What’s missing?

A recent blog I read and a lot of the arguing I see online and hear about on the news and radio recently got me thinking about what I miss since this pandemic started. We’ve been on lock-down for about 72 days now, so just over two months. We are more fortunate than many as my husband is still working full time from home, and I’ve been able to pick up enough work that we are doing okay financially. It also helps that, while some costs have changed, there are some areas where we are saving substantially. Not eating out and not paying for gas makes a big difference fast. But the point is, we have what we need and are not suffering for any lack of food, housing or necessary supplies. I know there are those that are, and my heart goes out to them and the many volunteers out there trying to help. We personally give where we can, but it isn’t nearly enough.

However, I promised myself I wouldn’t go too far down that rabbit hole again. I wanted to talk about the things that I miss right now. Most of all, I miss my girls. My oldest lives across town, and I get to see her at a safe distance periodically, mostly as I drop off food or other things while she’s quarantining. But I still miss the ability to have her over for dinner. Her birthday is coming, and while we’ll definitely take a cake and such to her, I will miss our annual tradition of a big, extravagant dinner for the whole family. And the middle girl was in Wisconsin (only about 1 1/2 hours away) at her boyfriend’s family’s house when the shutdown orders came through, so she’s quarantining there. She just fully moved back in with me, actually during quarantine, but has been living here part-time since October, and she loves my cooking. I miss cooking her dinner. And I miss that her and I love so many of the same shows on TV. Her birthday will be coming in another month, and I’m really hoping we can share a meal.

I don’t miss dining out in the sense that I think some people do. I miss what comes with the dining out. I miss the big family dinners for birthdays. I miss running into people we haven’t seen in a while at our local bar and grill. I miss people watching while sitting on a patio or sidewalk section at a restaurant. I miss casual nights eating at the bar and chatting with our favorite bartenders and wait staff. I miss getting dressed up and going out to a fancy tasting menu where everything is a surprise. I know restaurants here are likely to start opening, at least for outdoor seating, in the next few weeks. Sadly, I do not think I will be ready when they do. I just can’t see myself doing that soon as we just did our first take out this last week, and it was super stressful for me. I’ll keep working on being comfortable with the take out for now.

I did an entire blog entry on grocery shopping. You can read that for insight into all the things about grocery shopping that I miss, so I won’t go on that tangent here, but it is high on my list of things I miss. I know it is permissible to enter a grocery store, but I just cannot. We have everything delivered or at most do curbside pickup. I have been pleasantly surprised at what all you can manage to get through these means. Again, we are very fortunate. I have family living in other parts of the country that cannot get access to nearly the bounty available to us. I don’t miss other shopping. My love is limited to food and things related to making the food. The rest of my shopping I actually prefer to do online.

Someone I know said that they miss the CTA (our mass transit system). I do not. The CTA was always a source of stress for me. A pandemic just magnifies everything I’ve ever feared about those metal boxes. However, I guess if I didn’t have my husband available to drive me wherever I needed to go, I’d probably miss the public transit a little more. Did I mention I am very fortunate?

Weirdly, I could do an entire separate post of some of the things I have loved about quarantine. Obviously, I wish a pandemic wasn’t the cause of those things, but some really good things have also come out of this for me. But I’ll talk about that later.

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