Playing keep away

When the going gets tough … what? The tough get going? Not really. Not here. Not now. Now the tough wander aimlessly from kitchen to living room, having cooked and baked and explored every food item and recipe on the planet in the first month of exile. And eaten it all

Did someone say cookies?

But – I’m good at following rules. I’m good at social distancing, of playing keep away from the neighbors. I have it honed like a fine art. Brad has trouble reading social cues, so I’m more than happy to help him realize what could be his full potential.

Me, I’m like a Ninja. I know what 6 feet looks like. And I’m excellent at it. I’ll crawl up the side of a wall before I get anywhere near another living being. And I’m not afraid to teach Brad the finer points of being in quarantine.

Me: “Did you wash your hands?”

Brad: “Yes, I washed my hands after I went to the bathroom.”

Me: “But you touched your hair after you washed your hands.”

Brad: “My hair is clean.”

Me: “But is it clean enough to eat off of? No. So you need to wash them again. And sing a Donovan song while you are washing. I like Mellow Yellow. If you sing it like he does, and do 2 verses, it works out to be exactly 20 seconds.”

I’m quite adept at giving people space. I like space. I am not a close talker. I can greet people without a hug, meet people without touching any part of their person, and speak without being close enough to see their pupils. I can be distant. It’s in my nature. I am a New Yorker. I don’t need my personal space invaded. I got this.

Arms length. It works.

Brad, not so much. He’s warm and friendly. People like him more than they like me. And I’m OK with that. You don’t have to like me. So I’m the one in the store, with the mask, tugging on the back of Brad’s pants, pulling him backwards, and chanting “6 feet, 6 feet.”

Me in a stage whisper: “you’re not at 6 feet apart

Brad, who can’t whisper: “But he got close to me.”

Me: “You’re supposed to back up and keep 6 feet between you.”

Brad: “If I back up any more I’ll be outside the door. And anyway I am 6 feet. I’m standing on the line.”

Me: “Your standing ON the line, not BEHIND the line. And anyway, your head is way over the line. You get the virus, I’m going to a hotel.”

I’m also good at self entertaining. Brad is not an “alone” kind of guy. I can do alone. I have books, I have TV, I have coconut almond biscotti in the oven. I have a blog to write, which I avoid like the pandemic until every part of the house is clean and I can no longer avoid the inevitable. Brad craves society. I hide from it.

Early on in the “lock down” Brad received a call from a friend. “He wants to come over” Brad said. “What do I tell him?” Like, there are two choices. Only two. One is right, and the other is so wrong, on so many different levels, that I don’t answer. I glare, and whisper “Hotel.”

So now comes to 2 months in self isolation and I decide that, 2 months ago, I needed a hair cut, which means I’m about 4 months overdue. I have layered hair so I can’t just trim the bottom and call it done. But I’m going nowhere near someone who will breathe anywhere in my hemisphere. So I grabbed the only pair of cutting implements I could find, in this case kitchen shears, and poised in front of the bathroom mirror.

I wouldn’t normally do it but my style had turned to earmuffs that stuck up on the sides of my head. And wearing a scrunchy just made me feel ridiculous and look like one of those crazy older ladies that walked Hollywood Blvd in bright pink miniskirts with blue eyeshadow and red lipstick scrawled across their face.

I simply imitated what my stylist did. I lifted, and wacked. Or more like sawed away at my too thick and heavy head of hair. And it looked pretty good. So off we went for a drive in the woods.

Feeling pretty proud of my newfound talent, I pulled down the visor to admire my new coif. Heck, who needs to spend money at a salon when a pair of kitchen shears would do just fine, thank you very much.

Oh. My. God. In the sun, without soft bathroom lighting, I looked like Billy Ray Cyrus. Short sides, long backed mullet.


Needless to say, being an industrious woman in the wilderness I got back home, and cut the rest to match. It’s not bad. It’s not good but it’s not bad. Mullet is gone, and every time a piece of hair sticks out, I cut it. I told Brad I thought it looked pretty good. He didn’t say anything. But I offered to cut his hair before he starts scaring little children …

Unfortunately there was one tiny incident about 28 years ago when I decided to trim our toddler’s hair. It was growing over his ears. I cut, he moved and I just nicked a bit of his ear off. Just a bit, tiny bit. Ears bleed a lot so it looked a lot worse than it was. And anyway, I’ve looked at Jordan as an adult and it’s grown back, so what’s the big deal?

Some people are so sensitive!

2 thoughts on “Playing keep away

  1. Susan – You’re still funny after all these years! Your distancing issues sounds like our home! I hope all is well in both your lives.


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