Don’t hate the neurotic, hate the year.
Look, you ride out this crazy straw year your way, I’ll ride it out mine. Can I help it if all of the ways I choose to cope during a time of extreme isolation are super fucking annoying to all of you? No. I also don’t have to alter a morsel of my behavior, because none of you can see it happen or be mildly inconvenienced by it in any way. In fact I only write about these things now so that those inclined can peer into the cage and then move onto the next exhibit.
Haphazard was never going to be the way through this mess, at least not for me. In the absence of societal structure and the ability to go places and then be in those places, I’ve had to establish my own sense of order and routine. Otherwise the vines will grow over my brain such that you’ll find me, perhaps years from now, living in a blanket fort in my bathroom subsisting on gummy bears and raising a family of hand puppets as a single mother.
So below, my methods. The habits and practices I’d likely get my ass kicked for in 10th grade but because we’re what passes for adults now, I’m relatively safe to talk about. I fear no taunts or Twitter call outs, in a pandemic one can only fight with words on screens and in that department, fucks, I’ve got you all licked.
Here we go.
And I mean goddamn goose eggs, man. I cannot function, sleep, or even complete whatever next task I’m holding in my brain if there is so much as a numeral “1” pressuring me from an open tab. I operate at a constant state of zero email items to deal with and I’m telling you, this is living. You know those people who have like 10,459 unread emails in their inbox? The notion of them simply drawing breath gives me hives. How do you not live in a constant state of stress? That’s going to manifest itself as a heart attack at some point and when it comes for you, I still won’t have any unread emails awaiting my attention.
Not to be weird, but by the time you hit your desk at 9am I’m basically eating lunch. I have always been an early riser, an extremely early riser in fact, which was a real treat of a trait at slumber parties, I can assure you. Now that I’m in charge of myself, this tendency to rise before barnyard animals means that I handle the vast majority of my workday before the loud ass construction starts across the fucking street, and it suits me fine. Does this mean I go to bed at the same time as your 28 month old? Sure does. Do I give an airborne fuck about you and your judgements when it’s my sleep patterns we’re talking about? Nah. Have fun peeling yourself out of bed at 8am after pressing 14 snoozes on a device I haven’t had to use since college. Peasants.
Things can go off the culinary rails real quick, the pandemic has taught us this. I’ve learned to treat weekday lunchtime no differently than if I were in an office waiting in line at a communal microwave and cursing the ill-raised heathens that pile their dishes in a work sink without feeling the deep shame they deserve. I still prep all the components of some sort of salad or bowl situation every Sunday afternoon, and then toss them together for lunch during my workday. Not only does this serve as a good timekeeper for the day, because god knows real clocks are a fucking waste of wall space now, but it also ensures that at least once a day, my nutritional intake isn’t something I’d be scared to confess to my mother. I mean sure most of the time I have popcorn for dinner but during business hours I’m a respectable member of society.
No drinking on weekdays. I know. If ever there was a year to Mad Men the afternoon away and feel absolutely no remorse in the process, it’s 2020. But this year’s about as steady as a blindfolded kid about to hit a piñata. It’s best not to make the problem worse. I keep a clear head Sunday night through Friday afternoon, without fail, and in addition to being just like…fucking healthy, it’s been a fiscal boon to me as well. My sparking water mocktails on Tuesday are mere pennies on the dollar when compared to the Pet Nat I’ll partake in on Friday night. I hate to say it, but going back to paying $16 a glass for my Chenin Blanc at some brasserie with low lighting but impeccable french fries is going to be reeeeeeal tough after all this. I mean I’ll do it, but I’ll consider it paying for the privilege of sitting somewhere that isn’t my desk chair at home. Lord knows that configuration of future firewood has seen enough attention to last two lifetimes.
I hate “working out.” Ugh. UGH! I hate everything about it, from rolling out a gross yoga mat in my goddamned living space to sausaging myself into a sports bra. Honestly sports bras need to perish. Can we just start wearing body armor or something? Sports bras are impossible at best and actually fighting us back at worst. Neither me nor this undergarment want to be here and I think we should both leave. And that’s before I’ve pressed play on some YouTube class I’m 100% doing incorrectly, sweating and panting a few feet away from where I prepare food. It’s a horrific process that never delivers the endorphins those fucking bloggers promise. Instead, I take Water Walks. I walk three miles every day to and from a grocery store where I purchase nothing more than 12 cans of sparking water. I know I’m going to drink it, I know I need exercise, I kill two delightful birds with one stone. Also it’s really hard to buy sparking water on a normal grocery run because it’s too heavy and I need to buy yogurt and lemons. Maybe I could carry more if I worked out. We’ll literally never know.
I don’t care if you don’t like me. I like me. And even when I don’t, at least I’m well rested, hydrated, and I know what I’m having for lunch. Now I’m going to go shop for a bunch of minimalist jewelry on Etsy and never buy any of it. I do that too. It helps.