Boy, am I missing plenty right now. What are you missing?
I miss going to the movies. It may be pure stupidity or sheer genius, but the weekend of Boys State Basketball, I managed to sneak in one more movie. I was one of five people in the theater, and it was sinfully good. It was in one of those Dream Lounger theaters, so I put the armrest up next to me (disinfected it all with Clorox wipes, remember those?) and spread out like I was on a couch. I feel all dreamy-eyed just writing about it. I would pay $50 to sit in a theater with other people and drink a fountain Coke, smell buttery popcorn and hear other people laugh or cry with me. That’s going to be the first thing I do when I’m given the all clear.
I miss trying on sunglasses.
What a stupid thing, right? I don’t buy expensive shoes or jewelry. I buy sunglasses, lots and lots of sunglasses. I rarely spend over ten dollars for a pair, so it’s a cheap obsession. I miss going into random stores and finding big “Jackie O” sunglasses to try on and eventually buy. What a stupid, simple little thing to lose.
I miss family road-trips.
One thing that is great and works for my family is our ability to hop in a car together at 5 am on a Saturday and drive for hours to a place we’ve never been, why? Because we’ve never been there. This has allowed us to eat wonderful things in different places, like, horseshoes in Illinois; some of the best burgers we’ve ever had in Smith Center, KS; olive cheese bread at the Pioneer Woman’s restaurant; amazing brisket sandwiches just north of Joplin, MO and knock your socks off garlic cheese bread from a gas station in Clear Lake, IA.
It’s easy to miss the fun and easy stuff. I miss how fast I could get out of the house. Not worrying about having some hand sanitizer, a mask, and at least one glove in my purse.
It’s the big stuff I’m missing that’s driving me mad.
I miss my family. I miss sitting across from my sister casually talking to her about my life over chips and guacamole or over one of her homecooked meals on her deck.
I miss or will miss seeing my son, Alex, graduate from the eighth grade.
When I was a kid, that was such a big deal. Maybe it isn’t to kids now, and maybe it isn’t to boys, but I remember it being so huge.
It’s funny that I have a kid who was supposed to graduate from eighth grade when I only graduated from eighth grade a couple of years ago, or at least that’s how it feels. I remember everything about that night. It was so special. My entire family was there packed into the ‘new gym’ at the school in Dawson. I had a new dress that was white lace on top and black on the bottom. I remember how exciting the entire night was and how angry I was at my dad for not letting me go to that party that everyone else was going to. I cried so hard you would have thought I had broken both of my legs and arms. I thought I would never survive it. To be frank, I’m still mad about it twenty-three years later, even though I would laugh in Alex’s face if he asked me to go to a party like that the night of his eighth-grade graduation. Dream on kid, not in a million years. BUT, it was different for me; everyone was going to be there, everyone! I was the only person in our whole class who didn’t go.
We’re not going to see our oldest niece have a ‘traditional Spring’ graduation. Fingers cross that everything works out and we get to see her receive her diploma in August, but it isn’t the same. It’s great, just different. We didn’t know how this was going to work with Sacred Heart’s graduation the same night as FC Middle School’s Eighth Grade Promotion, so we may not have gotten to see her graduate, (can something be done about that in the future?) But she’s our oldest niece and this was the first and it was so exciting.
So that’s the glass half empty. Is there any way of seeing the glass half full when it comes to a global pandemic?
Well, I’m going to miss this time that I’m spending with my family. I have been lucky to have the ability to work from home. That means as I write this, I have a little pup at my feet. My little Chester dog rarely left my side before this started, but now we’re not out of each other’s sight for more than twenty minutes at a time.
I’ll miss the nights that we all sit together and watch movies. We have been making Alex watch movies that we know he’ll like, and he’s found a few new favorites in doing so.
I’ll miss the letters and postcards that I get from friends and family (Jennifer, I have one with your name on it ready to mail). I have a friend who has written me a postcard every day since the Las Vegas Strip shut down. She worked at Cipriani restaurant on the strip and was furloughed. So she’s knitting, writing, and starting her own old Hollywood podcast. Did I mention she has precisely zero children?
Well, that list was much shorter than I thought it was going to be. I’ll miss this extra time with my family, my dogs, and mail. That’s it, nothing more.
On Monday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. on TCM, Best Years of Our Lives is on. Frederic March, Myrna Loy, and Dana Andrews. I can’t even find the worst to describe how lovely this film is. It’s just absolutely perfect for Memorial Day.