Every time I put on my mask and gloves to go to the supermarket, I feel like I am a doctor going into surgery. Our world has turned into a science fiction movie. People are fighting on social media about who is careful and who isn’t. It is so easy to go down the rabbit hole and feel there is never going to be a way out of it.
If you never felt depressed before, chances are that you have felt it now, in one way or another, over the past few months. Make sure that you are taking care of yourselves — call someone, text someone, don’t let those helpless feelings overtake you. Know that you are not alone.
We are all going a little nuts. Be aware that these feelings of sadness and loneliness are okay to have. But also be aware that reaching out and talking about it is what will make you feel better. And it is also okay to cry.
This is my public service announcement. I had prided myself on being really “good” these past few months. Taking things a day at a time, not watching the news, being present with all I am grateful for. But last week, I just lost it. I spent the day crying more than not crying. Granted, it was also because it was going to be the first Sukkot when Husband #1 and I were going to be really alone, but it just kind of snowballed. Fortunately, I have a wonderful support system, and I gave myself permission to have that “bad” day. And the next day, and the days since, have been fine. Some days were great, some days were just okay — but that is life.
And now my weekly attempt to make you laugh…
Picture this. It is the Friday before the first days of the holiday where Jews are instructed to recreate the huts that our forefathers lived in whilst they were traveling through the dessert. Some Jews take it even further, and sleep in these huts. Yes, my boys are amongst these individuals who take it further. (I am sure that in the desert they slept on real mattresses, had two pillows and a special alarm clock that you are allowed to use on Shabbat and holidays.) Anyway, back to Friday. I am in ShopRite, getting some last-minute things, and I notice that the store is filled with Jewish husbands. How did I know they were Jewish husbands? Well, honestly, they all looked a little lost. They are wearing their masks and their glasses and their glasses are all fogged up. (I, too, suffer from the fogged up glasses situation. I am surprised that no one has come up with a solution for this. When I talk to someone with my mask on, I have to take my glasses off because they get all foggy and I cannot see out of them, but when I take my glasses off, I cannot see at all. A total win-win!)
They can’t read their lists because they can’t see through the fog and they are trying to figure out what aisles things are in. How do I know this? Because they are on the phone with their wives. “I see the rice in the orange box but not the red box. Are you sure you need the red box?” Or in the freezer section, “Frozen garlic? Where would I find frozen garlic? I see frozen dill…. Are you sure you need frozen garlic?” Or in the dairy section, “You want two percent milk? I only see one percent milk. Will anyone know the difference?” And I just have to stand there and laugh. Sometimes I try to help, but I usually try to stay out of it, because I don’t want any of these husbands to think that some chubby, middle-aged woman who is dressed like a homeless person is flirting with them. But, honestly, it is because I like to laugh at them.
It brings me back to 22 years ago, when Husband #1 would go to the ShopRite in Englewood for me (because we lived in Englewood for a bit) and I didn’t want him to look like a lost Jewish husband, so I would put the number of the aisle or freezer door next to the item he was to purchase. Ahhh, those were good times. Back then, I was only cranky because I had turned into a dairy cow who never slept. Now I am cranky because, well. I am just a cranky person.
It is important to find humor where we can. We are all in this together.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck was so happy to have an almost full house for the holidays. Even though they all make fun of her. (except for Dil #1….at least not yet…)