Friday, June 19, 2020


Hi! Just getting used to being unemployed here - and you? I spent my first day of freedom scrubbing down the "kids" bathroom, which yes, they could do themselves, but they don't and I'm not living like that. My second day of freedom involved going to ALDI and spending over $200 (which, honestly, I didn't even think was possible) to restock the pantry and freezer with everything we had run low on, because seriously, it is no joke having 6 grown humans living and eating in one house.

Today? I received the results of a lengthy experiment I've been conducting. You see, over a month ago, weary of seeing my frightening visage on the screen during Zoom meetings, I panic-shopped for something, ANYTHING, to fix things. I settled on the three items in the picture below. Only, I couldn't help wondering, How do I know if these really work?

These promise THE WORLD
I figured the lockdown was giving me a prime opportunity to do some real research. All these products said that after a month I would see a big difference. So I decided to use them only on the left side of my face.

On the right side (the CONTROL, for those of you who speak science), I would stick with the one thing I already use (and can get fairly cheaply at Costco):

Not sure this makes a difference, either

This morning was the day of reckoning. After my shower, I left my face bare and then pounced on the nearest victim, Anna, who had come upstairs to the kitchen to refill her coffee. "Anna, tell me the truth - which side of my face looks better?"

I wish I had thought to take a picture of her expression when I asked that question. Seeing it, I tried to elaborate. "No, I mean, does either side look less wrinkled? The skin younger? How about around the eyes?"

"You look VERY YOUNG," poor Anna said, trying to back out of the kitchen with her mug.

"No, don't worry! I'm not asking that!'s science. Does either side look better than the other, or no?"

Poor Anna.

The verdict, delivered with trepidation by my cornered daughter? "Not really. Maybe the right side? No, no, they're the same, mostly."

So, there you have it: after more than a month of my using the miracle creams (with Retinol!) on only the left side of my face, there is still no difference between the wrinkles on the left side of my face and the right. Not even under the eyes, which is really a bummer, because there are truly frightening things happening there. The upside, however, is now I can spend my money on items that won't betray me, things that will add true value to my life. Like chocolate, say, with hazelnuts.

I'm a simple person.

Oh, and when I explained the experiment to Anna, she said, "Of course those creams don't work!" This last was uttered with all the insouciance of Youth, unacquainted with the desperation wrought by the ravages of time.

Can I have that back, that insouciance? Because this is when I need it.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

2020. And 1985. All At Once.

I was standing in our upstairs hallway today, looking at the closed doors of the other 3 bedrooms, each with a grown or almost-grown person behind it and thought, What does this remind me of?

Let's see...people living in their own rooms, kitchen cabinets stuffed with everyone's favorite snack foods (don't touch!), arguments about whose turn it is to take out the trash or whose dish is in the sink, established quiet hours, and semi-frequent communal meals around the kitchen table...

Roommates - that's what it is. Somehow, in the year of our Lord 2020, at the ripe old age of (almost) 57, I have ended up living in a situation that reminds me of nothing so much as a house full of college roommates. WHY?

Oh, yes, 2020. But of course. We're in the upside-down now.

Korean beef, cooked by one of my roommates
You know, that empty nest was so close, I could almost taste it. But now, if I want privacy, I shut myself in my bedroom, which is crammed with not only a bed and dresser but also a desk (I had to give up my office when Brian came home last month) and most of my personal possessions (um, that would be yarn - a lot of yarn). I venture out only to clean the bathrooms (because I am NOT going to let those be like the ones I lived with in college) and to dump strange-smelling items out of the fridge

[Okay, that last item isn't new - I've always done that]

and bitch at my roommates over who clogged the toilet and didn't take care of it. It's the 1980s all over again for me, complete with living in leggings and having really unruly hair. And hearing about Donald Trump in the news all the time, actually...

So! Brian came home mid-May from college, which forced me to clean out my yarn room/office and move everything into mine and Larry's bedroom. I left Brian the pretty glass desk my friend gave me (too big for my bedroom, anyway) and wasn't sure what I would do for a new one, because - as it turns out - every cheap small desk online is SOLD OUT.

Because 2020. Of course. Everyone is working from home.

Susie and I came up with a solution:

Yes, the chair is excellent. Get one.
It's perfect and cute and I can look out of the window as I work. So there I was, all set up to continue working from home, and then...

Remember, it's 2020...

my entire team was told we will all be laid off mid-June. Which means I will soon have no excuse to shut myself in my bedroom upwards of 6 hours a day in blessed privacy.

But I am going to do it anyway, for my sanity, because I am not 22 anymore and this roommate thing is utterly insane, even if I did birth most of them. And I'm keeping the desk. Who knows? Maybe I'll even blog at you more than once a month now.

I'll miss that money, though. Money's nice.

Mother's Day was the best ever, even though I had just lost my office/yarn room that weekend (oh, have I mentioned that already?), because Brian brought home a very special gift for me:

Still can't find these in the store
These were all the Lysol wipes I had sent him to school with, freshman AND sophomore years. I was torn between motherly joy at receiving such a useful, much-wanted gift (because, all together now, 2020) and utter disgust that he apparently hadn't cleaned his bathroom all year.

Brian says he did so clean it. Twice. Okay, then.

Anna made me a gorgeous flower arrangement:

And she also spearheaded a project where the kids put together some photos of their younger days on foam poster board with funny captions. I almost cried with joy. Only, they don't know that even better than the gift itself was listening to them the day before, behind Susie's locked bedroom door, laughing and working on the project together.

Like I said, best Mother's Day ever.

Brian also brought home with him the dorm fridge another friend had gifted us his freshman year. I took one look at it and decided it was the answer to my dreams. You see, the condiment situation around here - which has always bordered on insane - had become completely unmanageable, what with 2 different types of BBQ sauce, 2 types of mustard, assorted hot sauce, the soy sauce that my kids insist we refrigerate or we'll die, and I don't know what all.

So I now, finally, have a separate refrigerator just for condiments, which is utterly ridiculous, but there we are.