Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

A Good Day In Stay-at-Home Land

A reader told me he thought my book THEY’RE IN YOUR MIND was prophetic. Then I discovered wearing a mask helps during spring allergy season because people grip their children in horror if you cough. (A mask filters out high pollen—which my husband and I don’t question when we see yellow clouds blowing across the road in front of us on our daily walk.) A mask also filters certain types of air pollution, excessive exposure to which experts say contributes to COVID-19 sensitivity. It’s a good day.

Staying home encourages people to do things they didn’t have time to do before—such as catch up on Marvel Comic movies whose dialogue our grandchildren can recite. I can’t say I was a big fan of THOR, but Chris Hemsworth did have a body that absolutely inspires a long look. I enjoyed the creativity of BLACK PANTHER and was convinced the citizens of Wakanda had to suffer when they opened their idyllic doors to scrappy Earth culture. I have trouble immersing myself in later AVENGER movies, since within them I’m supposed to become involved in the melodramatic emotional issues of myriad lead characters whose abilities stretch credulity and whose challenges generally include saving the entire universe. I do better with my youngest granddaughter’s preference for live action fairy tales that teach us to “Have courage and be kind.” They feature less killing. Watching films that have little to nothing to do with everyday reality is refreshing after I digest a nearly lethal dose of modern political morality. My husband and I even indulged in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES the other night. If you’re a Jane Austin fan, you’ll be amazed at the bloody combat the Bennet sisters can mete out in their slit-skirted dresses. I won’t spoil the story for you, but Elizabeth Bennet (who also played Disney’s Cinderella, oddly enough) has a fierce temper.

In spite of the underlying racism, homophobia, and sexism of old films and TV series, they never questioned the value of honor and selflessness. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD is a scrapbook of the self-delusions of the 1960’s taken to the ultimate extreme. Even ISN’T IT ROMANTIC, a recent film starring Rebel Wilson, satirizes the dimensionally flat romantic TV movies starring beautiful people and relentlessly happy plots that are fed to lonely women while it reminds us that heterosexual relationships, wealth, and physical perfection don’t guarantee happiness. But when I skim Facebook, I’m forced to recall that many Americans restrict their viewing habits to programs and information that reflect only what they want to believe, regardless of how self-contradictory those beliefs might be. For example, many still grumble about taking precautions to avoid spreading virus infection. They don’t want to be inconvenienced just because people they don’t know are dying.

My husband and I are in a COVID-19 high risk group for no reason except that we haven’t died yet. That seems like rationale enough to try to continue our happy streak and to work to help our peers and others go on, as well. So, we look for advantages to our isolation—protection from spring pollen, a break from demands on our time, more quiet than usual, and private moments that won’t be interrupted. We won’t go out except to vote (actually, we love our mail-in Colorado ballots), complete my physical therapy, and pick up food. I remember my mother telling me about saving lard for the war effort, rationing sugar and gas, and waiting to see if the names of the dead in the newspaper included old friends. We aren’t less than our parents and grandparents. We can do what we need to do now. We aren’t as wimpy as we feared. “Wakanda forever!”

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