For various reasons, the most immediate one being the rise in cases and possibility of us once again being told to shelter at home as much as possible, I took a one-last-trip-out today - JoAnn's and also the Kroger.
It wasn't great. JoAnn's stock seems somewhat depleted, they did not have in any of the new magazines I buy (And also, I think the new owners of Interweave killed off KnitScene, which makes me a little sad). I bought a little fabric because hey, fabric for quilts, and I bought a new book of toy patterns and some soft Bernat chenille to make the sloth in the book (they are crocheted - chenille is super annoying to knit but not so bad to crochet and I really wanted a soft toy made of it).
Bought some more needles and another pair of small scissors because all my pairs seem to go missing on the regular. I should tie this one to a ribbon and pin the other end to the arm of the chair where I do most of my knitting. I felt like I had to make sure I had all the basic supplies now because in the coming weeks it might be hard to get even basic sewing needles. I remember how it was in April and May.
It was okay but seeing the Christmas stuff out made me a little sad; my mom and I came to the conclusion talking last night that there's just no way I can travel there this year and I guess I will be learning how I "do" Christmas in the (please, God, long-distant) future after she's gone and I have nowhere to go.
Maybe solo adults just don't celebrate holidays? Maybe I just have to learn how to do that? I mean, I get in non-pandemic years it would be different because I could go places and hang out with people, but this year, man, I don't know. I may just tell my mom and my brother not to get me any presents because I can't think of anything I want and....I don't know. I might just try to sleep through Christmas day.
I will say people at JoAnn's were GENERALLY good about masking. I saw two women who had pulled them down under their noses and wharrgarrblll but otherwise people were being neighborly.
Then on to Kroger. I had a long list of what I needed, including things as "emergency food" for a future when it's not advisable to go out - lots of canned goods (Kroger is not limiting them like Brookshire's was, which makes me wonder a bit), more of the noodles I like, some other basic supplies.
It was just very hard to get through the store. It was crowded (payday day) and people tended to do the "stop their cart and stand there forever" thing and I was trying to distance so it meant I stood in some of the aisles for like five minutes, feeling like a big idiot, where in normal times I'd say 'excuse me' and step in and grab the thing. I was trying to be neighborly. It feels some days like I'm the only one.
I really wanted smoked salmon, and in the past they used to have it, but there was none to be found, which made me far sadder than it should. But I admit I started feeling like: what if I never get smoked salmon again?
One thing I've noticed in this is that the small disappointments sting far more than they should. I have cried over things I'd brush off in normal times. I think my life has shrunk down so small that minor disappointments loom large.
Also people were terrible about masking. There's a big sign in the front window saying that the city council of that town had voted to issue a mask mandate, and masks were required - but I saw at least a dozen people just unmasked, and they didn't seem like the sort of people with a medical excuse. The Kroger workers weren't asking them to mask BUT they seemed to be on a skeleton crew - there was ONE checkout open when I got in the line of about ten people. FINALLY they sent someone (after a couple people left their carts to go complain at the service center. But it was just disappointing and upsetting and I admit I cried on the way home - because it was just a frustrating trip, because I didn't find anything wonderful, because I still wanted that dang smoked salmon, and also because I realized now I have nothing to look forward to for a long time - my plan was to stay in for most of November both to avoid the virus and any uncomfortableness that might result after the election.
I don't blame the Kroger workers; I've heard stories about bad belligerent anti-maskers and $8 an hour or whatever the Kroger people work is NOT worth it to deal with it. So those of us who do have concerns are just on our own again, and faced with the choice of do the "order and wait" thing or figure it's a manageable risk to go in and shop.
I also called in a refill on my meds to the local pharmacy and will try picking them up tomorrow; if they aren't ready, I'll do that Monday.
And then, just....hole up.
I don't like being holed up. I don't like my town any more. I don't like some of the people in it. I don't like that there are few places to go. I've lost most of my "third places" where I used to go and hang out and those places weren't work or home.
Also, I have added unhappiness - as I was bringing in my groceries, my one good neighbor came over to ask me if I heard the "disturbance" last night. Turns out the guy with problems (he walks up and down the street shouting and waving his arms; the first few times I saw him I thought he was arguing on the phone with someone but that wasn't it) got into a huge and loud fistfight with a couple other people - in my driveway.
someone had to call the police and they came and asked the guys to knock it off and leave.
She did comment, "Since you don't seem to go out at night, you're probably okay" but still, it's unsettling and upsetting - there's no way I could fence my yard off nor would I really want to.
I dunno. I said on Twitter I wonder if I should stop calling myself a Christian because these days I find myself unable to love at least some of my neighbors.
I also feel like I'm becoming unloveable. That I'm getting meaner and more quick to anger and less forgiving and I don't like that. And not as good at seeing the little good things. I don't know how to fix that. Maybe this is just a dark time I have to live through? I don't know. I hope on the other end of this (I HOPE THERE **IS** AN OTHER END OF THIS) that I can find myself again.
I'm also saying now "When I retire, I move, I can't stand to live here any more" but I don't know where I'd go? And I hate the thought of pulling up stakes and having to try to make new friends - not that I have many here or see them very much. I wish I could be happier being alone all the time and being in my tiny house all the time but it's very hard.
And I have students arguing grades with me; I had to submit provisional midterm grades (on very short notice) and some people thought they were doing better than they were and I'm dealing with all the e-mails. All of them unhappy.
And okay, maybe this is my punishment for being so sour: I don't get any positive reinforcement in my life and that's just how it is, I don't know.
But everything seems very unhappy and unrewarding right now. I wish there were something concrete that was good to look forward to ("Maybe a vaccine some time" is too uncertain for me to trust in it)