Sunday, July 12, 2020

Odds & ends

  • Thank you for your anniversary wishes! As I said, it wasn't the anniversary we would have planned, pre-COVID, but it wasn't a bad day overall. We went out that afternoon for gelato -- wearing masks & eating outside. Our favourite Italian restaurant is closed on Mondays (!) but we got takeout dinner from another favourite restaurant that recently reopened -- including a bottle of wine. :) 
  • In between, we stopped at the supermarket & the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions -- and I ventured into both places (wearing masks), for the first time since March 12th! (= four months!)  I didn't want to wait for dh outside in a hot car (even with the windows open), I was curious (I'll admit!), and... I wanted to pick up a new points card. 
    • I'm not sure I wrote about this at the time, but my old points card was hacked and I had 60,000 points (worth $60 in groceries) stolen just as this pandemic started unfolding. I promptly reported it (and did get my points back) -- was told to change my password (which I did) and pick up a new card on my next visit to link to my online profile. I'd asked dh to pick up one for me on one of his grocery runs, a couple of times -- but using cards for points is not his thing and he never remembered...!  
    • I found the experience stressful and weird. Normally I love to spend time wandering up & down the aisles at  leisurely pace, checking out sales and finding things that might not necessarily have been on my shopping list but that I might be able to use or would like to try. This time around, I was trying to get in & out as quickly as possible (touching as few things as possible and grabbing only the things I could carry that were at the top of my list).  Trying to avoid other people, standing in distanced lineups, following arrows up & down aisles (at the drugstore albeit not the supermarket), speaking to the cashier from behind plexiglass... Plus there are still swaths of shelves that are, if not empty, picked over. There was toilet paper, for example, but still lots of empty shelf space -- not a big selection of brands or package sizes. 
  • We also went into the city's midtown last week for a long-scheduled appointment with my optometrist, to check on the status of my wonky eyes. One year plus later, I'm still seeing occasional flashes, but mostly when I turn out the lights at night... and I had to pause when he asked me about floaters. They're still there, but I haven't noticed or thought about them in quite a while now. 
    • The office actually called me a few weeks ago to ask if I would mind moving my appointment  back 20 minutes to allow for social distancing -- and to remind me to wear a mask. Dh stayed in the car in the parking lot across the street (windows cranked open -- it was another sweltering hot day) while I went in. (I was glad it was a fairly short appointment with only a short wait.) The waiting room is normally packed, but I was the only person there, and the chairs were well spaced out instead of crammed together. The receptionists were behind plexiglass, albeit there was a window through which one of them took my temperature. I had to sign in and fill out a questionnaire about COVID symptoms.  The doctor spritzed down his equipment and the chair with disinfectant/alcohol before inviting me to sit down. He wore both an N95 mask AND a face shield. Normally, he would get inches from my face to shine lights in my eyes, etc., but he did it from a distance this time. There was a clear plastic shield covering part of his equipment. You know the thing that looks kind of like binoculars that you look through? and he changes the lenses back & forth & asks you to read a line on the screen on the wall, and which setting looks clearer?  I had to admit to him it was hard to tell because between the shield over the equipment and the mask I was wearing, the lenses were fogging up, lol.  
    • Next appointment in January.  
  • It's been horribly hot & humid for most of the past two weeks. We've barely stuck our nose out the screen door to the balcony, and (sadly) we've had to abandon our walking routine for now (just as I was starting to feel like I was getting a handle on it!). Between COVID & the weather, we're both going a bit stir crazy :(  (although I think I'm a little better at entertaining myself than dh is). 
  • We're missing little Great-Nephew this weekend. :(  Walking that fine line between wanting to see him (always a highlight in our otherwise mundane lives, especially right now with COVID...!) -- but not wanting to be pests either. 
    • We popped by last weekend for a brief visit, unannounced -- BIL was not around but the kids were, so we went straight down to their basement apartment (they have a separate walkout entrance in the back yard). They were going out for the afternoon, so we didn't stay long, but we got to watch Great-Nephew have a post-nap snack before we left (getting as much of it on himself as into his mouth, lol). (SIL was actually home upstairs, and we stopped by to say hello to her too on our way out.) 
    • BIL is always telling us that we're an important part of the family and like another set of grandparents for the baby (nice to hear), and that we don't need an invitation to come over (even though we almost always wait for one).  BUT dh got a call from him the next day & a lecture about respecting the kids' privacy, etc.  I think it was more BIL talking than Older Nephew -- he was surprised but seemed genuinely happy to see us. But the call left both of us feeling a bit guilty and, yes, hurt.  Dh said, "We won't be doing that again soon..." :(  
  • A few notable items to share from our ALI community (and the childless corner of it in particular):  
    • I recommended this post for a "second helping" on Mel's Friday Roundup post recently, and I'm noting it here too because it's just so, so good:  "I Wish Someone Would Ask Me...
    • Pamela shares another pointed critique of the IVF industry on Silent Sorority: "IVF Industry Can’t Have it Both Ways."  (Any blog post that begins with a meme out of "Casablanca" deserves to be read, lol.)  
    • I have not listened to the latest episode of The Full Stop podcast, which just dropped this weekend, but the topic is very timely -- "Facing Up To Change." The regular hosts are joined by author and speaker Yvonne John, with her guests Haneefah Muhammad, Krista Cooper, Bindi Shah and Civilla Morgan "to talk about the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter and how childlessness and racism have impacted their lives. More importantly, what we can all do about it." 


  1. Oh dear to BIL's reaction. He seems to want it both ways - to have you there, but to still maintain his supremacy in the relationship. Grrrr. (I know I've written "Grrrr" about BIL's reactions a few times now. lol) Especially as the parents of great-nephew are fully grown adults, and perfectly capable of telling you themselves if they don't want unannounced visitors.

    Interesting you noticed some shortages. We still see occasional shortages here, but mostly of imported products. (My favourite Italian pasta sauce, for example. I'm not sure I'll ever see it again!)

    I see you've beaten me to it in terms of flagging activity in the No Kidding community. AGAIN! lol Some great recommendations there. Thanks.

  2. Ouch. I'm sorry. BIL's phone call would've hurt my feelings. I'd say don't worry about it, that he wasn't really that bothered and you two were not being inconsiderate of others' privacy, but I know it's not as easy as "just don't let it bother you." I look forward to the next time you get to enjoy time with family and this little stinger of a moment is in the past. <3

    I loved the post entitled "I Wish Someone Would Ask Me..."!!

  3. I'm not a huge fan of unannounced visitors, but to my aunts and uncles, I would have said "Next time don't forget to phone first" and assumed they knew that it was about my preferences, not their presence. I had 2 never-married, childless aunts growing up, and we would see them frequently when I was a kid. They were surprised and pleased when I would call them and ask if I could drop by when I was an adult. I liked talking to them, and they liked hearing about my life. When I bought my first place (a condo), they were thrilled when I invited them over for lunch. And I was happy to have someone else to show off to. Somewhat the same with my aunts who had children too - when I can, I go to see them. We all live rather far apart, so it's more difficult.

    It actually pains me that my daughter doesn't have much of a relationship with my husband's siblings (they're half Italian - should we blame that?). They're all rather self-involved and no one makes an effort. (They also didn't have very good examples - my MIL has no siblings that she sees (she was adopted from Italy when she was 8 - her birth siblings are spread out from Italy to Canada) and my FIL (deceased) had 1 sister that he rarely saw or spoke to.) I inserted myself into my nieces and nephews lives from the first moment, as much as I could. When they marry and have kids, I will continue to intrude. And they will like it! Or else! (But I will call first, because that's just how I am.)

    We have an eye appointment at the end of August. I hope they won't have shields over the equipment, because I am more than a little sensitive to the distortions that plastics give, so I won't get a good prescription that way! Oh well - it's in the neighboring state where they haven't been taking things as seriously. Either there will be no real precautions, or the state will have to shut everything down and we'll get rescheduled.