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 #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.

...

 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.

 …

Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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