Hunting and Gathering and Losing It a Little

I'm not doing great at the moment. I'm sad. I'm scared. One day it rained and I nearly had a panic attack because, even if I WASN'T going to go for a walk I really needed to know that I could if I wanted to. Angus has been doing pretty well, but he's tired of working out downstairs and not getting to play baseball and not seeing his girlfriend and, well, this all kind of sucks. I'm going to try to arrange a backyard beer with one of his friends this week because I think he really needs it.

I don't think I ever told the promised grocery shopping story in which I was an utter loon. It was just before the schools closed when we knew virus stuff was happening but not how bad it was going to get how soon. It was a Saturday morning and Matt had gone out to get some groceries. I realized, as always, that I had forgotten to add a few things to the list about ten minutes after he left, so I texted him. He didn't answer. I texted again. He didn't answer. I called him. No answer. I waited a few minutes and tried again. No answer.

I got out of bed, washed my face and brushed my hair and got dressed, went into Eve's room and said "I'm sorry about this, but Dad's not answering his phone and he is definitely probably fine but I have to go look for him because I just have to." She nodded calmly because she knows me. I drove the route he would have driven. A few minutes in I got a text from Eve that said "don't worry too much. The virus doesn't actually eat people". I wasn't worried about the virus. I was pretty much utterly convinced that he had gotten in a catastrophic or fatal car accident. I was, concurrently, also convinced that no such thing had happened and I was behaving irrationally, but I was powerless not to act.

I completed the route. There were no car accidents. I shrugged and started driving back home, and then realized I might as well stop and pick up the forgotten items on the list myself. As I was parking, I got a text from Matt saying he had no signal in the grocery store. I am ninety percent certain this was bullshit and he just had his phone off and didn't check it (he and Eve are both famous for this. Always have their phones, never have them on, nearly impossible to get hold of them, makes actual steam come out my ears). I didn't bother getting angry because it's not fair to expect him to know precisely when I'm going to go Full Paranoid Lunatic.

So we ended up with a metric fuckton of groceries, including a big bag of flour, which was just as well, and no one was much the worse for wear. I was exhausted and embarrassed and also a tiny bit proud, as if I'd had to wrangle a giant, ill-behaved pet through a crowd of people and done a passable, if not perfect, job of it.

My other Shopping During the Pandemic story was a couple of weeks later. Eve had been playing Club Penguin nostalgically with her friends online since school closed, and then started playing Animal Crossing. She finally decided that she wanted to buy a Nintendo Switch Lite- she's never bought any kind of video gaming thing before and generally hoards her money rather than spending it, so she has lots. Then of course we discovered that they were all sold out except the ugly grey one, and she was disproportionately upset about it, while knowing that she was disproportionately upset, which helps a little, but not a lot. We had out eye on the restocking date, and then I went to pick up some stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart and near the cashes suddenly there were two Nintendo Switch Lites - yellow and turquoise. I texted her and she texted back "OMG, you could LITERALLY SAY you RISKED YOUR LIFE to get one for me!"

The funny thing is, years back when I was looking for a PS4 for Angus for Christmas, the same damned thing happened - sold out everywhere, found one at Shoppers. And yet it never occurred to me to look for one there.

So yeah, I came off better in that story.

Just to round things out, today Angus went to throw in the parking lot near where he used to play baseball - it's not blocked off and there are often cops there when he goes, so it seems to be allowed. I get him to drop me off on the way so I can do the nice 4 or 5 k walk home on the path beside one of our main streets. I got home and decided to go to Farm Boy because I find it easier to just keep moving once I'm moving. So Angus had the car and, though I didn't realize it, my debit card from last week because he was going to get something and couldn't remember his own pin number. I had the van and a credit card that, for some reason, didn't work when I finally got to the cash. So Angus was uncontactable and Matt had no car. I had to call my Mom who basically drove over (they live right near Farm Boy) in a nightgown and a jacket and lent me her credit card. Then I gave her the stuff I had bought for her (they don't go to Farm Boy because the aisles are too narrow and they don't have seniors hours) and drove home. I was angry because I was exhausted and it was kind of humiliating, but it really wasn't anyone's fault, it was just a perfect storm of stupid stuff. We've done well having one low-limit credit card, but I really need to have a second one for occasions like this.

Isn't it funny how it's a big thrill right now if you go grocery shopping and there's no line? And people stay far enough away from you? And you actually find all the things on your list? I guess it's sort of good that we might appreciate shopping for food becoming mundane again. But I'm working pretty hard to find a silver lining right now.


Swistle said…
Some days I am okay, and other days I pitch fits. Yesterday I ranted at considerable length after seeing that one of my Facebook friends posted some pictures about how a friend "kidnapped" her and they went for a drive. Photos of them standing right next to each other, sitting together in the car, etc.

I find my intense panic gets focused on any grocery item I can't have, even if I don't currently need it. So right now I am agitating about flour, even though we still have a bag and a half of flour, because there was no flour at the store when I went last time.
Ernie said…
I'm sorry you're sad. This is certainly a bazaar time and I find some things frustrating - I have days where I am like 'UGH!' Most of my issues revolve around the struggle to continue to walk on egg shells in our house. Lad's therapist's plan is: "this will all get better when he moves out because everyone gets along better when he isn't living with you." I don't want space just to fake that everyone is in a good relationship, I want things fixed. I like things fixed. The broken-ness of Lad is literally breaking my heart. I think I will blog about this, but he blew up yesterday while playing volleyball with siblings because he was coaching the younger kids and they weren't listening to him. He believes that they have more of a tendency to listen to Ed. My point that this is friendly backyard volleyball and no one needs to be coached didn't register because apparently we are putting together our only family Olympic team. The shit storm that followed the v-ball screaming match ruined everyone's day and it was 74 out and not raining.

Eve texting you that the virus does not actually eat people was hysterical. Coach never 'hears' his phone while he is in the store. Mini never has her volume up. Lad's phone is never charged. I have to wonder if these people understand the actual point of having a phone.
Busy Bee Suz said…
I don't like that you're having more sadness than you should. It certainly is a weird time in our lives and we all feel it at different levels. I do get anxiety thinking about going to the store; mostly it's becuase of the damn feels SO unnatural to wear it.
I've had grocery delivery the last two times and we're getting by with that.

I get the frustration of not being able to reach your people on the phone-they should both be beaten with a wet noodle for it.

Also, Eve might be the funniest human on earth.

Be well, my friend. XO
StephLove said…
Beth came back from grocery shopping yesterday with tofu (a favorite food of Noah's) and 5 jars of his preferred pasta sauce, both of which have been hard to find recently and proclaimed it "a birthday miracle." I know 5 jars sounds like hoarding, but we go through it fast under normal circumstances and at his request we are having pasta for dinner all week.

I'm sorry about the sadness.
I never think to look for ANYTHING at Shoppers other than fancy makeup I can't find elsewhere, and they have SO MUCH STUFF. Like, I should go there often - or, often not in pandemic times - but I only ever do when I'm out of Smashbox.
Lynn said…
Just chiming in to say YES to all of this. I mean, I don't have any particular shopping panic stories but just the up and down nature of it all. Any day can be a good day, or a terrible day, and both ways are triggered by the smallest of things. I am beginning to wonder if my whole nature has shifted and now I will always be this way.

Also, I read Nicole's comment and I don't know what a Smashbox is but it sounds awesome and now I want one.

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