Wrinkled Wisdom: The Times They Are a-Changin’

The lyrics of this 1964 Bob Dylan song sure ring true today.  “There is a battle outside raging.”  Today, it’s called Covid-19.   Do we oldies have a lot to look forward to as states begin to open up?  What will be a-changin’?   If Colorado’s safer-at-home guidance is the norm, not much!  Seniors must still stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Yes!  Salons are opening.  We could get a manicure/pedicure!  Necessary?  Pretty much if we want to wear sandals this summer.  We could get our hair cut and colored.  Beards trimmed.  Necessary?  Absolutely.  With selfies down 68 percent since Covid-19 arrived, heading to the hairdresser tops the list.  But, will vanity trump caution?

Bottom line?   We’re still at home.  Still physical distancing.  Still wearing masks.  Still drinking quarantinis.   If corporate America is any clue, we’ll be locked up for a long time.  Google and Facebook just told their employees they can work at home until next year.  Researchers better get hopping on a safe and effective vaccine.

Other things that are a-changin’?  Sports.  We can always watch South Korean baseball stream on ESPN.   But, U.S. baseball, football, and other sports?  Stay tuned.  Like NASCAR and PGA tours, they may return minus fans clapping and hollering. A South Korean football team came up with a unique approach to fill the empty stands…sex dolls.  That didn’t go over well.

Since we all are locked up at home and watching more television, not surprising that the sales of pajamas increased 143 percent in April.  And, it’s been hard not to notice how television advertising has changed.  It’s now “sensitive.”  There’s an endless recitation of phrases like “we’ve always been there for you;” “we may be apart, but we can stay connected;” and “we’ll get through this together.”  

No more Charmin ads going on and on about its ultra-soft product.  Instead, a Cottonelle ad urges Americans to stop hoarding toilet paper and “share a square” with friends and neighbors in need of a roll.  Quilted Northern’s new ad features shots of a production factory and delivery trucks on the road.  The message: “We’re on it.”   About time!

Thankfully, toilet paper can actually be found in most grocery stores now.  While we gazed longingly at the empty shelves for weeks, many people ignored warnings about flushing napkins, wipes, and paper towels down the john.  This led to an economic stimulus for plumbers.  Really!

Another thing that’s a-changin’?  More people are ordering groceries instead of heading to the store.  This is terrific until the wrong peanut butter brand is delivered, and we scrunch our nose in disgust.  Then we learned that the grocery store won’t take returns!   You’ve touched it.  Bummer.

Everyone now assumes you don’t have anything to do you can’t do later and there’s truth in that.  So, when you get a call from someone you haven’t spoken to in years and the conversation goes on forever and ever, just go to your front door and ring your doorbell.  Then say, “Oops, my grocery delivery just arrived.  Have to hang up.”  

And, in this tough time, don’t forget the animals.  If you received that government stimulus check, consider donating to your local zoo.  Zoos depend on ticket sales, not Facebook likes.  They are in trouble.  

So, our Wrinkled Wisdom for today?  The CDC wants us to delay haircuts and manicures—all “non-essential” appointments.  We are thinking twice about their advice when looking in the mirror.  Think twice before booking that Carnival cruise scheduled for August.  Support the Post Office; buy stamps online.  Don’t be embarrassed to admit you’ve added a bird-watching app to your phone.  No, the meat shortage is not a vegetarian plot.  In memoriam, remember Little Richard.  Play some of his music, so popular when we were kids.  His 1970 album “Freedom Blues” seems very appropriate as we struggle with lock up and can’t wait to be free again.

P.S.  Let’s agree to dump the term “social distancing” and replace it with “physical distancing.”  Social distancing sounds, well, antisocial.  We are quite capable of having a conversation while sitting six feet apart.  More than ever, we need to laugh with and vent to our friends in person!   

P.P.S.  Stay healthy and sane!

Wrinkled Wisdom: STILL Locked Up at Home??

“Coloradans can now get tattoos.”  That was the lead of a news article discussing the end to our governor’s stay-at-home order.  Under the new safer-at-home approach, we are not ordered to stay home, just “strongly advised” to stay at home. Will this make a difference for oldies?  Not much.  We’re retired.   No escaping the house to a workplace.  

It’s going to be a long time till we can hit a bar or restaurant with friends and family.   We do some social-distancing with them; but, time together is usually cut short because we have to get home to hit the john.

Is vanity playing a big part in decisions by some governors to relax stay-at-home orders?  Salons are now open!  Looking good; feeling good.  We have been struggling with manicures and especially pedicures.  Just not as flexible as we used to be; bad news for our toes.  And, we strongly recommend against cutting your own hair after a quarantini or two.

Some governors are allowing gyms to open.  Familiar with the term “Freshman 15”?  That is how much weight students are expected to gain in their first year of college, 15 pounds.  Hmmm.  Worried about the implications of the term Covid-19??? 

Okay, the good news is that we haven’t run out of toilet paper.  And, we’re saving money on dry cleaning.  It’s not like we’re getting dressed up to go to grocery, liquor, and hardware stores or pharmacies or marijuana dispensaries.  

Our water bill may drop too since we’re living in our PJs most of the time and doing less laundry.  But we are washing our hands more often.  Hmmm.  Guess that might be a wash.  (Did we just hear a giggle or was that a groan???)

Saving money isn’t any consolation.  While the media often refers to staying home as a lockdown, we jokingly describe it as being locked up.  Yes, yes, we know it is absolutely the right thing to do; but.  We are getting lots of emails from friends with the same message:  this is getting tougher.  The novelty has worn off.   We’re antsy.

It’s fun to hear from people we haven’t heard from for ages, suddenly checking in to see if we are alive.  And, it’s been entertaining to get lots of inquiries from young neighbors asking if they can pick up anything for us at the store.  Huh?  We can still drive!  Then we realized loads of organizations have urged people to help the elderly.  And, by definition, we are the elderly!  Hate that term.

Since we are oldies and at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19, we asked ourselves: is it smart to take advantage of senior hours at grocery stores?  Does lumping a bunch of vulnerable seniors together at one time make sense—even if we might get to the toilet paper first?  We all have a pre-existing condition—aging.

Good thing we can’t walk into our banks.  Wearing masks could create panic.  Now we just bring multiple disinfectant wipes when we drive through or use the ATM.

We have used some of our new-found free time to do a bunch of stuff around the house.  Some projects are just so boring that we stopped.  And, social distancing at Home Depot is a challenge.  Besides, it’s just so easy to say: I’ll do that tomorrow.  Ah…procrastination!

We still don’t know for sure whether Covid-19 will result in more babies than breakups.  But, one national law firm reports that they’ve gotten so many calls about divorce that they’ve added extra hours.  Divorce mediation is now online.  A hint, maybe?

So our Wrinkled Wisdom for today?  Hang in there.  Don’t forget your mask.  Call your insurance company and drop insurance on that second car for a couple of months.  Step outside at 8 p.m. and scream and shout and howl to honor our healthcare and frontline workers.  Think pork plant closings and hoard bacon.  If you are bored, count Dr. Birx’s scarves.  And, take note.  A Maryland police department just issued a warning:  “Please remember to put pants on before leaving the house to check your mailbox.  You know who you are.  This is your final warning.”