With all due respect to Carole King and Gerry Goffin, I woke up that morning feeling fine. There was somebody special on my mind…
Unlike most recent days, that particular Saturday was going to be different. Change, glorious change, was in the air.
Our granddaughter, Portia, was coming over, and she was staying for the weekend. My Porsches, the four wheeled kind, as opposed to the two legged kind, were going to be a tad jealous. Most likely, I would not even notice them that weekend, because Portia would garner all our attention.
Yup, I thought, it was going to be an interesting weekend, and that was before I knew Portia’s dog, Stasi, was coming, too. If I’d have known Stasi was coming, I would have gone back to sleep, hoping to hibernate the weekend away. It’s not that she is a bad dog, she isn’t. It’s just that she loves to look out the windows and bark at everything passing by. She and our dog, Jake, love each other and have a good time, but they really raise a ruckus. Stasi takes a lot of work without Portia being here. Having both at the same time always feels overwhelming. Of course, Pam and Kim knew on Friday that Stasi was coming, but they opted to keep me in the dark. Most likely that was a good idea.
Pam loves being a grammy. She is really good at it. She is referred to as Grammy Pammy. I love being grumpy. I am really good at it. That is why I am referred to as Grumpy, with no need to qualify it further, as adding Harry on the end of it would be redundant, not to mention the fact that Harry does not rhyme with Grumpy.
As I lay in bed, I felt more excited about a weekend than I had in quite some time, despite all the extra work Pam, and to a much lesser extent I, was going to have to do.
Since Covid-19 began, most days are pretty similar for us. The Beatles sang about love everyday in Eight Days a Week, using the impossible number eight to stress how they loved their partner everyday. If they wrote the same song today, they would title it Eight Mondays a Week. Not to express their love, but to lament the sameness of every day during the Covid-19 lockdown.
I led a pretty regimented, read consistent, life prior to Covid-19. Some might have said I was on the OCD spectrum. I would disagree, as I believe my actions were predicated on the fact that I did what I did in the way I did it to maximize my benefit while minimizing the cost I incurred in terms of hassle, time, money, pain etc. I felt my behaviors were outcome based and not driven by irrational fears.
I must admit that the benefit I derive from some of my actions is kinda insignificant. One of my habits, a holdover from my more intense running days, is that when I buy a new pair of running socks I number each one with the same number, enabling me to match them up after each wash, thereby ensuring that each sock in a pair is run in for the same number of minutes and washed the same number of times, resulting in consistent wear patterns and the avoidance of sock related blisters. As the number of minutes I run each week has dwindled as my age has increased, the likelihood of me getting a running related blister has decreased significantly, but I still dutifully number each sock. So maybe I have an irrational fear of blisters and am on that spectrum after all.
But I digress. Each week in the Covid-19 lockdown has a cadence. There has been very little variability. Even though I had limited variability prior to Covid-19, at least Pam and I did stuff. We ate out. We went to concerts. We saw shows. We saw movies. We saw friends. We went to our respective gyms. I did stuff on my own. I drove my cars for fun. I had cronies. Our lives were full. Of course, we really enjoyed the weekends we had no plans, as they were so relaxing.
That all changed with Covid-19. Now the only cronies I see are the checkers I know at the market and the lady behind the counter at the bagel store. I really enjoy chatting with them, as doing so makes me feel like life is almost normal, despite our masks muffling our conversations and hiding our facial expressions. We do see a handful of friends in an extremely socially distant way and that also helps us feel more normal.
But the reality is that we have very little we can do outside the house, which results in a daily sameness that permeates us to our cores. So instead of cherishing weekends without plans, now we cherish ones with plans. That is human nature, I suppose.
None of that mattered on that Saturday morning. What mattered was that I woke up feeling fine and there was someone special on my mind…