We don’t wear masks anymore. We’ve all been vaccinated — thrice for COVID (each of us) plus flu vaccinations. For we oldies, the super duper senior flu shot and for Owen, the regular vaccine. I understand there are breakthroughs even for fully vaccinated people, but I’m tired of having my eyeglasses always misty from my breath. With asthma, not wearing a mask is a relief.
A lot of people are surprised at our choice. Why aren’t we even more careful? After all, I’m heading for 75, Garry will turn 80 a month later, and right after that, Owen, “the kid,” will be 53.
Spring is birthday time: March (me), April (Garry), May (Owen). Unlike Christmas where gift-giving becomes an annual insanity. Christmas can unglue even normal folks. But birthdays — just one per year — we feel free to enjoy. You can buy one special gift and not worry about finding presents for everyone you know, including people you almost never see. People drive themselves into near bankruptcy buying stuff no one needs or even wants. Birthdays are unique.
We celebrate Christmas with food plus small (hopefully thoughtful) gifts. Christmas is more about “the gathering,” not an infusion of stuff. I did get a few extras this year because I found some huge savings on items I had wish-listed. A lens for Garry’s camera went from $499 to $199, a price too good to ignore. Coffee — the good stuff — dropped from $8 for a 12-ounce bag to $12 for three 16-ounce cans. My bonus? I love coffee cans. I don’t even know why, but I feel they have a purpose. I just need to figure out what this particular can should accomplish.
We are cautious about traveling. We’re done with airports, airplanes, and crowded venues. I never liked crowds anyway. I feel lost in crowds.
I’m not a germaphobe, but I’m convinced when you have more than a dozen people in a room, someone probably has a cold or the flu but doesn’t know it. Yet. Everyone will get sick. I don’t know how elementary school teachers survive a year of sniffling little ones.
Given how careful we are, why don’t we wear masks? I suppose we think it’s time to behave normally, more or less. Could we catch something anyway? In theory yes, but we live in an uncrowded village. The largest crowds we encounter are in line at the grocery — and that’s a few people, well-spaced — and many of them are wearing masks. I appreciate their caution and that they don’t yell at me for not masking up. After all, what were all those vaccinations for if not to let us begin to live again?
I guess, looking at the world and the perils and horrors facing us, I am not sure I want to live to see how bad things will get. I don’t think there’s anything more we can do to make a better world. It isn’t for want of trying but as far as I can tell, the world is worse than it was when we were generationally sure we would fix it. I often think our most valuable contribution was turning denim into a fashion fabric.
Now, I want to enjoy the time we have. It would be nice to have more money. I’d love enough to get someone to come and clean the house, fix the broken pieces of it. We don’t have the funds.
We aren’t saving for rainy days. We are just living. For each other, for now, for the joy of it. I hope that’s enough.