Today I got an item from Amazon. It was a “spray bidet” and I got a discount by accepting minimum packing. What I got was a product that was not the one advertised, that had clearly been opened and repacked in small plastic baggies — just like the ones I use to pack food into my refrigerator. It was missing the rubber gaskets and the pipe tape.
I know it wasn’t what I ordered because its instructions were for a different product.
The item was similar to what we ordered, so we installed it. The first time I tried to use it, the hose exploded and there was water everywhere. I found the biggest towel I could and mostly dried up the water. My socks were wet. My pants were wet. The floor was very wet. I was seriously pissed off.
They wanted it returned and we are in isolation. We have been warned by our doctor to not go out. Not me, not Garry. By age we are vulnerable and I’ve got asthma and had major heart surgery. Massachusetts is in surge mode on the Coronavirus. So we are not going anywhere. I eventually managed to get someone from Amazon on the phone. It’s more complicated than it used to be.
The woman who answered was working from home in Charleston, South Carolina where the temperature has dropped in the forties. Normally, she told me, they’d be up in the eighties. She hasn’t been out of the house in weeks. And she’s wondering how will we know when the virus is gone? They don’t have tests either. Owen asked his doctor the other day if he could get tested and she laughed. A lot. There are no tests in this county. There are no tests in her county.
Answer? We have no idea how we’ll know when it’s really over until they come up with a viable, tested vaccine and most people have gotten vaccinated.
We talked for almost an hour. She is in her 60s, lives alone and really needed to talk. Just talk. Laugh, chat, be human for a little while. Eventually. I had to end the conversation. Not only were my socks wet, but my pants were wet too.
But this isn’t about Amazon or the company that sent me the wrong item that was also broken. It was about how desperate we get for a simple conversation with a stranger. Normally, our world is full of little conversations with strangers, or folks we know only slightly. It’s not just our good friends or family. We have little chats with all kinds of people. It’s part of how our lives stay lively.
The lady, whose name is Annabelle, was lonely. I realized that I’m lonely too, even though I have Garry and Owen to talk to. Because our world isn’t just our friends. It’s our community and now, we have no community and we don’t know when — or how — we’ll get our community back. Until we get enough tests to see who has had it, who currently has it, we can’t know. No matter how much bullshit we get from Trump, we are unready. The tests have not arrived and have not been distributed. We aren’t ready to go back out there. I think we all know it too.
We really need a new president and a complete redo of our government. Now, all we need to do is figure out how to get it done without spiking the virus anew.