So here we are, wrapping up the first week of the Twilight Zone. Last Friday I was shopping for groceries and was astounded at the empty toilet paper aisle. Now, 7 days later, we have come to expect crazy. And we expect crazy to get crazier.
I work from home and live in a small community which (so far) seems relatively unscathed by this pandemic. That’s today. However in view of tomorrow, we have decided to pretty much hunker down, self-isolate and wait. We do bring food to our 85 year-old neighbour and I do go for my daily walk (cutting a very wide berth around anyone I should meet) but other than that it’s just me, my beloved and our pooch, day-in and day-out.
I am fine with this. As socially gregarious as some folks think me to be, I’m actually very content in my own company. Here’s what I am not so content with:
My increasing desire for comfort food.
This past week I made a monstrous pan of bacon mac and cheese. Sure, we brought a casserole dish full to our neighbour. Buy boy oh boy that is EXACTLY what I wanted to eat. Mac and cheese and soup. Every night I make a different cauldron of soup. Creamy potato and sausage, curried veg, oriental noodle … whatever I can think of that sounds comforting. We have ice cream in the freezer and pasta in the pantry. I know how to make almond-flour bread and mozzarella pizza crust. Ain’t nobody gonna starve on my watch!
Now, I am not a girl who is prone to panic. I’m pretty good at maintaining a clear head in times of crisis, I stay logical and forward-thinking and am proud to say I am usually the one my friends come to when they are anxious. So why the comfort eating?
I am going to go out on a limb here and say … for comfort. Yes for comfort. We all need reassurance in these trying times. We need warmth. Hugs. Love. Fulfillment. Alas we’re not allowed to practice physical affection with anyone but those within our immediate sphere.
So we listen to music. Watch television. Read books. Play with our kids (not me, he’s not here and I think too old to play, although we do both love a good board game). We try not to get addicted to our news feed. We try to help out our neighbours. To help out small business in our community. We stay connected via modern technology, we maybe drink an extra glass of wine and we EAT.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Sure, there is something wrong (or at least unhealthy) with gluttony to the point of obesity. But craving comfort in a discomforting time is normal. And when your options for producing comfort are diminished, you do what you can.
For us women there is more yet to come. I mean, we may get a bit chubby but we’re also going to have to give up hair colour. A trip to the beauty parlour doesn’t exactly satisfy social distancing guidelines, does it? I have highlights in my naturally dirty blonde hair and I am suddenly wishing I was grey. Because grey roots wouldn’t show nearly as soon as dirty blonde roots. Oh well … we’ll see what happens. Same goes for pedicures, facials, fake nails, fake eyelashes, Botox, fillers and massages (damn). All verboten.
In the last week I have not worn a speck of makeup. Not even once. I have also not worn a bra (yay!). My hair is in a ponytail, my roots are coming in, I’m praying my most recent pedicure lasts at least 6 weeks and I’m hoping my beloved will take over massage-duty.
I don’t care about the rest of it.
I hope you don’t either. And I hope you don’t get crazy if you put on a few lbs. in the next few months. Walk as much as you can. It truly is the BEST thing for stress (and fitness). If you can work out at home (and want to) then work out at home. Treat yourself to music and books and television. Have an extra glass of wine without shame.
And if a little extra comfort food brings you comfort in these crazy times then please … be comforted. Comfort yourself. Comfort others (if you like to cook). Allow yourself the luxury of just a little indulgence.
These are crazy times. Let’s not add to the crazy trying to be movie starts or supermodels. They are in this too and every bit as susceptible. Let’s be loving. To others and to ourselves.
Tonight we’re having garlic bread with barbecued chicken, tomatoes, grated cheddar and a salad. We are watching “Friends” because it makes us laugh. We will drink (more) wine, walk the dog and slumber soundly in our beautiful bed.
I feel comforted already.