A few days ago, I posted my favorite things about staying at home. Today, I want to take a different route. To avoid being negative, I’m not going to list all the things I hate about life these days. Instead, I will take a more positive approach and discuss what I most look forward to when life goes back to “normal.” (I’m using quotes because I fear things will never be normal again.)
Hugs. I am so excited for tight bear hugs. I’ve always loved fierce embraces, but I never realized how much I needed them until they become life-threatening. I’m so excited to squeeze the members of my family (my mother first) and my friends. Hell, I might accost a random stranger or go to one of those cuddle parties to get my fix!
Live book launches. I’ve become friendly with many authors in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area over the last few years and there seems to be a book launch at least once a month. Before, I was celebrating a book release at Shakespeare and Co., The Strand, or Barnes & Noble often. Now, while I will continue support my fellow authors at their virtual parties, I look forward to seeing them live from a seat in the audience and to the time when it will be my turn to be the author-of-honor at my own launch party!
Drinks with friends somewhere other than my apartment and without a device between us. Shout-outs to Shanna and Dee, the two friends I most look forward to clinking glasses with when it is deemed safe, even if it results in a hangover!
Eating a meal out. I still order take-out or delivery once or twice a week to support local businesses and to vary my menu, but I miss sitting at a restaurant and ordering a full-on meal with an appetizer, main course, and cocktail. I don’t enjoying cooking and tend to prepare the same meals at home every week. There’s only so much gluten-free pasta, salad, rice and vegetables, tuna melts, and soup I can handle.
A fully-stocked grocery store. I’ve had all of my groceries delivered from Fairway since mid-March. For every order I’ve made, at least 25% of the products I put in my cart were either replaced or refunded due to being out-of-stock. I had to buy low fat mayonnaise and, let me tell you, it was gross! Until this past weekend, I had saved my last Udi’s gluten-free frozen pizza because I was waiting for a “special occasion.” This is what my life has come to: waiting for a special occasion to eat frozen pizza! I visited my parents this weekend and, lucky for me, the Shop Rite by them had the pizza in stock so I bought a few of them. I’ll wait until I have one left and save it for another special occasion.
Losing the mask. I know essential workers sport face masks every single day for hours on end and I respect, admire, and thank them for it! I do, and will continue to wear one whenever I leave my apartment—aside from my runs where there’s more than enough space to leave it around my neck—but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. For one thing it’s hard to breathe, and for another, I have a small head and it always slips. I can’t wait to take for granted the ability to breathe in fresh air without a mask like I used to. I wonder if I will ever take it for granted again.
Getting my hair done and feeling pretty again. I haven’t had my hair done professionally since February and it shows. My hair is probably about 25% gray and while I can easily touch up my roots at home, my stylist uses highlights and low-lights to cover my grays and to give my naturally very dark brown hair a reddish tone that I love. A bottle of Clairol can’t do that. My hair needs a good cut, too, which I refuse to try myself! I learned my lessons from multiple disastrous attempts to trim my own bangs when I was younger. Also, I very rarely bother with makeup these days. My face is covered with a mask when I’m in public and I live alone. Every so often, I put it on a little eye makeup or lipstick for a Zoom video, but usually not. Finally, I can’t wait to wear a dress instead of the rotation of leggings, sweatpants, and shorts I’ve been sporting daily. The phrase “comfort over style” has become a cliché.
The resumption of my rowing classes. I only discovered rowing in December, when a Row House studio opened in my neighborhood. I was hooked from my first class. It’s a full body workout that gives me something similar to a runner’s high during sprints. Most of the classes also include a body weight portion. After each class, I feel so strong, capable, and like I can take on the world (slight exaggeration for effect)! When fitness centers are given the green light, I hope the studio will open to smaller classes where we can all be separated by more than six feet.
Getting my regular salary back. Like many of us, I was hit with a significant pay cut. Right now, I make up a lot of the money by not getting my hair or nails done, eating or drinking out, clothes shopping, or paying for gym memberships, but it’s still a big loss and I worry about how much of my savings I will have to rely upon to pay my expensive NYC rent. My workload has also dropped by about 25% and I also look forward to being busier.
Dating. This isolation has motivated me to find a man to spend my life with, if only so the next time this happens, I’m not all alone! (Just kidding. The truth is that I’d rather be alone than stuck with someone I’m not into.) Many people are “virtual dating” but it’s not for me. I’m rethinking it though…More on that tomorrow….maybe (I’m still debating going there.)
What about you? What do you most look forward to doing when things open up and it is once-again safe to go outside?