of commentary on people like this, with some insight about personality traits or shortcomings. What can it mean, the fact that I miss and want for nothing? Does it mean that my life pre-coronavirus was so lacking that I miss for none of it, or that I’m just a happy person? I genuinely miss nothing. Not restaurants or talking to strangers, not the energy of people or a crowd. I don’t miss concerts, the beach, or dinners with friends. I am, at my core, a happy hermit. I love my home and board games and creative projects (the featured image of this post is a drawing I did of a storefront in Lisbon, Portugal serving oysters, sardines, and alcohol). I can spend an entire week looking at nothing but recipes.
What’s wrong with me? It sounds like I’m being tongue and cheek, but I truly am curious. I’m at complete ease at home drawing, cooking, baking, board games, writing, singing, and short spurts of dancing. Very short. Pajamas. Movies. Make your own pizza nights.
This week, I’ve asked The Suitor and kids to read a screenplay version of the film Booksmart, a draft I was given by a producer back in 2008. We’re reading the draft then watching the 2019 film together to discuss the changes, act breaks, modern adaptations, the cuts and decisions made. I’m doing something like this once each week, since screenplays are a quick read. *We watched the film, and it bears very little resemblance to the original screenplay. Remarkably, it feels like a rip-off of Can’t Hardly Wait.
I still adore nearly all things Neil Simon and plan to have us all read the screenplays, then watch the films together with a dinner discussion (possibly tied into the theme of the film–but come on, that ain’t happenin’).
I’m still the mom who likes themed nights and order. Italian night with garlic bread. Asian night with dim sum. I wanted to do a Hawaiian night, but no one besides me likes grilled pineapple. I feel like this is an opportunity to become a Middle America Mom, someone who batch preps and makes a chalkboard calendar of meals–I always liked the idea of this but never executed because every single time I spend a day making a dish, no one wants to eat it.
Lucas wants meat. Short rib. Rib rib. Fajitas without peppers or onions, basically nachos, but no beans. Panko-crusted chicken breasts. Beef and broccoli over rice. No pasta. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, and carrots are the only veggies he’ll request.
Abigail wants no meat. She wants matzo ball soup, rice and beans, ramen bowls and pasta. Any veg on Earth. Like me, if she never ate an animal again, she’d be fine, except she’d miss the occasional lamb, meatball, or panko-breaded chicken cutlet.
Phil wants nothing that takes planning or a recipe. Quesadillas, stuffed pork shops. He watches Chopp’d and Top Chef, but we never cook anything from the shows.
I want rose-rhubarb-strawberry compotes, matcha lattes, and books and screenplays. I want to order fresh (not dried) unsprayed organic rose petals to consume, but I don’t know where to source them. Eva Sommaripa has a farm, but her shop isn’t offering edible roses now.
These are luxuries, I know. I hear people say they can’t wait to return to their normal, to being together again, but I’m deeply happy and productive here. It feels like high school, when I had an open period and was able to spend more time in studio art, losing myself. This is my escape, my ability to swim in joy pockets.
It would be more fun with my extended family. I wish I were with my mom cooking and planning our menus, playing music together. But even she would get antsy and need to go outdoors to go fish or take a walk. So what does it say about me, that I’m perfectly content living in this new bubble?
My daughter is hugging me more often. Lucas hugs me for as long as I’d like. He delights in talking about film ideas and asked to stay up an extra hour past bedtime to finish reading the oringinal Booksmart draft. He’s 13, and I love that.
I maybe, maybe miss a dark bar, catching up with a friend over fruity cocktails with a layer of foam. Girl brunches and Balthazar onion goat cheese tarts, but in truth, I own the recipe and can make my own. I can escape in books and films and meals made.
I love researching, reading studies about supplements, about psychology, and working on future creative projects. I guess that’s my super power, my ability to look forward, not back, wishing for the life I had, but looking forward to the life I want.
One day history will look back at the commercials of today. All the masks in commercials, the adaptations in advertising, curbside pickup, push toward the drive-thru. There’s so much to observe right now. So many angles. I wonder what it’s like just out of divorce, with shared custody, needy to move on and begin dating. Or with little ones who need exercise to sleep through the night. All these changes, and nature keeps going, birds still wake me each morning. Every night I fall asleep trying to hear the owl. Then bouncing to the rice we have, wondering what’s for dinner tomorrow night.