In the News

Pandemic, A Poem

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

Today, in my sleep, I went back to yesterday, and felt a little relief for tomorrow.

From my worn mattress and the heavy load

in the flaps of my overloaded BMI screaming for a life renewed.

Today, in my sleep, I escaped back to yesterday

Before the quarantine grind.

I went back and told myself that I was living in an unknown paradise.

Yesterday,

There was a storm, but I could breathe easily without a mask.

There was  a fall, but I could hug and hold the injured hand.

There was a circumstance that required not a bit of sanitizer.

There was a school with students hiding phones under their desks.

There,  electronics were the constant battle

And when I said, “zoom,”

it meant to hurry to the bathroom and back,

not a series of technical difficulties followed by thirty emails full of “my internet.”

There was a town hall where people could see the color of one another’s eyes

and make decisions that considered everyone.

There was a church meeting held in the chapel down the street instead of in the Bible on the couch.

There was a run to the store at midnight for the project poster,

and, believe it or not, the doors were open and the lights were on.

There was that longest line at the DMV where people crowded the entire room

and someone coughed and no one noticed.

There was a last minute meet-up with a friend

for two cups of something while laughing at the same table and sharing just a taste.

We could pick up our own straws, and not worry if our skin accidentally touched the plastic.

There was a run for pizza without a dousing of Purel on the drive home

before reaching in the bag for a breadstick.

There was a thing unknown in today’s new normal called 

baking and cooking for neighbors just to say I care.

There were visitors crowding the halls and living spaces 

of the elderlies’ homes to show solidarity 

instead of the touching of hands through glass windows. And no use of doors. 

There were sports on the fields and courts

while also running on the bedroom TV while the husband ignored the kids.

There were dog-walkers who dared to chit about the weather

on the same stretch of sidewalk 

while their animals sniffed one another’s butts.

There was empty space in the fridge full of possibility

Instead of mediocre produce

 bought only every other week or in as few trips as possible.

And on those trips, one could wander, 

and they didn’t get a dirty eye-stare when 

Accidentally venturing down the one-way aisle in the wrong direction.</p>

And they didn’t have to imagine the look of the scolding at the mouth, 

because it wasn’t covered.

When there was a smile,

It wasn’t accompanied by an oral declaration of, “I just smiled at you.”

At the bank counter there were suckers and dog biscuits,

not plexiglass or a “drive-thru only” service sign.

There were students hiding phones under their desks.

There, electronics were in constant battle with learning

Instead of the only means for  learning.

No one was muted

And when the teacher said, “zoom”

She meant hurry back from the bathroom,

Not show me your pajamas

And email me excuses.

There were teachers at classroom doors 

with hands outstretched for a five, a ten, a special handshake, 

and sometimes even a hug.

There were busy restaurants where no one wore gloves.

There were gyms and pools 

and bars and cars 

packed to capacity with complete strangers.

There was an old lady at Target 

writing a check on an ancient and sterile book 

and a man behind her 

with an equally sterile wad of bills 

followed by millennial 

Who, unlike me,

always knows just when to swipe or insert.

There were stadiums full of tearful parents 

and so many simultaneous parties for hopping.

Caps and gowns were waiting to be shed

 instead of just photographed.

The caps could be hurled and exchanged 

without a worry at all by either the findersor the keepers.

There was international travel 

To wherever you wanted to go

and many hotels without vacancies.

“No room in the inn” meant

hoards of people were paying a pilgrimage

not makeshift tents as a place for people to die 

at an otherwise verboten and patrolled Central Park.

Those annoying celebrities 

used to embrace and compare designer clothes 

instead of chanting, “we’re all in this together”

From their annoying vacation homes

Transformed into makeshift studios.

And seriously, who picked out that horrible wallpaper?

Even us poor people wouldn’t have that wallpaper.

Sorry, you’re not more relatable.

There, doctor friends were in the Bahamas three times a year

Instead of selling off their VRBO’s 

And taking skipped mortgage payments on their mansions.

Temple worship was the sharing of holy water before its possible contamination.

There. A hot flash didn’t require a thermometer 

And a walk on the beach didn’t require 6 feet.

There was my sister who was always playing taxi  

instead of complaining about not being allowed across the Idaho border 

to go out to eat 

because literally everything is closed in Washington

And those potato farmers don’t want her bacteria

Yesterday, quarantine was something for sci-fi novels and The Pentagon, 

not a daily reality.


Social distancing was something only introverts did

And it was called being a couch potato

Or “netflix and chill.”

It never lasted more than a few days

Unless it was Spring or Winter Break

Or you were a thirty-something living in your dad’s basement

Because people were actually required to go to work. 

.Corona that was a beer

and COVID sounded like something that maybe two people did on YouYube

instead of the excuse I use to justify my kids are watching YouTube 

all day every day.

Back then, whenever it was, 

Last February

Or five years ago

The unemployment rate was the best it had ever been,

and China was the place where we got cheap goods 

instead of conspiring germs or gauged medical supplies.

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

And today is the first today ever

that I want yesterday instead of tomorrow.

Family Friendliness Forgotten at the VMA’s

We don’t really watch much TV, so I didn’t have to experience the VMA shock like a lot of my other friends last night. The reactions of friends have supported our family’s choice to limit the media’s influence in our home.

If you didn’t see it and just want as little exposure as possible,
I highly recommend this article:
15 weirdest and craziest moments from Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance
and trust me it will make you want to shower.

Sick and wrong people. Sick and wrong. I don’t want to judge, I really don’t. I don’t understand all things entertainment and so maybe I am missing something. I am sure Miley is a sweet girl. It seems like she has just gotten her identity a bit messed up. I will tell you that this is just one little piece of a very dark and scary puzzle for the deterioration of the family. Last year, I went to see the movie Pitch Perfect and although I loved the music, I thought the same thing as I just did while watching Hannah Montana pimp herself out: What is this world coming to? Later I found out that the children of many of my conservative friends had all seen Pitch Perfect. It’s a movie full of foul sexual innuendos.

Here is a clean scene from the show.

Essentially this scene alone teaches our girls it’s o.k. to shower with whatever guy will give them attention, it’s o.k. to walk around nude and confident, it’s o.k. to storm another person’s privacy. Not even only that it’s o.k. but it’s glamorous. So, my question is really this. Why is anyone out there with 2 shakes left in their brain shocked at Miley’s performance? We are creating these monsters people. We create them with our apathy towards sexually implicit and explicit material that is marketed towards our kids.

Some of you may think I sound like a prude. Maybe I am. My kids think so because they are some of the only kids they know who haven’t seen Pitch Perfect. Do I feel oppressive? Hell no. I feel like a superhero mom who is giving my kids a Northern Star of conduct.  Let them sneak out to watch it at their friends’ houses and while they are watching it, they will feel guilty. They will feel dirty. They will understand why I wanted to shelter them from it all. They will probably feel some sexual reaction in their body, and they will know that their sexuality should be private and dignified. When they don’t ever end up on a stage stripping for the whole world to gawk in awkwardness, I will know that I did my job right.