Day At the Races

I should be in Virginia right now. It’s a little after 5 pm so our race would have been long over. We should have been taking pictures at the finish line. I should have been congratulating him on a race well run and he should have been cheering me on as I slowly jogged across the finish line 20 minutes or so after him. We should be talking about where we’re going out tonight, maybe playing some Pokemon. Last night I should have been having a pre-race spaghetti dinner with the mobster, despite me being on a low carb diet. Thursday after work I should have got in my car and started the drive to Virginia. We should be together. Period. Instead, I’m sitting here in bed in Indiana. I’m surrounded by 3 dogs. I’m waiting to go take a run. The weather is crappy- gray and rainy and not all that warm. In fact, I’d say it’s downright chilly.

I know I’m not the only person who has had plans interrupted. The Indiana governor has declared schools will not re-open and eLearning will continue through the end of the year. My nephew graduates this year. I have no idea if he’ll have a graduation ceremony. I have many friends who have graduating seniors this year. I feel awful for them. Many of these kids were looking forward to Senior Day, prom, the last high school musical/choir performance/orchestra or band concert, their last spring sports season. They won’t get to celebrate their last day of school. They may not even get to see their friends again, assuming the schools are up and running in the fall.

I feel guilty, too, because the truth of the matter is if it had happened when either of my kids were a senior it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

Rock Star hated her last two years of high school. She never felt like she fit in. She didn’t really have friends. If she didn’t cheer I don’t think she would have gone to a single football or basketball game. She didn’t have friends over. She didn’t go out. She went through the motions, put her head down, and did what she needed to do to graduate and get the hell out of there.

Picasso hates school. Hates it. He has no interest in prom. He never played school sports. Most of his friends are a year older than him so it’s not like he would have missed anyone and been upset over not having a chance to say goodbye.

My supervisor’s father died. Those of us working at the downtown location couldn’t do anything except sign a card for her. I don’t think they could have a visitation and even if they could those of us at the new location wouldn’t have been allowed to go. I believe the funeral was pretty much family only.

The Virginia governor has put the commonwealth in lockdown until June 10th. My vacation was scheduled to start the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Unless he rescinds the order it looks like I won’t be going to see the mobster in May.

In the Dallas, Texas area the lockdown has been extended to late May. I can’t remember if it was the 21st or the 27th. Either way, it’s a long damn time.

My mom heard that somewhere a governor has banned all sales of non-essential items. So, if you’re at WalMart to buy food and toilet paper (good luck!) you can’t also buy a lunch bag or toys.

In Michigan the governor is banning short term rentals and Air BnBs. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before other states do the same, which means if we do decide to say, “Fuck it!” and meet up we will have to make the full trip to either Indiana or Virginia. Flying is cheap now, so there is that. At least until they ban flying and start having check points at all the state and county lines.

I try not to think about it because it’s so frustrating and disappointing. I want to scream but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. I try not to count the days because it pisses me off. If that order stands it will be 3 1/2 months before I get to see the mobster again.

This world is surreal right now, isn’t it? Gas is at an all time low and flights are cheap. But you can’t go anywhere. People are being arrested for going outside. They’re limiting how many people can go into a Wal-Mart or Target or any other type of store at a time. There are food shortages and it’s difficult to find toilet paper still. Millions of people are out of work or working from home (not me but millions of others). Facebook is flooded with posts from people telling others to stay home and flatten the curve. Or, talking about Tiger King and what to binge watch on Netflix. Others talk about how much weight they’re going to gain during this quarantine. Still others talk about all this great quality family time they’re getting now since they’re no longer running the kids to a million different after school activities.

I guess part of my bad attitude is the fact that this stupid virus isn’t giving me any benefits, like extra family time, time off of work, Netflix binging, time to organize, comfort eating… My list goes on and on.

My time to run kids around for activities has passed. I have a 19 year old still down on campus (well, off campus apartments) and a 17 year old who spends most of his life in his room online. It’s not bringing me extra family time. In fact, I completely forgot next week is Easter. The bank gives us a half day on Friday and I don’t really give a shit this year. I’ll work the whole fucking day. I don’t care!

I doubt I will be buying Easter baskets. Can’t get to the store. If I get to the store I have to wait in line. I don’t have time for that shit. Perhaps I will buy something online and ship it directly to Rock Star.

Easter dinner will be the three of us- me, my mom, and Picasso. I’m doing low carb anyway so most of the stuff we would have I can’t eat. Quite honestly I don’t feel like celebrating. I have never been a big fan of making big huge holiday dinners for the same people that you see every day.

I still go to work every day. I’m essential. I qualify for Medicaid and don’t make enough money to actually have my own home but goddamn it, I’m essential! I’m so essential that they’ve taken me out of my regular building and plopped me down into our downtown office that houses hundreds of employees. I’m so essential that I park two blocks away and walk to the building because they’re too fucking cheap to pay for our parking in the garage that is connected to the damn building. Meanwhile, back at my old building they’ve got people stuffed into cubicles like sardines. My partner said she had never seen the building so full.

On one hand they email us every day about social distancing, washing our hands, and all of us doing our parts. They’ve eliminated all business travel. They are doing their best to limit our personal travel by making us self report if we leave the area and then forcing us into quarantine for 14 days when we come back. They’re limiting riders in the elevator to four people and even have handy dandy little floor diagrams in case we’re too stupid to figure out where to stand. They want everyone to stay on their own floor and not move around the building (even though the only break room in the building with vending machines seems to be on the 2nd floor). They have a brand new maze to get to said break room with the vending machines so that you aren’t passing by people’s offices. They are forbidding you from sharing food. They’ve taken away the ice machines and the coffee pots. In our new office space we are now forbidden to go into the mail room to drop off our mail because the hallway is too narrow and we wouldn’t be able to maintain a six foot distance if anyone else should come in. In fact, we are forbidden to use that hallway at all (people use it as a shortcut to get to the other side of the building). Yet, back at my old building people are seated less than six feet apart all day long. Two of my co-workers measured the distance. Side by side they sit approximately four feet apart. The people behind and in front of you? Probably less than three. We didn’t measure that.

They are testing to see if some of these so-called essential workers can work from home. I was one of the six or eight test subjects so I worked from home one afternoon last week and then for two hours in the morning a day or two later. But I’ve heard that they’ll only have us work from home as a last resort.

Meanwhile, HR apparently sent a letter to those who are high risk in our company and told them they could work at home. My partner is one of those people. She’s 65 so her age alone qualifies her. She started Wednesday, I think.

I’m glad I have a job still and that I’m not relying solely upon Jerry Lee paying spousal and child support, and yet it still grates on the nerves when I hear over and over and over, “Stay home!” I would love to, but I can’t. I’m not binge watching Tiger King; I’m not binge watching anything. I’m not running out of things to binge watch. I haven’t watched much TV in two to three years. I don’t have shit tons of time to organize things and make sure my house is in tip top shape. First of all, I don’t have a house and second of all I’m still working 40 hours a week. And running three days a week.

I’m trying so hard to look on the bright side and it’s so difficult. Even the job thing… The rumor is those on unemployment are getting an extra $600 per week. I realize that for many people that would barely make a dent in what they make; however, after paying taxes and insurance premiums and contributing my piddly amounts to my HSA account and 401k, I don’t bring much more than that home every two weeks. So if I were laid off I would be doubling my income. Hmmm…. doubling my income and not having to do anything? That does sound better than going to work forty hours a week under increasingly horrible conditions.

Still I try to be positive. At least I’m not in the situation where I have no job and unemployment doesn’t come close to paying the bills needed to pay. I’m not worried about paying rent or a mortgage (although I do find it interesting that off campus apartment complexes aren’t giving the kids a break on their rent- so much for not paying). I’m doing okay financially so long as Jerry Lee continues to pay. I know from my 20 years with him that his new company not only produces corrugated but a lot of paper products. Combine that with the fact that many corrugated plants run for a lot of food vendors and I am confident that he will be working throughout this pandemic.

With me still working and going to an office every day I am not one of those people wanting to bring back days of the week underwear because they don’t know which day it is. Life remains fairly normal for me. I leave the house sometime between 7:30 and 7:40, work until 5, get home sometime between 5:30 and 6, run for 45 minutes, come home and eat, shower, talk to the mobster and then go to bed. I’m not losing my mind. I’m not homeschooling young children. My mom is usually the one making the grocery store runs on Senior Day, although I told her today we should probably switch over to InstaCart.

I would love to throw caution to wind and partake in some amazing comfort food. A pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, a bag of salt and vinegar chips, maybe some chocolate chip cookies or a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. Hell, I’d appreciate a nice bowl of soup. But, instead I’m making due with low carb choices. Bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast on the weekends. Just a hard boiled egg or maybe some heated up sausage patties on weekdays. Rediscovering pork rinds so I can actually snack occasionally. I found a really good low carb ice cream bar; I can’t eat it often because it’s still 8 or 9 grams of carbs and I’m trying to stay below 30. My lunch many times consists of a hard boiled egg or two and two pieces of string cheese. Or tuna fish salad minus the bread. Dinner is always a toss up. Last night my mom and the boy had tuna fish and noodles. I had the remaining leftover piece of KFC chicken and green beans.

The good news is I’m down 16.8 pounds since beginning the weight loss challenge at work. We started March 9th.

I’m still running, as I alluded to above. I’m up to 45 minutes. I’m focusing on time now instead of distance which is a good thing. I think I’m usually running right around 3.2 miles. The part that really sucks is that the path back home is an incline. It’s not a steep incline; I’m not running up a huge hill. It’s an incline, nonetheless, and when I’ve ran 40 minutes and I’m at the end of my rope I really don’t want to be running on an incline. But, I do. I’ve got no choice unless I want to be a good 15-20 minutes away from my house when I finally finish.

That’s about as positive as I can be on this gray, gloomy day when I should be with my love in sunny Virginia.

2 thoughts on “Day At the Races

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