Divisive Issues; Thirty-Six Weeks In

The general manager of the community association at which I teach yoga classes – currently zoom, but previously in-person – was telling me that she is very tired of people coming in to the community centre, seeing her with a mask, and calling her a sheep. Are…people still doing that? Apparently, yes. We are well into our ninth month of this pandemic. We have had a mandatory mask mandate in the city since August 1. We are in a literal crisis situation with regards to our health care system, but sure. Let’s ridicule people following health directives. Sir, have you read the news today. Have you read the news in the past eight months.

I was quite shocked when she told me that; it’s my own fault, really, for being shocked, as I have unfollowed and unfriended everyone who was posting ridiculous things like photos of a lion rising above a herd of sheep with captions like Me in the grocery store without a mask or various diatribes about how the virus is a hoax and any vaccine will be used by the government to track our movements.

Ha! I dare anyone to track my movements and stay awake in the process. She’s getting in her car and…going to Superstore. Now she’s home, putting groceries away. Oh look, she’s…walking in her neighbourhood. Wait wait, here she goes…to the library. And she’s…going to Superstore. Again.

Anyway, since I don’t see anti-mask posts like that anymore I find myself surprised to find that masks are still a divisive issue. Our fitness club has been sending out emails to the effect that if members are unable to wear face masks for health reasons, then they must wear face shields. I cannot imagine face shields being MORE comfortable than masks, and knowing the demographics of our fitness club like I do, I feel that “health reasons” are a euphemism for “I don’t want to.” If my teenagers can wear masks at school all day every day, along with 2200 other teenagers obeying the directive, then certainly the rest of us can slip one on for a couple of hours in public places.

So masks are – STILL, OMG – a divisive issue, but what I wanted to talk about today is FUN divisive issues, the kind of divisive issues that have no impact on other people, particularly no impact that could eventually lead to death.

The Top Sheet

I was well into my forties before I learned that not everybody uses a top sheet. Frankly, I could not have been more surprised if I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet. No. Top. Sheet. No judgment here, but what do you do for laundry? Even though I have adopted the “burrito method” for putting on my duvet cover, I still have to force myself to wash it bi-monthly or even quarterly, I hate that job so much. If you don’t have a top sheet, are you washing your duvet cover weekly? Aren’t you missing out on that lovely sandwich feeling of sliding between the sheets? And what do you DO with the top sheet that comes in every sheet set? I have so many questions, I will await your responses.

Making The Bed

I was in university when a friend chided me – CHIDED ME – for making my bed every day. “It’s the biggest waste of time!” she said to me. “What is the point?” Well, the point is a) it is a wonderful feeling to slide into a nicely-made bed at night, rather than a jumble of sheets (or, sheet, for those of you without a top sheet) and blankets, and b) in terms of making things look nice in the bedroom, there is no faster way to perk the room up than making the bed. I don’t know how long it takes you, but it is less than sixty seconds for me to pull the sheet and duvet up, and put on the pillow shams and decorative pillows. It is a pretty big bang for the cleaning buck, if you ask me.

Underwear to Bed

While we are speaking of the bedroom, what about wearing underwear to bed? I recall this being a Major Topic of Discussion during childhood sleepovers, the idea of letting the honeypot “breathe.” I do not know about the science backing up that claim. I am a person who is cold by nature – cold hands, warm heart – and also, despite my yoga life, kind of restrictive. I wear full-on pajamas, with underwear AND A BRA to bed. It’s a soft, sleep bra but a bra nonetheless. I guess I’m just more comfortable in lots of layers.

Eggnog

Is there a holiday libation more divisive than eggnog? God bless you all for cheering its festive appearance in the grocery store, but I am on the side of full-body shudder at the thought of consuming its thick viscosity. I know many of you right now are saying But with rum! But I have a great homemade recipe! But there are vegan versions! and bless you for trying, but NO. Here’s another secret: I don’t even like rum. I know! You think you know a person and then they drop a bomb like that.

Mint Chocolate

IT IS MY SEASON, PEOPLE. You Pumpkin Spice people, bless your hearts, have had your moment in the sun, but now it’s mine. I have good friends who think mint chocolate tastes like toothpaste. Well, a) more for me, and b) toothpaste tastes great, that’s why we like to be minty fresh. I have a box of candy canes that is going to be made into chocolate bark, it’s time to purchase After Eights and Peppermint Lindor, and my sweet little niece dropped off four boxes of mint chocolate Girl Guide cookies this weekend, LET’S CELEBRATE THE SEASON.

Last Christmas

I personally think that Last Christmas is one of the greatest holiday songs ever written, but there are people out there who do NOT. Have you heard of Whamageddon? It’s a game where people actively try not to hear Last Christmas during the holiday season. Why would you deprive yourself of joy? My first hearing of it was when I was briefly in the mall, and everyone around me (socially distanced, masked) was grooving to it, and that was November 5. On November 12 I started listening to all my Christmas Spotify playlists, including the one made by my friend Peggy (HI PEGGY) which is exclusively made up of different versions of Last Christmas. What I’m saying is that I would fail at Whamageddon on purpose.

All right, it’s your turn! Where do you stand on these divisive issues, and what issues did I miss?

Pandemic Reading

If you want to better understand the nature of depression, this is the book for you. It’s part memoir, part investigative journalism. Some of it is fascinating. Some of it is tedious. A lot of it is very difficult to read and very sad. It’s edifying but not enjoyable.

After reading about toxic masculinity and depression, I needed a break. This book was SO MUCH FUN. I love the blog Go Fug Yourself, and I loved their book The Royal We, but I have to say I loved this even more. It was just delightful, and the dialogue was A+.

My friend Mary-Lynn (HI MARY-LYNN) recommended this to me after I read Mrs. Dalloway. It’s brilliant! I love the kind of book that twines seemingly unrelated people together.

And the outdoor lights are up! Things are merry and bright – and this weekend, it will be the tree! Have a good week, stay safe, and don’t let the divisive issues divide us. xo

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