Saturday, January 16, 2021

some driving thoughts

 I did go to Sherman today. It varied from "pretty good" to "slightly unsettling" (the shelves at the Ulta were REALLY empty and they had almost none of the fun fancy "body wash" stuff I was looking for, and I hope this particular store or the whole chain is not winding down. I mean, I could mail order but I tell you what, IF the pandemic is ever over? I'm going to do as much of my shopping in-person as I can just because I've missed that so much).

Anyway, while driving, I was thinking about how when I was in my very late teens and early 20s, I was even more isolated in some ways than I am now, and I was fine. I lived alone in a studio apartment, I went to class, I went home, when I got bored I went and walked around Ann Arbor. I didn't have a lot of friends; most of the people I knew from classes were acquaintances at best. And I was FINE.

I don't know why. I didn't have internet then. I did watch more TV; in those days I could get CBC out of Windsor, I think, and I watched a lot of that. And I listened to the radio; there were some good stations (NPR, which I don't get here, and one that played almost all classical). 

I don't know. And now I wonder: was I just more "feral" then? And I've become "domesticated" now and got used to the presence and familiarity of people, so now the lack of that is so painful to me?

And can I become "feral" again? As a way of coping?

 I think really the loneliness and lack of human contact is the single worst thing for me in this.

I also wonder if it was that back then, I had really no responsibilities: I didn't have a job (I was living off money my grandparents effectively left me - it was the money from the sale of the resort that they owned, which my dad invested and was VERY fortunate in the returns, and he split it between my brother and me for us to go to college on), I only had to worry about feeding myself and keeping the one big room clean and doing my classwork. And I did not have other people's lives that would be greatly affected by my choices, like happens now with my students. So I didn't feel like I had to consult with other people when I made decisions. Now....I ask other people's advice a lot, because being a grown up doesn't have a rulebook (I really thought it would, back when I was a kid) and I'm always afraid of hurting someone in some avoidable way.


I also found myself wondering if I will eventually forget what things were like in the before-times, and this new shadowy life of avoiding people and rarely going out will bother me less than it does now.

Or maybe I've just become too dependent on other people's approval and validation? I know I crave that now in a way I don't remember having craved it when I was younger.


I did wind up getting yarn

It's a superbulky, which I almost never work with (it's put up in smaller skeins, so more ends to weave in, a little harder on my hands to knit on, and generally bigger women like me don't look so great in superbulky sweaters). But I dunno, it was on clearance and I liked the colorway and there was enough of the same dyelot for a cardigan (and I even found a pattern (NB: not a ravelry link for those with  concerns) that I really like for it. And I have another use for the size 15 needle I bought for that blanket I made now....

Also, I don't often "work blue" on here but I saw this in the Valentine's Day stuff and...yeah....

This is actually a triple entendre, I think, because in addition to the "love yourself (platonically)" (which I think I'd think of more as self-care) and "love yourself (uh, non-platonically)," there's also the "egotist" definition, as in "he loves him some him, doesn't he?"

But yeah. I remember another craft store I was in a number of years back had a "happiness is a warm glue gun" sign and I was like DID YOU EVER HEAR THE BEATLES' SONG YOU ARE BASING THAT ON? and....yeah.

I did wear my N95 masks (I found a box on Grainger back in the fall, when the pressure on masks had relaxed a bit and civilians could sometimes find them to buy). I guess I'm glad I did. In the JoAnn's, everyone was masked, and in the Ulta, everyone was masked, but the Kroger's....uh. There was a group of teen girls yelling at each other (no mask) and several bearded guys who were unmasked. And yeah, Grayson County has a mandate, and Kroger has signs up, but I don't fault their employees for NOT going after people who won't, given some of the news stories about belligerent anti-maskers.

One of my colleagues has a beard and wears masks no problem. Though he does have a small groomed beard (as I remember it, haven't seen the lower half of his face in a year) and not a ZZ Top beard like these guys.

It makes me sad. I just try to avoid people and move fast.

The N95 isn't ideal and I will probably only wear them for labs where distancing is hard, because my face doesn't like them:

I don't THINK that's an allergy; they were specifically marked "latex free" and I don't really have a latex allergy anyway. I think it's just pressure. 

Also, the Kroger's has a product that made me laugh, because of the Simpsons: 

"Now, with Vitamin R!" (I'm sure that name was picked for the associations and to make people talk, though also A is for Almond, I guess.)

At least now I have food ahead. I bought a small chicken and plan to do roast chicken tomorrow, which will give me leftovers for most of the rest of the week then. And I was able to get some good salad greens, which I'd not had for a while - Pruett's seems to have a hard time getting more than the chopped iceberg, which I do not care for. I may have to do something like ask for an Aerogarden for my birthday with the lettuce-growing pods and do that. (It gets too warm too fast here to grow lettuce outside, and my experiments with just growing it in a "sunny window" tells me my windows are not sunny enough)

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