This Is Not a Drill

Today is Friday. It’s been almost a week and one day since my last day of work, on Thursday, March 12th. I’d say that means I’ve been in isolation since then, but I did got grocery shopping at the Park Slope Food Co-op on Friday, so I technically have to date my isolation to then. Plus I have left the house to go for walks, checked mail, etc, so I have touched doors and mailboxes and packages and so on, but I always sanitize and wash my hands afterwards, so hopefully that doesn’t count. Oh, and I bought bananas on Tuesday, but with all of us (mostly) being six feet away, and the person behind the counter wearing a mask, and me sanitizing and washing hands again after coming back from buying the bananas, let’s say that that doesn’t count either. So I’ve been isolated since Friday. That’s almost a week. Which means about another week until I’m out of the incubation period. But if I go grocery shopping again, which I will probably have to do before the week is out — because even though I stocked up like a motherfucker to the extent that I could in a one-bedroom with limited closet space, and we now have frozen vegetables and dried fruit, I am saving those for the real emergency that we hope never comes and we will need fruits and vegetables, which I also happen to actually like — does that set me back to day one? I hope not. We all hope not.

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The Things You See In Big Box Stores When You Have To Spend Way Too Much Time In Them

These past few of weeks, I’ve been working on a lot of commercials. I actually like working on commercials, at least when compared with what it’s like to work on television shows. The food is better. The pay is better. The days are generally shorter and more sane. And as for the content? Well, I used to say that the commercials I worked on were generally better written and had higher production values than the TV shows, but that was before TV entered its current golden age, and TV commercial budgets started getting reduced to make way for social media content. Now, most of the TV shows I work on are at least pretty good, some of the commercials are still funny, and the social media content is …well, let’s just say it’s not directed at me (Why Instagram Stories? Why???). But generally, let’s face it: I’m shilling for corporate America, there’s just no way to make that better. 

One thing that really drives that home is spending a lot of time in that epicenters of consumerism, the big box store. Here are a few things I saw wandering out in these mundane-to-the-point-of-creepy settings that I found strange, disturbing, or just “Huh?”

What is the right occasion for these? Is it when you’re actually drinking alone (in which case, cocktail napkins?), or is it when you want to invite your friends over to laugh at you because you’re a cat lady who drinks alone? Or should the packaging just say, “A Fun Cry For Help”?

 

“What happened to the first six Odor Busters?” is a thing you might ask if you were trying to stay awake at 3:40 in the morning and you couldn’t tell that that was a Z. And because why are little deodorant grenades a product that you want to jazz up with a Z, like Starz, or cheez? 

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How I Learned That My Sanity Is Worth More Than $230

Several months ago, I got two parking tickets. Only in reality, I didn’t get them. I just went out to get in my car, only to discover that it wasn’t where I thought I’d left on the corner across from my apartment building. This in and of itself isn’t that strange, because a) Your average New Yorker doesn’t drive every day and therefore might only visit their car once a week when street cleaning regulations force them to do so; b) Your average person who works in film production is used to finding themselves parking their car after a 12+ hour day topped off with an hour of searching for a parking spot at 3:30 am, the details of which they might not recall in full; c) your average 50-something-year-old entering menopause has a brain under attack by hormones that make it much more spongey than it used to be, and d) I am, yes, all three of these things. But because I’d been unusually coherent when I’d parked it after grocery shopping a few days earlier, and because I was also fairly sure that I’d seen a truck from my electricity supplier, Consolidated Edison, on that corner the day before, I felt pretty confident that my car had not, in fact, been kidnapped by aliens (which, considering the shape it’s in, with the front bumper now out of joint from having recently been knocked off and reattached with a couple of well-placed screws, seemed more likely than its having been stolen).

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