Shannon in Self-Isolation

or, I did not sign up for this zombie apocalypse black plague shit

It really hit me that morning I went to Target to get shampoo, of all things. Thinking I’ll get there right as it opens and beat all the traffic before heading into the office.

At 8:10am I walked in and people were already pushing their red carts to the self checkout, mountains of toilet paper and paper towels towering over their heads. Defending themselves to nobody in particular: “Don’t judge me. I’m not crazy.”

Excuse me? We were all crazy. Everybody else’s crazy was rubbing off on me because I started grabbing stuff that was not on my shopping list, like toothpaste and bleach. Then I got home and saw that—yep, you guessed it. I HAD JUST BOUGHT these items.

A week later I saw on Instagram that my local indie movie theater was closing temporarily due to the governor’s order. What governor’s order? The first of three orders to come, that’s what. This one being the no public gatherings of 100 or more and all restaurants, gyms, and theaters must shut down.

I had already been self-isolating—an excuse to stay in and veg? I’m so in! But this news sent me into

A tearful Will Smith to a mannequin: “Please say hello to me.”

Somebody Talk To Me

I doubled down on my podcast subscriptions and added some new ones, such as Black Chick Lit. Got a real kick out of their four-and-a-half hour breakdown of Addicted by Zane. I read this hot mess of a book a few years ago and had NOBODY TO TALK TO ABOUT IT. Plus, @em_dash1’s stories about growing up in Missouri were truly wild.

Libby is My New Best Friend

I’ve gotten a lot closer to the too-easy-to-use eBook and audiobook library app. Because the stacks of books in my house are not nearly enough to keep me occupied. My Libby shelf now contains What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, Children of Blood and Bone, and How to Make Friends With the Dark. Hmm. Maybe these aren’t the best books to be reading right now.

The Joy of Emptying the Pantry

A friend told me that her pilot friend told her that no matter what anybody says, make sure you have enough supplies to get you through three weeks. I made a note to put in my CSA order a day early. Not early enough, it turned out. They’d changed the cutoff and I was already too late. I had about one day’s worth of fresh produce left in the fridge. This was the moment I realized that my deep-seated psychological reaction against my mom’s (rest her soul) compulsive stockpiling that she learned from her Depression–era parents was not serving me well right now in the middle of a fucking pandemic. In the midst of full-on anxiety mixed with a healthy dose of self-chastising, I emptied my cupboards and took stock of my food supply. Dusted off some tried and true recipes, made a list, and signed up for Instacart.

Instacart did me dirty. Let me build a whole cart to rival those Target shoppers from a week ago, tally up the price and prompted me to check out. Only to tell me, “Nah, bitch. Ain’t got no people. We’re not delivering to you EVER.”

Through another wave of anxiety I rearranged my shopping list in the exact order of the layout of my neighborhood Sprouts. Said a little prayer and got there at 7am the next morning, shopping 6 feet away from the other 15 people in the store.

Then I came home and made roughly four dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Dancing On My Own For Real

Oh, for ye olden days of close, sweaty dancing with three hundred strangers in a club. I was supes restless after the pantry drama, so I put on some makeup, a cute top, jeans and my Adidas and headed out to my living room. Thank goodness for Homecoming on Netflix. After an hour of trying to keep up with Beyoncé and her crew, I was ready for a shower and bed.

Walking in the Dark

The day after our governor issued the third set of restrictions, just short of shelter-in-place—all nonessential businesses closed, no more than 5 people can congregate— I went for a walk at 6am.  I had my headphones with me but I never turned on my walking playlist. I needed to just be in the eerie silence of the shut-in city. Listen to my breathing and the soft swish of my jacket fabric as my arms swung back and forth. I was there for the first bird chirping a greeting to the day.

I just got seriously flowery up in here.

And my fingernails are French-manicure-white from all the hand washing.


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