Mary Beth Writes

I wrote this to my friend Karen who said I ought to share it here. She’s right. 

Well, at Woodman's yesterday a man threatened to put a 9mm in a clerk’s face because store rules say he could only buy one pkg of ground turkey, not two. When cops went to his house to discuss this a little more, they discovered he doesn’t own a 9mm.  I’m hard pressed what spin to put on this tale, other than that clerk doesn’t get paid enough

I read somewhere yesterday comments from a woman who is a manager in a customer service dept of a big chain store. Target or Walmart or something. She says the level of rudeness is astonishing. That she’s done this job for a long time and has never encountered such mean people who will say such awful things to her store’s clerks. And clerks are not allowed to respond to that crap, so clerks feel harassed and stressed. She says if one is in a line and a person is being rude, feel free to defend the clerk a bit, since she (it’s so often a she) can’t.

I’m wondering if since lovely humans like you and me are going out of our way to stay out of stores, this leaves an unusually big percentage of shoppers who don’t believe in the quarantine, and my take on them is that many are sort of angry to begin with.

A guy on Twitter was arguing w Len and me (I’m sure he never connected that we are married) about testing. Long story, in diff ways we were saying that with testing people to see if they are positive for the virus, or if they have antibodies indicating they have had the disease recently and overcame it - with testing some (many?) people could go back to work right away. The govt could pay people to get the test.. so that freedom of choice exists yadda yadda. The twitter guy was was adamant that quarantine is stupid and unnecessary. Then he mentions he lost his job. To which Len says he’s sorry and is very good at filling out forms (AARP tax guide) and would be glad to help. The guy says no but thank you.

To stop a futile, heated argument that way. “I’m sorry. Can I help?”

I am totally welcoming here of your stories of things you have witnessed, experienced, done, or said where you responded to craziness with politeness or kindness.

All I’ve got is that when I was dropping a package into the post office lobby hopper (that sounds like a bunny in a mailman uniform) the other day, I saw a postal employee walking in to work. I thanked her for being the Post Office and she laughed all the way in. 

This morning I went on vacation.  Yes I did.

We woke up to day #97 of gray, chilly, gloomy, foggy, almost raining dreariness. All three weather places I look (you can’t be too careful when one is still in bed) said it would be like this all day, although it wouldn’t actually rain.  Just 40ish and as gray as elephant underpants.

Well, hell. We aren’t Midwesterners for no reason. One gets up and does what needs to be done.

So we drove eight miles outside of town along the Drumlin* Trail. Len took his bike, I walked.  In short, all I did was walk 2-plus miles one way and then those 2-plus miles back. Hardly climbing a Highland mountain. 

But along the way I saw the osprey nest that Len has been watching. Later I saw a little footpath that leaves the macadam trail, so I walked up it and found myself alone in a quiet forest. It was still chilly and damp, but inside those woods that translated into a very good moment.  I was in a place that didn’t need me but didn’t mind me being there either. Places like that are magical for people who tend to overthink stuff. It was just quiet. I admired a burl on a tree that was fine being nothing but a bump.  I heard birds and the hum of air moving and the muffled sound of my footsteps on wet leaves. 

And then, when I was done there, I walked back out to the path and then back to the car. But now I saw the pearlescent early colors of spring. And tiny flowers. And hobbit moss. 

I was away.

*Drumlins. A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge") is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated ground. Clusters of drumlins create a landscape which is often described as having a 'basket of eggs topography'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumlin

I noted this last year, I don’t know who said it or why.

“The inability to see failure as a solution.”

I like this a lot. One lives long enough and fails fabulously enough; one begins to see that failure is often the logical response to what was going on. Such as divorces that are good solution to poor marriages. Disappointingly calibrated cake recipes. Sending that kid to college. Not sending that other kid to college. The “new” car that breaks down every other week until you give up, call a lemon a lemon, and ditch it the best you can. The belief in and search for a comfortable high-heeled shoe.

Trying to put unfettered capitalism and justice in the same place at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 



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Yes - one of the best lessons of my recent years has been that sometimes the sensible thing to do is to cut your losses and move on. Some may see it as quitting or giving up and so what if they do? Cut your losses and move on -- some things are just not meant to be.

Another "Loved it"

A surprise vacation day is the very best. I am going to remember your lesson — I think, sometimes we get so busy, we forget to be nice.

I have two unsuccessful life partnerships under my belt that became good friendships... And I failed to go to college and yet have had a richer life then many who have a degree... Failure is in the eye of the beholder...

Love your vacation!

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Quarantine Diary #150 8/11/2020 Taking a Break

I’m depressed. How about you?  I’m not the kind of depressed where I should call a doctor. I’m more “Michelle Obama depressed.”  Things feel stuck, wrong, and getting worse. There’s the pandemic and the feeble, chaotic response to it. There’s racial strife. When, if ever, will the police police themselves? Teachers and kids are being thrown back into schools like spaghetti thrown against a wall - to see who will stick? There’s the angry self-entitled idiocy of too many people.

Quarantine Diary #142 Swimming Lessons

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

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