Not Talking About It
It’s hard not to talk about it. It’s hard to ignore the twenty four hour news stream, the school closings, the endless repartee about toilet paper, or the lack thereof. But I’m trying.
A trip to Hannaford, our local supermarket, on Friday saw a larger than usual crowd of shoppers and a telltale exposé of what people are scampering for, based on the empty shelves. There was the usual (and obvious) influx of second homeowners, here for the weekend and stocking up. My paranoid self silently muttered “why don’t they stay in the city and keep their germs to themselves?” Yes, selfish and non-compassionate of me, as they have every right to be here, but there it is. I’m fessing up.
I knew to expect the vast expanse of empty TP shelves (though I still don’t fully grok it), and the hand sanitizer empty shelves. But then there were the revelations, if you will, like seeing all the chicken gone. Huh? Is it just our town, known for leaning into non-meat beliefs? Because there was plenty of beef and pork, even corned beef for us lucky Irish. Folks did a pretty clean sweep of the soups, chicken being high on their list. Shouldn’t they be thinking about cans of beans, for protein? Rice was pretty much wiped out, but oddly, no one seemed to have stacked up on canned vegetables. When I came upon the frozen section, I saw that 98% of the frozen vegetables were gone. How come frozen, and not canned?
Nothing unusual at the checkout. People seemed content to stand on long lines, and even amiably conversed with their fellow shoppers. The folks checking out were busy being swift, but polite and friendly as usual. Did he hand the receipt to me more carefully than usual?
Other than that, the highlight (or lowlight) of my week was discovering yesterday that my wallet was missing, as I was heading out to meet a friend for a walk. Had I dropped it somewhere? Had I left it on the counter at the wine store on Friday? I called them. No.
I did all the usual checking: the car, inside and in the trunk, under the seats, pockets of coats, every nook and cranny of the house, back to the car, move it out of the garage to look in the daylight, back in the house. Yes, I looked under the bed, under the couch, and then desperately, opened drawers (like why would I put my wallet in a drawer?) and finally, okay, I’ll admit, I even looked in the freezer. John did all the same checking after me, the car, the garage, the house, under and over things, and I saw him check in the pantry where the canned goods are. Yes, I prayed to St. Anthony, and randomly thought about how he must get a lot of supplications from seniors.
I composed a list of calls to be made: bank, credit card companies, health insurance, etc. Then I decided to drive to Hannaford and the wine store, to ask in person. My stomach had tightened up like a dozen sailor’s knots. I got onto the car, and just for the heck of it, flipped up the thingee that sits behind the cup holder. I expected nothing. But there was my wallet! And a glove I thought I’d lost last week, though I couldn’t imagine how. A secret compartment! Other things were in there that I’d forgotten about, like sunglasses, a granola bar. Apparently, things that resting on the cup holder can slide right back into the void.