The Quarantimes Week 10: Bandits

May 22nd, 2020

On a daredevil trip to the co-op this week I floundered with human connection. Wearing a mask has taught me a few valuable things about myself. First of all, I read lips to fully understand what people are saying. In fact, apparently I tend to look at mouths more than eyes, which is why I never recognize anyone with a mask on. 

Second of all, when I can’t put someone at ease with a smile, it’s hard to connect. For socially awkward ambiverts like myself, this situation vacillates between being our biggest gift and greatest nightmare.

Now that we’re starting to think ahead to the school year, with my kids potentially having to wear masks to school, I think, if I, an arguably well-adjusted adult woman (I said arguably), can barely handle trying to read people with a mask on, how are my kids supposed to do it?

They’re mask-oblivious right now. Eliza has worn one to venom therapy, that’s it. Phoebe has never worn a mask. She also does not miss school or people. In fact, she no longer likes books or stories with people in them at all. I dread the day when I have to break the news to her that not only are we going back out in the world, but she must be wearing a mask at all times. 

Is it clear how much I hate masks? I hope it’s also clear how important I think they are. In no way am I disagreeing that we should all be wearing masks. 

And truthfully, I am lucky that I only have to wear a mask when I go to the co-op or the gardening store. Lots of people — my husband included — have to wear a mask all day, every day, at work.

Lately, Phoebe has been pushing back against things I ask her to do. She’ll bluntly inform me “No, because I just don’t want to.” I have to repeatedly have conversations about how we have to do things we don’t want to do sometimes. Especially if we’re adults, am I right?


On the other hand, my kids are at peak cute right now, so I’m pretty fortunate to be able to witness so much of it. This morning, Eliza yells from the yard as if there’s a dire emergency: “MAAAAAAMMMMMMAAAAAAA!!!!!”

Me, expecting blood, “Yes?”

Eliza, still yelling: “DOES THE EARTH GO ON FOREVER?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading:

Mom-Shaming Ourselves in New York Times Parenting. I may be one of those moms who makes homemade crackers and posts about it on Instagram. Hear me out! Compulsive cooking is a major outlet of mine, especially in these times. It’s one of the few creative things I can accomplish while I am with my twin five-year-olds. But just to be fair, I also buy crackers! So many crackers!

The CDC Guidelines for schools on getting back to it post-COVID. Ugh. This plunges me into a dark place.

What I’m watching:

Comedian Sarah Cooper on Twitter with her lip-synced bits, slaying me this week.

What I’m eating:

 What I’m working on:

For Helpshift: Don’t Forget, Contact Workers Are Essential Too!

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