A COVID Conversation
Masking and distancing make it hard to carry on a normal conversation with friends and relatives. We’re used to talking about what we’ve done or what we plan to do. These days that’s a short list. Now our contact with each other is by Zoom or Facebook or text messaging or other forms of verbal boredom. We blow kisses and bump knuckles in hope of some small human contact.
“What Did You Do Today?”
Robin called the this week and our conversation went something like this: (The M is me; the R is Robin.)
R: Hi, Mom. How are you doing?
M: Fine, how about you?
R: I’m good.
M: And JC?
R: He’s doing fine, too.
M: What did you do today?
R: Zoom meetings all day as usual. What about you?
M: I changed the light bulb in the lamp on my night table.
R: That’s nice. Now you can read more clearly in bed.
M: And I polished my shoes!
R: Really! How exciting. Are you planning on going somewhere?
M: You never know. I like to be prepared. And I scanned a mask catalog to see what the new spring fashions will be. Nancy Pelosi was modeling one of those mask-shoe-handbag ensembles, that was quite stunning.
R: Tell me you didn’t order a set.
M: No, no, but I did order a new watchband for my Apple watch. The black seemed a bit boring.
R: So what did you order, a soft gray or blue?
M: I got a leopard skin band! It adds a bit of whimsy to my wrist.
R: I’m sure it does. Just be sure not to wear it in the woods during hunting season.
M: Obviously, you’re not into wrist fashion as much as I am.
R: Yes, I would say that.
M: Well, I’ve got to go. I have things to do.
R: Like what?
M: I’m going to put on some jewelry today! I worry that the holes in my earlobes will close up if I don’t wear earrings occasionally. I need to put on makeup, too. My Estee Lauder eye-lifting, age-diminishing creams are beginning to oxidize in the bottles. Then, after I’m suitable adorned, I’m making some applesauce.
R: What is this with you and applesauce these days? You just made some last week. I read your blog post about it.
M: Applesauce is more than the sum of its parts, my child. It’s soothing and aromatic, like a good perfume.
(I could feel her eyes roll.)
R: I’m thinking maybe you need to get out. How about I come by and we go for a ride in the park some time today?
M: Let me check my calendar . . . Yes, that will work, but only if you get here before I start ironing sheets. Have you ever thought about ironing your sheets? It’s wonderfully time-consuming and soul lifting.
R: Put on you coat. I’ll be there in 10.