January 18, 2021

random pandemic musings you won't want to miss

Is it just  me, or are other people concerned about the future of breath mint companies? I am usually heavily reliant on breath mints. This stems from growing up in a house where I was constantly told that I had bad breath. (Do you hear that? It's my readers celebrating the fact that we are friends on the blogosphere where bad breath is not offensive. Well, I heard it).

Anyway, how are the breath mint companies getting by? Can someone check on them? I can't imagine there is much demand for their product right now, seeing as masks are shielding anyone in public from both stinky breath and delightfully minty breath. Just a thought. 

I have no good photos to go with this post, but this is what I wore Sunday when I made a meatloaf. Washed the sheets on all the beds including baby portable cribs. Attended Tank's travel volleyball games (seen here) with Coach. Ate dinner at home with everyone and then Coach and I attended Curly's travel basketball games. Then wrote this post. This was a busy day for a pandemic. I opted to wear my new long-ish sweater and leggings and my brown boots. Riveting, I know. But one doesn't leave the house much and isn't this sweater cute? I already had the leggings and what a great match.

Also, it has occurred to me that my position as head sniffer at my in-home daycare might become challenging if I test positive AND lose my sense of smell. How would I manage to identify poops without my nose to guide me? I'd be wrestling little people all day to physically peek inside their diapers. This could add to my sweat-a-rama factor. 

Curly shared a little e-learning secret with me recently. She admitted that when she doesn't know the answer to a question, she freezes. She doesn't move. This, she hopes, leads her teacher to believe that her screen is frozen. The message she hopes to send:  MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STUDENT, I'M FORZEN HERE. 

She also confided in me that Mini tried the same tactic, but was busted BECAUSE THE CEILING FAN IN THE BACKGROUND DIDN'T GET THE MEMO. IT CONTINUED TO SPIN. The teacher was like, UM, MINI YOU AREN'T FROZEN. GO AHEAD AND TRY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

As the proud Mama of my kids trying to beat the system in these trying times, I just gotta quote Wedding Crashers here:  I'M NOT  JUDGING  YOU CAUSE I THINK YOU'RE AN INNOVATOR.  (click the words to go to the link of that tiny bit of the movie, if you are so inclined)

In other pandemic notes, I will admit that I'm 'THAT' lady. You know the one, she scolds a punk-ass teenager at Costco. 

It happened just before Christmas. This 'I THINK I'M ALL THAT' teen wasn't wearing his mask. It was dangling below his chin, where it was doing no one any good. He walked around like he had a stick up his butt, like he was better than everyone he ever met. 

This made me want to ask him:  So, if you're as cool as you want everyone to think you are, then why are you shopping at Costco with your mom? 

In my brief time of observing him, I was confident that he wasn't a kid who struggled with some kind of developmental delay that might interfere with his ability to wear a mask. He was simply suffering from macho-man façade shit. 

Don't get me wrong, I love when any of my kids accompany me to the store. I enjoy the 'split the list' strategy. But my kids don't carry themselves like they're superior beings. AND my kids follow the rules, like wearing masks. 

Do you know what's hard lately? Trying to open the plastic bags for raw meat packages at Costco. I can't lick my finger to help me in separating the two sides of the slippery bag. 

So, as I stood there struggling with the bag, I see Mr.Hot-shot walk by, mask not in place. I was still standing there struggling with the bag that refused to open (I've gotten better at this by the way - if I rub the bag back and forth crazy fast, friction usually saves the day. I'm sorry I don't have a video of me looking dumb doing this, but believe me, I look dumb) when he and his mom walked back from the opposite direction. 

He knew I was staring at him, trying to decide if I should say something. He turned to me and smiled. directly. in. my face. It was one of those: 

I-got-popcorn-at-the-movie-theater-and-you-didn't  little kid smiles.

No, I don't have issues from being deprived movie popcorn as a child. Why do you ask? 

Maybe it was the former substitute teacher in me. Or the part of me that had no problem correcting other people's punk-ass kids at the swimming pool when they invaded the baby pool because the big kid pool was closed for adult swim,  . . but I went ahead and got bossy: 


Mr. Hotshot:  WHAT?


Mr. Hotshot:  WHAT'D YOU WORK FOR COSTCO NOW? this implies that he knows me and that he knows where I work, which I found strange. 

Mr. Hotshot's mom:  (SNORT) ARE YOU SERIOUS?

They walked away. Since they didn't know me, they couldn't have understood that this was not over. I approached a maintenance man who worked at Costco. I told him that a teenager was refusing to wear his mask. He asked me WHERE? And I was more than happy to supply him with the info:  TALL KID, WHITE HOODIE.OVER THERE. I pointed Mr. Hot-shot's head bobbing above the crowd. Another shopper gave me a firm nod. Even though she was masked, I believe the nod was saying:  YOU GO GIRL! 

The next time I saw Mr. Hot-shot his mask was covering his not-so-smug face. Although I was tempted, I refrained from weaving through shoppers to catch up to he and his bitch mom and say something adult-ish like:  HA, LOOKS LIKE MR. MAINTENANCE MAN TOLD YOU. HOW'R YOU FEELING NOW, MR. HOT-SHOT?

I have my limits. *sometimes* 

Ernie for the win. 

You know what doesn't feel like a win . . . Tank missing his senior year. I still recall my silly self thinking that they'd cancel school for a few weeks in March and this would all be over. Quickly. Then I felt horrible for the seniors, who missed a few months of school, prom, etc. 

This year's seniors are missing EVERYTHING. Tank is so incredibly bummed. He's the leader of the spirit troop - the kids who scream crazy rants in the crowd during home football and basketball games follow his lead. He goes to school in person a few days a week, but lunch is kids sitting far apart, facing the same direction. Assigned seats. He's missing a year that should be chock full of fun memories. 

I'm not gonna lie, it's breaking my heart. His is breaking more. 

Who do you feel the most sorry for in your family or group of friends during the pandemic? And have you confronted a non-mask wearer, or am I the only nut job here? Or even, favorite breath mint? Have you faked being frozen or other tech difficulties to avoid a Zoom? 

I live for comments people, that and scolding teenage boys who tick me off. So please don't be shy, you're in good company. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

The kids are missing out on so much, it makes me sad as well.

I love that outfit! Very cute.

I have a hot tip for you to separate the bags. Rub the bag between the palms of your hands, like you are trying to warm up your hands, and the bag will open. Someone told me that and it really works.

Anonymous said...

I think breath mint companies should be doing ok, who wants to have to re-breathe their own stinky breath in their mask? I am a gum chewer, just a few notches below Violet from Willy Wonka, and I’m still buying lots of gum. Currently on a cinnamon flavor kick, since you asked :)
I wish I had you at Costco with me yesterday! The lady in the checkout line with me was wearing a completely sheer bejeweled “mask”, it went over her nose and ears and then was loose open, I’m pretty sure it was part of a belly dancing outfit. Either way it was just as ridiculous as Mr-hot-shot, I think. I am like you, not afraid to to make comments about rude or ridiculous people, the people with me usually say “they can hear you”.... uh ya, that was the point! BUT, about a year ago I was nearly attacked in the same Costco, in the glass filled alcohol section (crazy lady), I had paused to look at something and some lady yelled out “Do Ya Mind?!” I was telling my 2 young girls in the cart not to be rude like that, that you can politely say excuse me and you don’t have to be nasty. Lady circles around and comes back and starts hollering and trying to fight me, with my 2 little kids! I was like “hello, where is an employee to shred this lady’s membership card?!” It was wild. Sorry for replying with an entire post, haha.
And I can’t imagine having to watch my kiddo miss their senior year, especially such an involved one who would have soaked up all of those special moments and events. Mine are little and I feel like they’re missing a lot, but I remind myself there is plenty of time to make up for this year, a senior year can’t be relived. I hope Tank gets to have some memorable experiences with his buddies at least, maybe he’ll have an extra fun summer.

Anonymous said...

I ratted out a curbside delivery employee when I pulled up to the pharmacy drive up window. See? All outside, but she was breathing on my groceries! I know, I hear myself, but I'm still living the CDC recommendations "poster old woman" lifestyle, and it may or may not be leaving me a tad on the cranky side.

My granddaughter is also a senior this year. She's a very serious student and sometimes I wonder how she would fit anything else into her day, but it has to be tough. She bears it rather stoically.
In my fantasy life she and Tank could cut locust saplings out of the wildflower field together. She is also very good at laughing. I am holding you and your family in my most positive thoughts, take care please! Rural Ks Reader

Ernie said...

Nicole - Life is still fairly busy, but every once in a while I stop and think OMG THIS IS STILL HAPPENING. In the fall, I assumed the remote learning would be short lived. My nieces and nephews attend a Catholic school that has been in person every day, all day and has not had one single school transmitted case. It is not a tiny school either.

The sweater has a hood that I find a little annoying because I would never wear the hood and it bunches under coats, but otherwise it is soft and cozy.

Ally Bean said...

Yes, yes, sing it girlfriend. "Do you know what's hard lately? Trying to open the plastic bags for raw meat packages..." I've the same problem when trying to put fruits and vegetables in the plastic bags at Kroger. I know it's not a big problem but honestly it frustrates the heck out of me.

As for breath mints, a friend shared a photo of her wearing a mask with her eyes crying. Why ws she crying? Because she'd popped a mint in her mouth, put on the mask, then found the minty fumes in her mouth went straight up her nose into her eyes. It was so funny, and a cautionary tale.

Anonymous said...

My thought was breath mint companies are probably doing fabulous as people who never knew they had bad breath now know and since they are the ones that have to smell it have invested in breath mints.

Ernie said...

AM - a few notches below Violet from Willy Wanka - hee hee. People are amazingly rude at times, and I am not one to stand by and watch that without speaking up. Coach is the total opposite, unless he's driving. Then, watch your manners. I can't believe this Costco person decided to come after you with your children in full view.

Tank does hang out with his buddies on the regular. He's also already had covid, but it is the school activities he misses. I remember my senior year. It was pivotal. Sigh. He finds fun in most of what he does, so he'll recover. Still, disappointing.

Ernie said...

Rural- The rules aren't really THAT difficult to follow, so I don't understand those who try to skirt around it. I don't blame you at all.

I suggested to Tank that he skip the rest of senior year, work, and then do an other senior year in the fall . . . with Mini. He has lots of buddies in Mini's class from volleyball - to the point that Mini finds it a little awkward. Tank was not on board with that idea, as expected. It is rough for these kids. Tank admits that he goes with the flow and then occasionally he notes how awful this is. I love the idea of Tank and your granddaughter in the field cutting locust saplings together. Cue the sappy music!

Thanks for the positive thoughts. Much appreciated. There is a lot going on over here behind the scenes. I consider writing about it, but not sure how. It's heavy. Most challenging time we've ever experienced. Coach is like: it's almost comical. *Oh how we wish there was something comedic in all of this stress.*

Ernie said...

Ally - I am usually in a hurry. Those dang bags slow me down. I have found the rubbing back and forth of my hands over the bag helps. It must look like I'm fighting with the bag. Or I'm having a meltdown.

I haven't bothered with mints, so I guess my breath isn't so bad because I'm assuming I would despise my mask time with that issue added in. The tearing up eyes because of a mint is funny. I've decided my nose runs more in a mask because as I breathe inside the mask it works like a little steam treatment and my nose starts to run. I'm so tired of it.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - You raise a good point. Mabye the mask wearing will alert those who were previously unaware of their own breath of their 'situation' and they will start investing in their new best friend: mints.

Suz said...

Breath mints? I'm just ready for gum and I'll support ALL the sugar free gum companies in a minute.

I'm laughing hysterically over Curly and then Mini in the NON frozen debacle. SO FUNNY.

Wedding crashers is hilarious.

I really feel for the teens who are missing out on big milestones. Oh, and people who had to cancel weddings. That sucks a big one too.

Lauging at you The Costco Mask Police. Reminds me of the progressive commercials about NOT being your parents and the people who see the kid with blue hair, but CAN NOT NOT say anything.

Charlie said...

I love that you take no shit. I want to tell smug people to put their masks on, and I do. In my head! Haven’t the confidence to actually do this in person! I feel so sorry for students too. We have no in person school in the U.K. and all exams have been cancelled for this summer. But the kids don’t yet know what’s replacing them and my daughter is pretty worried about that. I work at a University and our students are missing out so much on Uni life. It’s crap. But with the hope that the vaccines bring, I’m hoping by Easter (summer?) life will be back to something much more resembling normality. It bloody better do, as I’ve a wedding to attend in Greece in August and then Vegas in November!

Ernie said...

Suz- I don't think I ever would have admitted to my mom that I tried to pull a fast one on a teacher. She once ripped up my homework because she noticed I had crossed something out too many times.

Yes, the weddings that have been planned and have needed to be rerouted or cancelled or refigured, SO frustrating. We got a Christmas card from a family I babysat for long ago. 5 daughters. One got married but another sister had covid and could not attend. The photo was beautiful, but missing a sister!

I just watched the clip of that commercial. My kids are sometimes like DON'T SAY ANYTHING. Blue hair does not rile me like ignorant people does.

Ernie said...

Charlie- Everything is such a mess. I am ready for things to get back to normal. Yesterday was close to normal with TWO sporting events to attend. Both far from home. It was fun to watch our kids do something, but I had to adjust to having my Sunday all taken up.

Oh, a wedding in Greece?! Sounds amazing. Las Vegas- I've never been. Look at you, the world traveler. I hope those trips happen.

Pat Birnie said...

I love that elearning pretending to freeze trick, esp Mini’s fail so much that I shared it on a Monday morning zoom Mastermind I’m in - everyone thought it was hilarious! I’m glad you spoke up and got that kid wearing his mask! I find we do get braver with age. Also love your sweater & tights outfit. It looks so cozy yet fashionable!

Ernie said...

Pat - So awesome that my kid's innovativeness is being shared. I thought it was very entertaining. She's an all A honor student, so I'm curious what it was that she wasn't prepared for. Fortunately she's more concerned with her grades than I am, so I don't really need to check up on her. My hands are full in other ways anyway.

I still question where I get my 'you're gonna hear about this' approach to idiots, because I come from fairly mousie people. Maybe the impact of my middle child scars. :)

Thanks, those leggings are looser than regular leggings (more like knit pants) so no struggle to get them on and off. They were marked down to a crazy low price and then the hems came out of both legs and I was kicking myself for buying them. I took them back to the store where I bought them and the tailor re-hemmed them for free. Now they are a longer length too, which is what I always need. I really have been laying off the clothes buying, but I do really like that new sweater.

Gigi said...

It pains me to think of all that our kids are missing out on. Maybe if more of us would yell at those non-maskers we can hurry up and get this over with.

Ernie said...

Gigi - if only it was that simple, I'd start patrolling like a crazy person. I go about my day, but then sometimes I just stop and realize how very long this is going on and how crappy it is for those that are missing out on stuff.

Kari said...

I feel like breath mint companies are doing better because once people started wearing masks they realized how bad their breath was?

I do feel bad for teenagers. Especially seniors, as you said. :(

Ernie said...

Kari - Well, I know I haven't bought any mints . . .so maybe the good news is that my breath isn't so bad after all.

I think it is taking a toll on these teens. I'm seeing it here, I've got a decent sized sample group of teens. Why don't I drink more?

Bibliomama said...

I have a Frost mint problem, and I use them just as much with masks because especially the school with the medical masks I hate the smell of the mask.
Your kids pretend-freezing in zoom class and the ceiling fan giving one away is freakin' hilarious.
I feel bad for both my kids - it's Eve's senior year and Angus went to college in the states specifically to play baseball and has already missed one season and will likely lose another. Go figure, when we were weighing the pros and cons of our kid going to school in the u.s., 'worldwide pandemic' wasn't on the list.

Ernie said...

Ali - I am lucky that I don't have to wear masks very often - only when I am at the grocery store or some other public place.

It never would've occurred to me that the teachers could see the fan in the background. I thought it was hilarious too.

That is so rotten about Angus' baseball seasons. How frustrating. Lad got lucky last year because water polo is a fall sport. He still struggled with the school year ending the way it did. Poor Eve. I feel bad that Reg hasn't been able to meet his high school friends. Everything is so odd and weird. Yes, who'd a thunk a worldwide pandemic would've come along as you sent your son to the States for school. So unpredictable.

Suzanne said...

Oh my gosh -- Mini and the still-moving fan! I am DYING.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Not sure if it's because I'm seasoned now, but I never thought my kid pulling one over on the teacher would not have impressed me - but I too died laughing.