Unpopular Vote: Quarantine Happy

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.



  1. What an awesome read! And those of us who really know you also know every word is true. I love the way everyone is working together on reading screenplays & then watching the films together. You always have the best ideas of fun things to do as a family & that’s why I always read your blogs with a permanent smile on my face. Thanks, as always, for sharing your life with us. You are my favorite author & blogger!

  2. Your article was so you. I’ve often felt guilty during this long quarantine for being content. I”m keeping myself very busy each day. My husband is shocked that I’m even cooking and planning the whole week. It’s taken me 45 years to become somewhat comfortable in my kitchen.
    I truly miss hugging my grandsons. That’s the only thing that’s stressing me out.

  3. I think what it says about you is that you are an evolved woman truly happy within herself, full of the life and light within you. What it says is that there is nothing wrong with your life. You are well adjusted and surrounded by your family which is a gift. It’s fun to witness you. As for me my life was sort of in a social distance phase and I am enjoying sports of energy to enjoy nature, to cook everyday for myself. To adapt to the new normal for me. I’m out of work so it’s a bit challenging so I have to be creative and open with bill collectors. I’m still loving my SD life but really miss traveling. You my dear are a breath of fresh air. Love you Red!

  4. Loved reading this, helped me to not feel the guilt of staying home in quarantine. I seem to be busy all the time, I take walks watch old movies and of course cook daily. I love grilled pineapple and grilled watermelon.
    Warms my heart to know I’m not alone ❤️❤️

  5. Stephanie you’re an amazing. I love all of your positivity,

  6. Loved this — and I feel the exact same way. I too am a happy hermit and could easily do this well into the future. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  7. I am another happy hermit and am kind of shocked about it because I’m currently working at home and taking care of my two year old with a baby on the way next month. I’d be sad not to see my family across the country for a whole year, but otherwise I’m happy to chuck the rest and stay at home. Now if some free time could open up instead of childcare time, I’d be in heaven with painting, playing piano, watching tv and movies, reading books and magazines and everything in sight, cooking new recipes, and organizing the hell out of my house.

  8. Stephanie,

    I’ve been reading you, although not consistently as life happens, since your first blog. You remember those days don’t you? You channeled Samantha from Sex and the City perfectly. I was in awe and sometimes bored with your daily musings about lack of love, lots of sex, hangovers, Martinis, and friendships. You inspired me to start a blog, now long neglected. I wrote to you once ( or twice). Being so much older than you, I predicted as your life changed, so would your voice, interests, passions, and priorities.

    Catching up with you today, I notice you aren’t as “daily” as you once were( at least I couldn’t find any August posts). No doubt teenage twins, a health challenged husband, and your writing keeps you on a merry-go-round schedule. But your blog is magnificent. Visually, it’s delicious. The content is varied and entertaining. There’s a soft, elegant, loving, gentle, and kind essence to it. Your essence as you embrace a life with the same gusto you embraced those mid-2000 years in NYC. It’s sheer joy to “see” and share in your transformation.

    As this pandemic continues to challenge us, it’s my hope, whatever the next normal is, we’ll remember these days of batch cooking, true quality family time, creative “date nights,” reaching out to people we only once gave a casual glance, and most of all, as these days become “the way it was,” we’ll take each moment and live it to the fullest. You’ve shared your life with the public for years….you’ve lived your moments and reminded others to do the same. Thank you for giving.

    Best of luck with the teenagers and your work. I may have to restart my blog….just because an aging boomer still has something to say!

  9. I feel exactly the same. I hate that the world is opening up, and I’m no longer in my safe cocoon. Yes, ,I realize Covid was and is horrible. I lost my brother due to Covid. Yet, I still love being home. My friends and I zoom at least every other week. And they’ll say, “I miss you so much. “And I reply “Miss me! I’m constantly seeing your face, I don’t miss you (or anything else.) Leave me alone, don’t bother me Mel

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